Murphy Graduate School Policies And Procedures

Academic Status

All graduate students are required to maintain a cumulative average of 3.0 (B) in all graduate work attempted to remain in good academic status. Grades less than C are not acceptable for graduate credit. A graduate student whose cumulative average in graduate courses falls below 3.0 for two semesters (or terms) is subject to academic dismissal.

Administrative Hold

Students who have not submitted all required admission documents to The Murphy Graduate School (including all required tests) will be placed on an administrative hold. This hold may delay registration for a second term of classes or registration may be denied for additional classes until such documents have been received in The Murphy Graduate School.

Admission to Candidacy

Traditional Program and Non-traditional (Alternative A)

All degree-seeking students must be formally accepted as degree candidates by their academic program. As soon as a student has successfully completed 12 graduate semester hours of graduate coursework (excluding transferred hours), an Admission to Candidacy application must be submitted to The Murphy Graduate School for formal approval to continue work toward a degree. A student, who is not in good academic standing, has not passed the BWCT, GWCT, AECTP or submitted the required GRE or MAT scores will not be admitted to candidacy. Additional requirements may be required by academic colleges.

Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology

Graduate Students in the Doctor of Philosophy in microbiology program are admitted to candidacy after completing their course requirements and passing written and oral comprehensive exams. For more information on the Ph.D. in microbiology program’s specific policies and guidelines, please refer to The Graduate Student Handbook, Biological Sciences.

Educational Leadership Policy and Law (Ed. D./Ph.D.)

Candidacy is the official recognition that the student has entered the advanced phase of the doctoral program and is officially authorized to begin formal work on the dissertation. Admission to candidacy may only occur after the student has passed the comprehensive examination, has maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.35, and has a positive recommendation from the doctoral faculty. Any incomplete grades must be removed prior to admission to candidacy.

When these requirements have been met, students will request admission to candidacy by completing the appropriate application and submitting it to their advisor. For more information on the Ed. D. or Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Law specific policies and guidelines, please refer to The Graduate Student Handbook, Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Policy and Law.

Advisement and Counseling

All degree-seeking students, as well as sixth-year students, are assigned an adviser who serves as the principal contact person. Although each program offered in The Murphy Graduate School is presented in this bulletin, it is the responsibility of the student to meet with his/her adviser to ensure that the proper courses are selected and that requirements of the program are properly met.

Students should arrange a meeting with their advisers as soon as possible after they are notified of admission. At this initial meeting, the student will receive a program of study and approval to take classes for the first period of enrollment. Students who apply for admission late—less than three weeks prior to the beginning of a semester—may be delayed in registering for classes resulting in the payment of late fees. Students should consult with the assigned adviser each semester to ensure that the proper classes have been selected and to keep abreast of current Graduate School and Alabama State Department of Education policies and procedures.

Students must check with The Murphy Graduate School regularly to verify all test dates, registration dates, etc.


All academic complaints should be appealed first to the faculty member involved and the department chairperson. Further appeals should be made to the dean of the respective college and the graduate dean; however, according to the Student Handbook, if the complaint is still not resolved by the dean, then the student may appeal to the provost/vice president for academic affairs and ultimately to the University President.

Academic dismissals may be appealed to the Graduate Council. Any such appeal must be made in writing to the dean of The Murphy Graduate School at least 60 days prior to the official registration date for the term in which the student is seeking readmission.

Attendance and Absences

Each student is expected to attend all lectures, seminars, laboratories and field work for each registered class, including the first class session, in order to verify registration with instructors and to complete all work assigned for the course. Failure to observe this policy may seriously jeopardize a student’s academic standing.

If a student does not attend class during the first week (first five instructional days) of the semester and does not give prior notification to the instructor of reasons for absence and intent to attend the class, the student will be dropped from the course.

A student is permitted one unexcused absence for each credit hour generated by the class. For example, two (2) absences are allowed in a two-hour class. Excessive absenteeism, whether excused or unexcused, may result in a student’s course grade being reduced in an assignment of a grade of ―F‖.

At the beginning of the class, the instructor is responsible for having listed on his or her syllabus the University Attendance Policy. The student will be held responsible for adhering to the University Attendance Policy. Instructors of courses are not obligated to provide makeup opportunities for students who are absent, unless the absences have been officially approved.

An officially approved absence, however, merely gives the individual who missed the class an opportunity to make up the work and in no way excuses him or her from the work required. Official excuses are granted by the Office of Student Affairs for authorized University activities, verified personal illness or illness or death in the immediate family.

