Degree Requirements

Master's Degree Requirements

Requirements for a master's degree from UWF are listed below. The colleges and departments may have requirements which exceed these minimums. Please consult the individual departments and the individual program descriptions in this Catalog for details. Minimum requirements are the following:

  • Students must be admitted and enrolled at UWF for a minimum of one semester as degree-seeking in the degree program for which a degree is awarded;
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours in an approved program;
  • Completion of a minimum of 15 semester hours of coursework at the 6000 level or above;
  • Completion of a minimum of 24 semester hours of credit at UWF. The department offering the program may require additional residency; 
  • Graduate GPA of a minimum of 3.0, refer to GPA Requirement for more information;
  • Complete degree requirements within six years from the date the UWF degree is awarded, refer to the Time to Degree requirement for more information;
  • A degree will not be awarded for a student on academic probation or suspension;
  • A maximum of 6 semester hours of credit may be applied toward a master's degree for successful completion of a thesis;
  • Master's students must enroll as degree-seeking for a minimum of one semester at UWF within the last five years of the date the degree is to be awarded. Students who need to be readmitted will be required to meet the degree requirements of the current Catalog.

Requirements for Second UWF Master's Degree

Requirements listed below are applicable for students who already hold a master's degree from UWF or who are pursuing two masters' degrees simultaneously. Students who have earned a master's degree from another institution must meet the requirements listed under Master's Degree Requirements.

  • Master's students may be candidates for two master's degrees at UWF. Candidacy in two separate master's programs may be held in overlapping time periods. Candidates must meet the conditions of graduate status stipulated by both departments;
  • Since a master's degree represents a level of attainment, some (or all) courses included in one graduate program may be used by another department to satisfy the formal requirements for a second graduate degree. A minimum of 18 semester hours must be taken for the second graduate degree which were not a part of the first degree;
  • A degree will not be awarded for a student on academic probation or suspension;
  • Master's students must be admitted and enrolled at UWF for a minimum of one semester as degree-seeking in the degree program for which a degree is awarded;
  • Master's students must enroll as degree-seeking for a minimum of one semester at UWF within the last five years of the date the degree is to be awarded. Students who need to be readmitted will be required to meet the degree requirements of the current Catalog.

A second master's degree may not be earned in the same program area.

Specialist Degree Requirements

To be eligible for an Ed.S. degree, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Specialist students must be admitted and enrolled at UWF for a minimum of one semester as degree-seeking in the degree program for which a degree is awarded;
  • Submit an approved degree plan which includes at least 30 semester hours;
  • Completion of a minimum of 9 semester hours of coursework at the 7000 level in the Curriculum and Instruction Specialist program. The remainder will be at the 5000-6000 level except when specific waivers have been obtained;
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit at UWF. The department offering the program may require additional residency;
  • No more than six semester hours may be transferred from another institution that were earned within five years of the date of admission to the specialist program;
  • Specialist GPA of a minimum of 3.0;
  • All degree requirements must be completed within seven years from the date of admission;
  • Be recommended for graduation by the departmental chairperson;
  • A degree will not be awarded for a student on academic probation or suspension;
  • Specialist students must enroll as degree-seeking for a minimum of one semester at UWF within the last five years of the date the degree is to be awarded. Students should contact their program of study advisor to determine the minimum hours and courses in which to enroll. Students who need to be readmitted will be required to meet the degree requirements of the current Catalog.

Requirements for Second UWF Specialist Degree

Requirements listed below are applicable for students who already hold a specialist degree from UWF or who are pursuing two specialist degrees simultaneously. Students who have earned a specialist degree from another institution must meet the requirements listed under Specialist Degree Requirements.

  • Specialist students may be candidates for two specialist degrees at UWF;
  • Candidacy in two separate specialist programs may be held in overlapping time periods;
  • Candidates must meet the conditions of graduate status stipulated by both departments;
  • The professional core, made up of 15 semester hours, included in one specialist program may be used to satisfy the professional core requirements for a second specialist degree. The minimum course requirements of the desired specialization must be completed for the second specialist degree, which were not a part of the first degree;
  • A degree will not be awarded for a student on academic probation or suspension;
  • Specialist students must be admitted and enrolled at UWF for a minimum of one semester as degree-seeking in the degree program for which a degree is awarded;
  • Specialist students must enroll as degree-seeking for a minimum of one semester at UWF within the last five years of the date the degree is to be awarded. Students who need to be readmitted will be required to meet the degree requirements of the current Catalog.

