Click on any of the following links for information:
Main Hall 304B
Telephone: (719) 262-3417
Fax: (719) 262-3045
The Graduate School provides oversight and coordination for all graduate programs on the campus, while the individual departments within the specific colleges provide the curriculum, faculty, and program advisors for the degree.
For further information, contact the specific department within its college or the Graduate School at the above address.
The mission of the Graduate School is as follows:
- To promote excellence in graduate education
- To facilitate and enhance the educational experience and opportunities for graduate students
- To oversee and coordinate all graduate programs
- To ensure compatibility among programs and compliance with Graduate School policies.
It is the vision of the Graduate School to maintain high standards and the quality of programs, and to develop and administer them in accord with general standards of excellence and sound academic administration.
Graduate Programs of Study
The programs at the graduate level that are available for completion through the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs are listed on the Programs of Study table.
A student who is granted admission must reflect, in amoral and ethical sense, a personal background acceptable to the University. The University reserves the right to deny admission to applicants, or to cancel the enrolled status of current students, whose total credentials reflect an inability to assume those obligations of performance and behavior deemed essential by the University and relevant to any of its lawful missions, processes, and functions as an educational institution.
Students may be admitted to the Graduate School in any of the five categories—regular, provisional, guaranteed early, fast-track, and re-admission—described below:
An applicant for admission as a regular degree student must meet the following minimum requirements. Some programs may have additional requirements for regular admission, and requirements for Guaranteed Early Admission (described below) are also higher. Qualified students are recommended for admission to regular degree status by the appropriate department.
- Hold a baccalaureate degree or a Master’s degree from an accredited college or university, or demonstrate completion of work equivalent to the baccalaureate
- or Master’s degree given at this University• Have an undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or better in a 4.0 system OR
- Have a combined undergraduate grade point average and score on a national standardized admissions test that meet criteria determined by the program OR
- Have completed 15 semester hours of relevant graduate course work at an accredited university with a grade point average of 3.25 or better. (Note that units completed before admission may not all be transferable into a graduate degree program.)
- Have adequate preparation to enter graduate study in the chosen program, and meet the requirements for admission, as determined by the program faculty.
For students who do not meet the above criteria, program faculty may assign course work and/or examinations that must be taken in order to make up deficiencies.
Regular Admission Application Process
Applications for admission to an advanced degree program should be sent to the appropriate UCCS department or program office. The complete application must include the following:
- Part I and Part II of the graduate application (including the Residency form)
- Two official transcripts of all academic work completed to date, sent directly from the academic institutions attended
- A nonrefundable application processing fee
- Test scores, letters of reference, and other materials as required by specific programs
- For international applicants, a score on the
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). All credentials presented for admission become the property of the University of Colorado.
Although students may apply at any time, application material must be received by March 1 for maximum consideration for financial support starting in the fall semester.
Complete applications (including all supporting documentation) submitted to the program office at least 60 days prior to the term for which admission is sought are normally assured full consideration for admission; some programs have established earlier deadlines.
Completed applications for foreign students must be on file in the Office of Admissions and Records prior to April 1 for the fall semester and October 1 for the spring. All foreign students interested in graduate admission must begin the process with the Foreign Student Adviser in the Office of Admissions and Records.
The Department of English offers course work applicable to a Master’s of Arts degree in English.
Graduate Admission Examinations
Graduate programs may require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Applicants must check specific departmental testing requirements. Information regarding the tests, dates scheduled, and procedures for enrolling is available from the Testing Services Office in Main Hall, Room324.
Any applicant who does not meet the criteria for admission as a regular degree student may be recommended by the faculty for admission as a provisional student. The recommendation must include a statement of the conditions that the student must meet in order to become a regular degree student. When the conditions for regular status are met, the program director has the responsibility to reclassify the student to regular status. Provisional students are subject to the same standards of performance required of regular degree students, in addition to other requirements a program faculty may impose as conditions of admission.
Guaranteed Early Admission
This special guaranteed-admission option is available to UCCS students currently enrolled in their final semester of undergraduate study. This option may also be exercised by UCCS undergraduate alumni within one year after their graduation. If the applicant meets all the admission requirements for this option, admission to the graduate program of interest is guaranteed. The special admission requirements for this option vary by graduate program, and applicants under this option must contact their graduate program of interest to determine that program’s requirements. The application process for Guaranteed Early Admission can be obtained from the Graduate School Web site or the individual department.