Absences will count from the first day of registration for each course. Students receiving veteran’s benefits are required to attend classes according to the regulations of the Veterans Administration in addition to those regulations set by the University for all students. It is the responsibility of the instructor to keep an accurate attendance record of all students enrolled. Students should understand that absences may jeopardize their grades. It is the responsibility of the student to withdraw from the University or drop a course.

Auditing Courses

A student who wishes to audit a course must enroll as an auditor at the time of registration. No credit is earned and no examination for credit may be subsequently applied for when a course is audited. Not more than one course may be audited by a student during a given term. When final grades are submitted by instructors to the Office of Records and Registration, the letters ―Aud‖ will be recorded for the auditor.

Comprehensive Examination

Degree candidates must successfully complete a written comprehensive examination as an exit requirement except Physical Therapy, Accountancy, Rehabilitation Counseling, and Social Work. Degree candidates in Occupational Therapy complete a computer-based comprehensive examination that is administered by the Program as an exit requirement. Students must complete three-fourths of their program in their major area, have been admitted to candidacy and are in good academic standing before they are permitted to sit for their examinations. Students may take the examination a maximum of three times. Students who fail the exam should consult with their graduate faculty advisors prior to retaking the comprehensive examination. Students failing the third time may petition the Graduate Council for further consideration. The examination is scheduled each term.

Registration is required for the examination at least three weeks in advance, and dates are published in the academic calendar. Forms are available in the Graduate dean’s office.

Computer Language Option

Master of Science students in biology and mathematics may elect to substitute a computer language course for the foreign language requirement. Acceptable computer science courses will be determined by the chair of the mathematics and biology departments. Students who are already proficient in computer science should elect the foreign language option.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

All graduate students matriculating in a degree program must be continuously enrolled at Alabama State University. Continuous enrollment is defined as a student being enrolled in courses in two of three academic terms per year (Fall, Spring, Summer), one of which must be the fall term.

In two of the three terms that a student is not enrolled in a degree program course, with the exception of those students granted a leave of absence, the student must enroll in GRAD 5000. This course will not count toward any degree credit hours. This course is an audit course and tuition for the course is $50.00 for the one credit hour. Also, students must be enrolled in order to take their Graduate Comprehensive Examination (GCE). Students enrolled in non-thesis option programs who have completed all required coursework and have not completed a required GCE must register for GRAD 5000. Students enrolled in thesis and doctoral programs who have completed all required coursework and who are working on their thesis or dissertation must enroll in at least one credit hour of thesis or dissertation research in their academic discipline (i.e., BIO 6000 or LPL 9000). Registration for continuous enrollment will take place during regular registration periods. The Murphy Graduate School will monitor compliance with the Continuous Enrollment Policy and may retroactively enroll those students who fail to register through the graduate audit process; however, the graduate student is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the enrollment provisions of this policy are met.

Course Cancellation

The University will normally cancel any course in which fewer than seven students are enrolled or not offer one for which an instructor is not available. Students registered for classes that are cancelled are automatically dropped and do not have to complete a Schedule Change Form. Tuition charges in these cases are adjusted by the business office. If there is any doubt, students should contact the Office of Records and Registration.

Course Load

Nine (9) credit hours are considered a normal full load; The maximum load for full-time graduate students is twelve (12) credit hours. Graduate assistants are required to take a full load of nine credit hours. Special permission to take hours beyond the maximum requires the approval of the student’s advisor, academic department head, the college dean and the graduate dean.

Course Substitution

Graduate course substitutions require recommendation by the student’s adviser and the approval of the dean of the college in which the program is listed.

Credit Hour Institutional Definition

The President of the University, who has ultimate responsibility for the academic integrity of curricula, programs, and course offerings, exercises that responsibility through the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The provost insures that the credit hour benchmark, or its equivalent, is applicable to all programs and courses that award academic credit at the institution.

Alabama State University uses semester credit hours/units as the measure to represent evidence of satisfactory completion of student work in a course. The institutional benchmark definition of one credit is one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester, or its equivalent for courses that have a different format or delivery method, such as, but not limited to, laboratory work, internships, and studio work.

Application of the Definition:

  1. All existing courses, or courses pending approval, are mandated to have a syllabus representing the required quantity of student engagement and course work that is appropriate to the number of credits approved for the course, which must be consistent with the institutional benchmark definition of the credit hour.
  2. All existing courses are expected to be offered and scheduled for the approved number of credit hours, which must also be appropriate for the completion of student competencies and defined learning outcomes for each course.
  3. All scheduled classes in any given semester must conform to the approved academic calendar (or approved portion for shortened format) and comply with all course activities within that time frame.
  4. The above-referenced instructional requirements should draw upon instructional practices approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.