A second specialist degree may not be earned in the same program area.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Degree Requirements

For detailed information, refer to the policies and procedures available on the Ed.D. Program web page. To be eligible for an Ed.D. degree, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Students must be admitted to the program by the specific Ed.D. specialization, approved by the unit head and CEPS Dean;
  • Complete an approved degree plan with a minimum number of hours as identified in the program of study. No more than 6 semester hours may be transferred from another institution that were earned within three years of the date of admission to the UWF Ed.D. Program;
  • Complete the residency requirement: Students establish residency when they enroll in at least 24 semester hours in two consecutive academic years (includes summer sessions). The unit head monitors and verifies student compliance with the provisions of this requirement;
  • Students must successfully complete an APA seminar during their first or second semester in the program;
  • Complete the ePortfolio and move to Advanced Standing;
  • Complete all requirements for the pre-proposal phase of the doctoral journey;
  • Complete all requirements to advance to candidacy;
  • Have maintained a minimum institutional program GPA of 3.25 with no grades lower than a B in any coursework counted toward the degree. Obtaining grades lower than B in two courses will result in an appointment with the Ed.D. Academic Advisor to explore alternative ways to complete the doctoral program and may result in dismissal from the program. Students who earn two unsatisfactory grades in dissertation coursework will undergo this same process. Students will also be placed on academic probation. The report from the Ed.D. Academic Advisor on each student in this category shall be submitted to the Ed.D. Policy Group for further deliberations on the students' future participation in the doctoral program;
  • Successfully complete and orally defend a dissertation;
  • Be recommended for graduation by the doctoral committee, the unit head, the Doctoral Support Center, and the CEPS Dean's office;
  • All degree requirements must be completed within seven years from the date of admission;
  • A degree will not be awarded for a student on academic probation or suspension;
  • Doctoral students must enroll as degree-seeking for a minimum of one semester at UWF within the last five years of the date the degree is to be awarded. Students should contact their program of study advisor to determine the minimum hours and courses in which to enroll. Students who need to be readmitted will be required to meet the degree requirements of the current Catalog.

Dissertation Course Registration Requirements and Grading

Dissertations are to be prepared in accordance with the specifications given in the Dissertation Template and the Structural Guidelines for Traditional Proposals and Dissertations provided in the UWF Education Doctorate Resources. All dissertations must be produced in electronic format (unless a hard copy is required by the individual department). Deadlines for submission of dissertations to the Graduate School can be found on the Graduate School page under Thesis and Dissertations.

Doctoral candidates are required to register for a minimum of 15 semester hours of dissertation coursework. Candidates must register for a minimum of 3, but not more than 6, semester hours each semester (excluding summer terms) until they have registered for a cumulative total of 9 semester hours of doctoral dissertation coursework. Thereafter, candidates are required to register for a minimum of 1 semester hour of dissertation coursework each consecutive semester (excluding summer) until the student has completed 15 semester hours of dissertation work. A maximum of 21 semester hours of dissertation credit may be applied toward a doctoral degree for successful completion of a dissertation. Upon completion of 21 semester hours of dissertation credit, the student will be reevaluated by the doctoral committee chair and committee to determine if the student can complete the dissertation. If it is determined that the student can complete the dissertation, the student will be required to register for 3 semester hours of dissertation coursework each semester until the doctoral committee approves the dissertation. Once the doctoral committee has approved the dissertation, the candidate must continue to register for 1 credit hour per semester until the dissertation is approved by the Graduate School and submitted to ProQuest.

Candidates shall maintain in active candidacy status in accordance with the above stated criteria.  Those who fail to maintain active status during the dissertation process will have their status reviewed by the unit head. Registration for dissertation credits in the summer semesters are not included in the "active status rule." It is strongly suggested that students make arrangements with individual professors they are working with to be certain that they will be available in the summer semesters to work with them since faculty are not on contract. Failure to register for the appropriate dissertation coursework for 3 consecutive semesters will result in the candidate having to reapply to the program, subject to the policies and procedures in effect at that time.  Students who do not maintain continuous registration after the dissertation has been approved by the dissertation committee will be charged for 1 semester hour of dissertation credit per semester for each semester during the time they were not continuously registered.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree Requirements

To be eligible for a Ph.D. degree, a student must meet the following requirements.

  • Students must be admitted and enrolled at UWF for a minimum of one semester as degree-seeking in the degree program for which a degree is awarded.
  • Complete the minimum number of semester hours as identified in the program of study.
  • Complete all requirements to advance to candidacy as identified in the program of study.
  • Maintain a minimum institutional program GPA of 3.25.
  • Successfully complete and orally defend a dissertation.
  • A degree will not be awarded for a student on academic probation or suspension.
  • Doctoral students must enroll as degree-seeking for a minimum of one semester at UWF within the last five years of the date the degree is to be awarded. Students who need to be readmitted will be required to meet the degree requirements of the current Catalog.

