2017-2018 Graduate Catalog


Master's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general academic regulations, the particular requirements of the master's degree are provided below and in the separate listings for departments and programs.

Residence Requirement, Master's

There is no general residency requirement. See specific degree listings for program requirements.

Transfer Credit

Limited graduate credit earned from another accredited college or university will be considered for transfer to a TCU master's program. Written request for transfer credit, with appropriate transcripts, should be made at the time of application for admission. Such credit must be applicable to the student's program as determined by his/her adviser; carry at least a "B" grade (3.0 on a 4.0 scale); and be residence credit, not extension or correspondence. Six semester hours of transfer credit usually is all that will be accepted, but under special circumstances additional hours may be considered, subject to approval by the chair of the major department and the dean of the school/college.

Additional Master's Degree

TCU graduate students who either are currently enrolled in a master's degree program or who have already earned a master's degree from TCU or from an approved program outside of TCU may apply for an additional master's degree from TCU.

Approval of an additional master's degree from TCU must satisfy the following conditions as determined by the academic dean governing the additional master's degree.

  • All requirements relevant to the additional master's degree must be satisfied.
  • No more than nine hours of approved coursework for the prior (or concurrent) master's degree may be applied.
  • Petition for applied course credit must be submitted in writing.
  • Applied course(s) must carry at least a "B" grade (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) and must be verified by accompanying official transcripts.
  • Only non-thesis credits will be considered.
  • All credits applicable to the additional master's degree must be earned within five calendar years following matriculation.

Advisory Committee, Master's

*Not applicable to the MBA or MLA program.

An advisory committee of three faculty members is appointed by the dean for each graduate student after completion of the equivalent of a full semester of graduate work, usually 12 hours.

Until the student receives notice of the appointment of an advisory committee, he/she should consider the chair of the major department as the adviser, unless the department otherwise makes provision.

Accelerated and 4-1 Programs

Students pursuing a bachelor’s and master’s degree concurrently as part of an accelerated or 4-1 program may count some graduate course credits toward both degrees. Up to 12 credit hours at the 55000 and 60000 level may be used in this way. Students must be officially accepted into these special programs and must enroll in the courses as graduate level students.

Admission to Candidacy, Master's

*Not applicable to the MBA or MLA program.

A student pursuing a master's degree will have a petition to candidacy prepared by the dean's office after nine or more hours of coursework have been completed and after all conditions to admission have been met, including the pertinent aptitude test records, departmental or other required examinations, and foreign language requirements, if any. The student does not need to make a formal request for candidacy.

Registration for the second half of the thesis will not be accepted until all requirements for candidacy have been fulfilled. Until that time the student is not considered a candidate for a degree.

Intent to Graduate, Master's

At the beginning of the semester in which the student plans to graduate, the Intent to Graduate form should be filed with the appropriate dean's office. In the event that graduation cannot be completed, a cancellation form must be filed in the dean's office. The Intent to Graduate form must be refiled in case of postponement. A non-refundable graduation fee is charged when the intent is filed.

Thesis Preparation

The thesis required in many of the master's degree programs represents the climax of a student's program and is expected to demonstrate thoroughness of research, keenness of analysis and effectiveness of expression.

A student is required to register for at least six hours of thesis and must register for at least one hour during any fall or spring semester in which the student is working with committee members or using University facilities. Check specific department listings for further restrictions. During the summer, the student must enroll for at least one thesis hour in at least one of the summer sessions. In addition, the student must enroll for at least one hour of thesis in the semester in which he/she plans to complete the thesis and take the final oral examination.

General instructions for preparing and presenting theses should be obtained from the appropriate dean's office well in advance of the actual thesis writing. The form presented should be followed in all cases unless a recognized professional variation is authorized by the major department under agreement with the dean.

The thesis subject must be approved by the advisory committee, which should be consulted frequently in the progress of the thesis so that proper guidance may be given. All members of the committee should approve the thesis draft before the final version is posted. Students should particularly note the special deadlines for thesis preparation and distribution. These deadlines may be obtained each semester from the dean's office. The usual process requires electronic submission of a PDF file according to the instructions posted at lib.tcu.edu/NDLTD. Copyright and bound copies may be obtained; fees for these optional services are paid by the student.

Oral Examinations, Master's

Where master's degrees require a final oral examination the exam will cover all work taken for the degree, including the thesis, if any. The examining committee will be composed of the candidate's advisory committee, and others as may be designated by the major department. The examination may not take place later than the date listed in the deadlines for graduate students each semester.

The candidate must show satisfactory completion of all courses in the degree program, except those in progress, before the oral examination may be given. Only one re-examination on a failed oral will be permitted, the date to be set at the discretion of the examining committee. In addition to the final oral examination, written examinations may be required at the discretion of the major department.

A student must be enrolled for a minimum of one hour of credit during any term (fall, spring or any one of the three summer sessions) in which the student is using University facilities, working with faculty or taking the final oral examination.

Summer Completion of Degree Programs

A student planning to complete the thesis and/or oral examinations during the summer, particularly during the second five-week term, should check with advisory committee members prior to the end of the spring semester to affirm that their schedules will make them available during that period.

Time Limit, Master's

The student is expected to complete work, including thesis if required, within a period of five years from the date of the earliest credit to be counted on the degree (including transfer credit, if any). See M.J. Neeley School of Business Program Length for its requirement.

Extension of time must be applied for in writing through the chair of the major department, who will then make a recommendation to the dean of the school/college. The letter should explain why the degree was not completed within the time limit and should present a schedule for completing the program. Additional courses may be assigned to students who do not complete the degree within the time limit.