Doctoral Programs Policies

Educational Leadership, Policy and Law

The Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Law is unique because of its highly select students and cohort structure. Those individuals admitted to the Ed.D. and Ph.D program are required to engage in at least three years of doctoral study and successfully complete a minimum of 69 semester hours of post master’s level work for the Ed.D. and 78 hours for the Ph.D, of which at least 63 hours for the Ed.D and 72 hours for the Ph.D. must be doctoral coursework taken at Alabama State University. Degree requirements include courses in the four major core areas of the program: Edu- cational Leadership, Policy, Law and research. To complete the program, students will also successfully engage in structured and supervised field experiences, a comprehensive examination and a research-based dissertation.

Although policies for this program generally follow those found in this section, additional and specific program policies exist. Students should review the various doctoral program handbooks for relevant policies or contact their advisor.

Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology

Students in the Doctor of Philosophy in microbiology program should consult for Graduate Student Handbook, Biological Sciences to fulfill degree requirements that include: plan of study, residency requirements, comprehensive exam, oral exam, and admission to candidacy, dissertation defense and other academic requirements.

English Proficiency for Graduate Students

Applicants seeking admission to a degree program in The Murphy Graduate School are to submit passing scores on the ASU Graduate Writing Competency Test (GWCT) by the end of the first semester of enrollment. This test requires students to write an essay on a general topic distributed that day. Registrar with a written statement from The Murphy Graduate School.

A schedule of test dates is available in the Testing Center and The Murphy Graduate School. Students must register at least two weeks prior to the test in The Murphy Graduate School in Councill Hall 201. Students who fail the test must show proof of remediation to improve their skills before attempting the test a second time

Grading System

Final examinations are given each semester. The following are used to label and identify the quality of work completed in graduate courses.

A 4 grade points/semester hour Excellent
B 3 grade points/semester hour Good
C 2 grade points/semester hour Satisfactory
D 1 grade point/semester hour Minimum Passing
F No grade points Failure/Completed-Counted in GPA
I No grade points Incomplete (See below)
WF No grade points Withdrawal/Failure-Counted in GPA

The following symbols are substitutes for grades, but are not grades themselves and are not counted in the GPA:

W No grade points Withdrawal in good standing
IP No grade points In progress (see below)
AU No grade points Audit
X No grade points Non-Attendance

An ―I’’ (incomplete) grade is assigned in instances in which a student is likely to pass the course upon completion of requirements to change the ―I‖ grade. To yield credit for a course for which a grade of ―I‖ has been assigned, coursework must be completed by the end of the next semester of enrollment. If the student has not fulfilled the course requirements and the course instructor has not submitted the necessary documentation for the removal of the ―I‖ by the end of the semester; the ―I‖ grade will automatically be replaced with a grade of ―F‖. The next enrollment period cannot exceed two calendar years. At the end of the second calendar year, if the necessary coursework has not been completed; the grade of ―I‖ will automatically be replaced with a grade of ―F‖.

An ―IP‖ (in progress) grade is assigned in instances in which the academic term has ended and all academic work has not been completed for the course or a final grade has not been assigned or received. This grade is only used for cross- enrolled courses and/or courses resulting in the completion of a thesis, dissertation or extensive coursework. This grade is not to be assigned in the place of an ―I‖ (incomplete) grade. Students receiving veterans benefits are required to adhere to the regulations of the Veterans Administration in addition to those requirements set by the University for all students.

Grade Change

Grades reported by instructors to the Office of Records and Registration may not be changed except in case of error in reporting the grade or for the removal of an ―I‖ or ―IP‖ grade. A grade, once reported, may be changed only with the concurrence of the instructor, the college dean and the vice president for academic affairs. Each change must be initiated on the proper form and supported by written justification.

To receive credit for a course for which an ―I‖ grade has been assigned, the ―I‖ must be changed by the end of the following period of enrollment in which the ―I‖ was received, not to exceed two calendar years. Otherwise, the ―I‖ will be final and the student will be required to re-enroll in the course in order to earn credit.

Graduation and Certification

Students who plan to complete degree (master’s or specialist) requirements during the fall or spring semester must file an official Application for Graduation through the Office of the Dean of The Harold Lloyd Murphy Graduate School, Councill Hall 201. The deadline for filing applications is published in the academic calendar and on the University website.