This special admission-process option is available to any UCCS undergraduate alumnus within the first four years after their graduation. This is not a guaranteed admission option, however, but rather an expedited admission process. Under this option, the applicant completes only a special one-page application form available from their graduate program of interest. This form, along with the application fee, is submitted to the program director. Inmost cases other application requirements, such as letters of support and transcripts, are significantly less than for the regular admission process. The specific requirements for this option are available from the respective graduate program. The application process for Fast-Track Admission can be obtained from the Graduate School Web site or the individual department.
Readmission of Former Students
A student previously admitted to a graduate program who did not complete the degree and has not been continuously registered at the University but now wishes to return,must do the following:
- Clarify status with the program to determine eligibility to return and pursue the same degree
- After receiving program approval to continue work on the degree, submit a new Part I of the application to the program office before deadlines have passed for the term of expected return
A former student will not be charged an application fee unless any course work to be applied to the degree was taken more than six years prior to the student’s return. A student admitted to the Graduate School for Master’s program must reapply for admission for a doctoral program. A student applying to a doctoral program from a Master’s program in the same department, with no break in attendance, will not be charged an application fee. A dismissed student is eligible to reapply for readmission after one year. Approval or rejection of this application rests with the student’s Major department. Former students who wish to change from one major to another should consult with their department chairperson and complete the appropriate forms.
A student holding a baccalaureate degree who wishes to take graduate courses but does not wish to earn an advanced degree from the University of Colorado should apply to the Office of Admissions and Records for admission as an unclassified student. (See the Unclassified Student section in General Information, page 10.)
Notification of Acceptance
After the Office of Admissions and Records has received the Graduate School approved departmental recommendation and all required credentials, the applicant will be notified regarding eligibility for admission. If eligible, the applicant will receive a letter of acceptance from the Office of Admissions and Records.
Admission to Candidacy
Admission to the Graduate School is not the same as admission to candidacy for an advanced degree. A student who wishes to become a candidate for a degree must take special application at the time and in the manner prescribed by the requirements for the degree sought; see academic requirements for Master’s and Doctoral degrees.
Graduate Academic Policies and Rules
The official policy of the Graduate School is contained in the Rules of the Graduate School. These rules are available in the office of the Graduate School, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, on the UCCS Web site web.uccs.edu/gradschl, and in each graduate program office.
Courses Applicable to a Degree
Work already applied toward a completed Master’s degree received at another institution cannot be accepted for transfer toward the Master’s degree at the University of Colorado; extension work completed at another institution cannot be transferred; correspondence work, except to make up deficiencies, is not recognized. Transfer credits may be applied to a graduate degree only with the approval of the program director. Each program will establish, with the concurrence of the Graduate School Executive Committee, the maximum number of semester hours that may be transferred from another accredited institution and applied toward its graduate degree without special approval of the Graduate Dean. The following provisions will apply:
- All transfer courses must have a grade of B- or above.
- Some programs may require that credit will not be accepted for transfer until the student has established a satisfactory academic record at this university.
- For Master’s degree students, all work accepted for transfer must have been completed within the six-year time limit or be validated and approved by program faculty.
- Courses applied towards one Master’s degree may not be used towards another Master’s degree.
- Requests for transfer of credit must be made on the form specified for this purpose. Official transcripts of credit must accompany requests or be on record.
- Master’s degree students must submit transfer requests to the program director by the beginning of the semester prior to the semester in which they will graduate.
- Doctoral degree students must submit transfer requests to the Graduate School before making application for admission to candidacy.
Courses Taken During Senior Year
Seniors at UCCS may transfer up to nine semester hours of course work, provided such work meets the following requirements:
- Completed with a grade of B- or above in the senior year at this University
- Comes within the time limit for the completion of the graduate degree
- Has not been applied toward another degree
- Is approved by the program director
Undergraduate credits from another institution may not be transferred to the Graduate School.
No lower division course nor undergraduate courses designed to improve basic skills may be used as credit towards a graduate degree. A program may require a student to take undergraduate courses as amens of making up deficiencies, but the credits generated in these courses may not be counted in the minimum number required for the degree.
Courses Taken While in Unclassified Status
Credits earned as an unclassified student at UCCS may be applied to a graduate degree only with the approval of the program director. Each program will establish, with the concurrence of the Graduate School Executive Committee, the maximum number of semester hours taken in unclassified status that may be applied toward its graduate degree without special approval of the Graduate Dean. Course work in progress during the semester in which formal admission is granted does not apply to this unclassified total.
Extended Studies Courses
Students may use the resources of the Division of Extended Studies in the pursuit of graduate study only if they obtain proper academic approval from the program director.
A graduate level course is any course that bears the graduate number appropriate to the discipline (i.e., 500- 900 or 5000- 9000) and is taught by am ember of the graduate faculty.