Transfer of Credit

The department chairperson for the graduate program to which an applicant applies has ultimate authority in determining which courses are applicable toward the requirements for that degree at UWF.

Graduate transfer credits, including those from a previously earned graduate degree, may be transferred upon the approval of the student’s academic department. Graduate credits may be transferred from an institution whose accrediting agency is included on the list of approved accrediting agencies only when a grade of “B” or higher was earned in the graduate work to be transferred and when the credits were completed within three years of the date of admission, but no more than seven years at the point of graduation.
 
Students entering the program with a previously earned approved graduate degree are eligible to transfer a maximum of six semester hours of graduate coursework from another institution. Students who do not hold a relevant graduate degree in an approved area may apply a maximum of 24 semester hours of relevant graduate coursework from another institution toward the 30 hours of preparatory coursework requirement.

The program director’s permission is required for the credits to be accepted. Students may petition for a greater number of hours to be credited to the Ph.D. program. Exceptions on transfer work will be determined by the Ph.D. Program Director and must be approved by the Graduate School.

UWF List of Approved Accrediting Agencies for Acceptance of Transfer Credit

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and College
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Time to Degree

Master’s Degrees & Graduate Certificates

All coursework (including transferred credit) must be completed within six years from the date the UWF degree is awarded. The department may recommend that UWF and transferred courses which are older than six years be included in the student’s program of study if the department validates that the student has current knowledge related to the course subject matter.

Specialist & Doctoral Degrees

All coursework (including transferred credit) must be completed within three years from the date of admission to UWF but no more than than seven years at the point of graduation. The department may recommend that UWF and transferred courses which are older than the seven years be included in the student's program of study if the department validates that the student has current knowledge related to the course subject matter. 

*Faculty Senate 2/19/10

Degree Audit System

Degree Works will identify and track all graduation requirements for each degree at the University. Students may check their individual progress toward degree completion by reviewing their degree audit, which is available in MyUWF. The degree audit is used for the final graduation check and a completed audit is required before a degree is awarded.

Comprehensive or General Examination

Most departments require a written and/or oral general examination. The examination may be an initial diagnostic or a final comprehensive examination over the student's fields of study. Students must pass any examination required by the department to be recommended for a graduate degree.

Thesis Requirement

Theses are to be prepared in accordance with the specifications given in the UWF Thesis Guide prepared by and available in the Graduate School. All theses must be produced in electronic format (unless a hard copy is required by the individual department). Deadlines for submission to the Graduate School are posted on the Graduate School's Thesis Submission page.

Students should consult the current Graduate Catalog for the special requirements of the individual program to determine whether a thesis or alternative is required. A maximum of 6 semester hours of credit may be applied toward a master's degree for successful completion of a thesis. After registering for the first thesis credit, graduate students must be continuously enrolled each semester (excluding summer) until the thesis is approved by the Graduate School and all degree requirements have been completed. Failure to register for thesis hours for 3 consecutive semesters will result in the student having to reapply to the program, subject to the policies and procedures in effect at that time.  Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment will be charged for 1 semester hour of thesis credit per semester for each semester during the time they were not continuously registered.

A grade of "G" (Deferred) will be given for each thesis course taken in which the student is making sufficient progress toward completing their thesis. Once the final thesis has been approved by the Graduate School and submitted to ProQuest, the grade for those thesis courses will be changed to "S" (Satisfactory). A "G" grade may remain indefinitely if for any reason the student does not complete the thesis. A grade of "U" (Unsatisfactory) may be given to one or multiple thesis courses if the student fails to make sufficient progress toward completing the thesis, as determined by the student's Thesis Chairperson.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to candidacy may be required by some departments. This is a separate step from admission to graduate studies. Students are responsible for determining the requirements in each area of study by consulting with the department chairperson.

Tool of Research Requirement

Although the University has no general research tool requirement, some departments expect demonstrated competence in a research tool, such as statistics or a foreign language. Students should refer to the appropriate department to ascertain whether a research tool is required.

Substitution of Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities

Students with documented visual impairments, hearing impairments, motor impairments, or specific learning disabilities may petition for substitution of degree requirements provided such substitutions do not significantly alter the nature of the program in which the student is enrolled. For more information about the University's degree requirement substitution policy, contact the college dean of the program.