Before any student can be cleared for graduation, all of the following requirements must be satisfied. Students who do not clear academically must reapply for graduation.

  1. Each student must be officially accepted as a degree candidate by an academic program and be admitted to candidacy status.
  2. All required credentials and test scores must be on file, including evidence of English proficiency.
  3. Each student must take and pass the appropriate Graduate Comprehensive Examination.
  4. Each student must achieve the required cumulative GPA of 3.0 (3.25 for Ed.S.)
  5. Each student must meet the residency requirement.
  6. All courses for a degree must be completed within the eight-year time limit.
  7. Each student must complete all of the prescribed courses listed on the program of study and fulfill all departmental requirements.
  8. Students will not be allowed to graduate with a grade of ―I‖ outstanding. Students who fail to meet the degree requirements after filing for the degree must re-file for the degree when requirements have been completed and pay another graduation fee.
  9. All transfer credits must be posted to the ASU transcript.
  10. Dissertations and theses should be defended, approved and submitted to The Murphy Graduate School prior to graduation.
  11. Before candidates seeking teacher education certification in Alabama can be cleared for graduation, they must apply for proper certification through the:
    • University Certification Office
      Room 209
      Ralph Abernathy Hall


Language Requirement

Students enrolled in master’s programs in biology, history and mathematics must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a foreign language (French, Spanish or German). This requirement may be satisfied in any of the following ways: (1) by providing evidence of the prior completion of six semester hours of approved foreign language course work with grade of B or better; (2) by achieving a passing score on an approved standardized foreign language competency examination; or (3) by successfully translating into English a foreign language journal article related to the student’s major field of study. The Department of Foreign Languages, through its chairman, will be responsible for administering the translation exam, as well as approving the acceptability of coursework and determining the appropriateness of any standardized foreign language competency examination. The Department of Foreign Languages, through its chairman, will also be responsible for reporting translation exam scores to the student’s department/college concerned. The department/college will ultimately decide whether a student has passed or not. In no case will a grade of less than 70 or C be considered a passing score.

Leave of Absence

All graduate level students wishing to be excused from the continuous enrollment policy must request a Leave of Absence from The Murphy Graduate School. A Leave of Absence must be obtained from The Murphy Graduate School prior to the semester the absence is to take effect or within a reasonable time of learning such leave is necessary. A student may be granted a Leave of Absence for medical reasons, family necessity or dependent care, military service, or other approved personal reasons. The student must provide The Murphy Graduate School with the appropriate documentation when requesting a Leave of Absence. Examples of appropriate documentation may include military leave papers, signed medical excuses, verification of family care, etc. Students may petition The Murphy Graduate School for a Leave of Absence for a maximum of two terms; however, military deployment or extenuating circumstances could allow for an extension. The request must be filed and approved before the anticipated absence. Also, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that all re-admission and re-entry requirements are satisfied within their designated program of study.

Legal Residency Policy Procedure and Requirements

Legal resident status is granted to a U.S. citizen who meets one of the following criteria:

  1. A full-time permanent employee of the University or is the dependent of such an employee.
  2. Verification of full-time permanent employment within the state of Alabama or is the dependent of such an employee and will commence said employment within 90 days of registration with the institution.
  3. A member or the dependent of a member of the United States military on full-time active duty stationed in Alabama under orders for duties other than attending school.
  4. Employed as a graduate assistant or fellow by the University.
  5. An accredited member of or the dependent of a staff assigned to duties in Alabama (U.S. citizenship not required).
  6. Residence in the state by parents, spouse or others who provide more than 50 percent of the student’s financial support.


To be eligible to change residency status, a student must be a citizen of the United States, prove full-time employment within the state of Alabama, provide evidence of having filed an Alabama tax return as resident of the state of Alabama, and prove continuous residence in the state for a purpose other than attending school. Continuous residence in the state may be substantiated by meeting a combination of three of the following:

  1. Ownership of residential property and other real property in the state of Alabama.
  2. Previous periods of residence in the state continuing for one year or more other than full-time students.
  3. Voter registration and voting in the state, more significantly, continuing voter registration in the state that initially occurred at least one year prior to the initial registration of the student in Alabama at a public institution of higher education.
  4. Possession of a state or local license to do business or practice a profession in the state of Alabama.
  5. In-state address shown on selective service registration, driver’s license, automobile title registration, hunting and fishing licenses, insurance policies, stock and bond registrations, last will and testament, annuities, or retirement plans.


The burden of proof for changing legal resident status resides with the student. The Office of The Murphy Graduate School will assist graduate students with the completion of appropriate documents for consideration.


Only those students who have completed at least three-fourths of their degree program are eligible to enroll in a practicum. Also, a student who has not completed the required application form and been cleared in advance by the director of field and clinical experiences may not register for a practicum. Forms are available in the College of Education, Ralph Abernathy Hall, Room 212.

Repeat Policy

Effective Fall Term 2015, graduate students admitted to a program of study who are in good standing may repeat no more than one course with forgiveness when a grade of less than ―C‖ is earned. When a course is repeated, the grade from the first attempt at the course will be excluded from the student’s graduate grade point average. All subsequent repeats will be included in the student’s overall graduate grade point average. To be in good standing, the graduate student(s) must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 on all graduate work during their program period.

Residency Requirements for Graduate Programs

Residency is defined as the completion of at least 50 percent of graduate courses on the Montgomery campus. For the Ph.D. degree in microbiology, at least four consecutive semesters for full-time work, excluding summers, must be spent in resident study. Undergraduate courses and doctoral research will not be counted toward residency fulfillment.

Revalidation of Coursework

Coursework that is beyond the eight-year time limit may be revalidated. The student must be in good standing to revalidate courses. To validate a course, a student must submit a petition in writing to the dean of The Murphy Graduate School to take a special written examination, which must be passed with a grade of B or better. The department chair and the student’s major advisor will be consulted for recommendation on the petition. No more than nine semester hours of credit may be revalidated in a program, and no course older than 10 years may be revalidated. Appeals of the decision by the graduate dean may be made to the Graduate Council. Once the petition has been approved, the student must enroll in the courses to be revalidated and proceed to take the special written examination provided by the department. The grade must be submitted to the graduate dean to be forwarded to the Registrar with a written statement from The Murphy Graduate School.

Education, Leadership, Policy and Law (ELPL) Revalidation of Course Work Policy

Alabama State University and the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Law Doctoral program has set time limits on students to ensure that they have reasonably current knowledge in those courses that comprise the ELPL doctoral program. When coursework taken or applied toward graduation in the doctoral program has aged beyond the 8-year time constraint for dissertation completion, The Murphy Graduate School and the ELPL faculty may consider a student’s application to validate relevant coursework. Only students who: (a) have reached dissertation candidacy, (b) are in good standing with the ELPL Doctoral program, and (c) have a practical expectation that they will complete the dissertation within a semester after application for course validation, are eligible to apply for course validation in an acceptable format established by the ELPL faculty and under the following conditions. To validate coursework, a student must submit a petition in writing to the Dean of The Murphy Graduate School to take an examination which must be passed with a grade of ―B‖ or better. The department chair and the student’s major advisor will be consulted for recommendations on the petition. Appeals of decisions by the graduate dean may be made to the Graduate Council. Once the petition has been approved, the student must enroll in the courses to be revalidated and proceed to take the special written examination provided by the department.

  • No more than a maximum of nine hours of course work may be revalidated.
  • No course work older than 10 years may be revalidated.
  • Only didactic courses, not field experiences or electives are eligible for revalidation.
  • Only courses taken in the ELPL doctoral program are eligible for revalidation; credits transferred to the program must be within the eight-year (time) limit.
  • A student may apply for course revalidation only once.
  • If a student is unsuccessful at revalidation, he/she will be terminated from the program.


Second Master's Degree

Nine semester hours of eligible credits earned on one master’s degree at Alabama State University may be applied to the requirements for a second master’s degree. Credits that will be eight years of age or older upon graduation may not be used toward the second master’s degree.

Senior Privilege Option

Qualified non-education undergraduate students may enroll for graduate credit in courses numbered 500 and above in special cases. Work taken by undergraduates may be applied toward a graduate degree only if the following conditions are met:

  • Approval is obtained from the chair of the student’s current department, chair of the major department concerned, the academic deans of the respective colleges, and the Dean of The Harold Lloyd Murphy Graduate School.
  • The student has completed at least 93 credits of undergraduate hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.
  • This privilege is exercised only during the senior year for a maximum of six hrs.
  • The student has demonstrated in undergraduate coursework the capability of performing graduate level work in the area identified.


The student may qualify for this privilege by securing the required signatures on the Senior Privilege Form, available from The Murphy Graduate School, and returning to The Murphy Graduate School for final approval prior to registration. Once the senior privilege has been approved, the student must submit the form to the Office of Records and Registration to input the graduate course.

Transfer Credit

A total of up to nine semester hours of graduate credit in which grades of B or better are earned at an accredited graduate degree-granting institution may be accepted as transfer credit. Credit earned in correspondence work will not be accepted.

Any graduate work to be transferred must meet the following requirements: (1) courses must be taken within time limitation as stated for the graduate program of study (2) the course was restricted to graduate students only; (3) the content of the course must correspond to that of a course at this institution; and (4) courses must be approved by the student’s adviser and the dean of The Murphy Graduate School. Students desiring to have graduate credits transferred must complete a Transfer of Credit form (available in The Murphy Graduate School) and have an official transcript sent from the registrar of the college/university previously attended. Students transferring courses for teacher education programs must have taken them at an institution with state-approved programs.

Transfer credits may not be used to satisfy the requirements for Admission to Candidacy.

Transient Students/Courtesy Enrollment

Students who are regularly enrolled at another institution, but who wish to take advantage of courses available at Alabama State University, may enroll as transient students. Such students are requested to secure approval from their college deans indicating course(s) in which they wish to enroll. Although transient students do not have to submit official transcripts or test scores, they must complete the application, pay the application fee and submit a letter of good standing from their graduate dean.

If a transient student wishes to enroll as a regular student, all admission requirements must be satisfied. Students who are regularly enrolled at ASU and would like to enroll in transient courses at another university must complete an approved Transient Form prior to enrollment. Once transient courses are completed at the other university, students must request an official transcript and complete a Transfer Credit Form in order to place transient courses on a ASU transcript (Transient Forms and Transfer Credit Forms are located in The Murphy Graduate School Office or on the Website.)

Time Limitation

All degree requirements must be completed within the eight- year time period.


When a student is required to write a thesis or elects to write a thesis in partial fulfillment of requirements for a degree, the adviser will indicate this decision on the student’s program during the advisement session. A special supervisory committee to assist the student in planning his or her course of study and research proposal will be appointed by the department chair. The advisory committee named for educational specialist students will serve as the thesis committee.

Students must complete the Thesis Topic Approval Form (obtained from The Murphy Graduate School) prior to proceeding with their thesis. Included in the Thesis Topic Approval Form is a statement requesting approval from the Institutional Review Board. Each student conducting research on human subjects is required to attain the handbook ―Guide- lines for Investigators/The Review Process for Research on Human Subjects,‖ from 101 Buskey Building.

Students should submit their Protocol for Research Involving Human Subjects to the chair of the Institutional Review Board, currently located in 101 Buskey Building. After the Institutional Review Board reviews the Protocol, the student shall be notified of his/her status. After appropriate clearance, the student may proceed with his/her research.

After the research and thesis are completed, the student is to arrange a defense before his/her committee. After corrections are made, the thesis is to be reviewed by a technical screening committee. Once the draft submitted meets the approval of this committee, a final copy is to be presented to the thesis committee for final proofing and then to The Murphy Graduate School for final assessment and binding. A charge is assessed for the binding of the thesis.

The topic chosen for the thesis must be in the student’s major area of study. Specific instructions for the preparation of theses and additional requirements are available in The Murphy Graduate School. For specific policies and guidelines pertinent to the M.S. in biology program, refer to The Graduate Student Handbook, Biological Sciences.


Transcripts are released only upon written request of the student. The requests are made to the Office of Records and Registration. The first transcript is free; additional transcripts require the payment of a fee. The University shall withhold transcripts due to delinquent accounts.


As the capstone experience of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Policy and Law, each student is required to complete a dissertation. The dissertation process is designed so that the student may demonstrate that he/she can complete an independent, original research project that contributes to the improvement of educational practiced The student will conceive, design, execute, interpret and disseminate the dissertation under the direction of the dissertation committee. The project may be designed using a variety of research designs (experimental, causal comparative, etc., as well as approaches (qualitative or quantitative). Further information on the dissertation process may be found in the program’s dissertation handbook.

For the Doctor of Philosophy in microbiology, graduate students can follow one of the two formats to write their dissertations. Format I should include abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results and discussion and conclusion. The second format will apply to graduate students who have already published three or more manuscripts. The dissertation will contain the same order as Form 1 but must consist of chapters. Each chapter should include contents of one manuscript,. For specific policies and guideline pertinent to the Ph.D. in microbiology program, refer to The Graduate Student Handbook, Biological Sciences.