Independent study credit hours may not exceed 25% of the minimum number required for the degree.
GPA and Satisfactory Academic Progress
A graduate student is expected to maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative average in all work attempted in Graduate School. Students who fail to maintain this standard of performance will be subject to probation or dismissal from the Graduate School by the Dean, with the approval of the major department. Appeals may be made to the campus Graduate Executive Committee, whose decision is final. A student who receives a grade below B- in a course may repeat that course once, upon approval of the program director, provided the course has not been previously applied toward a degree. The grade received in a repeated course will substitute for the original grade and only the latter grade will be used in calculating the Graduate Program grade point average required for graduation. However, all grades received will appear on the student’s transcript. Work receiving a grade of less than May not be counted toward any graduate degree. An in-progress (IPA) grade given for thesis will be valid and must remain unchanged until the thesis has been completed.
New degree or unclassified students are notified of eligibility to register for course work through the Statement of Eligibility for Admission mailed from the Admissions and Records Office. If this notice has not been received in time for registration, an inquiry should be made to Admissions and Records. Degree and unclassified students who do not stay continuously enrolled (having missed a fall and/or spring semester registration) must check with Admissions and Records 60 days before the next intended registration period to make sure of eligibility to register during regular registration. Former students should follow the same procedure. Degree students changing departments or graduate degree programs should begin the change process with the new department.
Limitation of Registration
Graduate students will be considered to be carrying a full load during a regular semester for purposes of determining residence credit if they are registered for not fewer than 5 semester hours in courses numbered 500 (or 5000) or above, or any number of thesis hours. A full load for purposes of determining residence credit during the summer session is 3 semester hours of work in courses numbered 500 or above, or any number of thesis hours.
No graduate student may receive graduate credit toward a degree for more than 15 hours in a regular semester. The maximum number of graduate credits that may be applied toward a degree during a summer session is 6 hours per 4-week term and 9 hours per 8-week summer session.
The student, in consultation with his or her advisor, is responsible for obtaining and documenting appropriate institutional committee approval for research involving human subjects, animals and/or bio- hazards. This approval must be received prior to the student undertaking their research.
Students are expected to adhere to the highest codes of personal and professional ethics, as set forth by the Honor Code of UCCS, which appears each semester in the Schedule of Courses. Students who do not meet these standards may be dismissed from the Graduate School by the Graduate Dean upon recommendation of the director of the student’s graduate program. A student may appeal such action under the provisions described below.
Graduate Academic Requirements
Academic requirements for Master’s degrees and Doctoral degrees are detailed below; these are minimum requirements. Additional conditions set by individual departments will be found within the description of that department. Any department may make further regulations that are not inconsistent with the general rules.
Master’s Degree Minimum Degree Requirements
The minimum requirements of graduate work for Master’s degree may be fulfilled by following either Plan I or Plan II below.
Plan I (thesis)
- 30 semester hours, including 4-6 hours of thesis credit
- At least 24 semester hours must be at the graduate level
- File application for admission to candidacy for degree
Plan II (non thesis)
- 30 semester hours
- At least 24 semester hours must be at the graduate level (Some interdisciplinary programs may require fewer graduate level units.)
- File application for admission to candidacy for degree
A candidate for the Master’s degree may be allowed to select Plan I or Plan II only upon the recommendation of the department concerned. Some graduate programs criteria vary from the options listed above. Students should consult their graduate program for more information.
Master’s Thesis Requirements
Every candidate pursuing Master’s degree under Plan I (thesis option) is required to write a thesis, which may be of a research, expository, critical or creative type. Each thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master’s degree must satisfy the specifications of the UCCS Thesis and Dissertation Manual, and shall represent 4-6 semester credit hours of work. The student may register for any specific number of hours in any semester of residence. The final grade will be withheld until the thesis is completed. If the thesis is not completed at the end of the term in which the student is so registered, an in-progress grade (IPA) will be reported.
Thesis Advisory Committee
A thesis advisory committee must be established for each student pursuing Master’s degree under Plan I (thesis option). This committee will consist of the thesis advisor, and at least two other members of the graduate faculty, possibly including am ember from an allied program. Upon the recommendation of the thesis advisor, the committee is appointed by the program director with the approval of the Graduate Dean. The thesis must be signed by the student’s thesis advisory committee. Two formally approved copies of the thesis must be filed in the Library by the published deadline date.
After the thesis has been accepted by the student’s thesis advisor, a thesis defense will be administered by the thesis advisory committee. A majority of the committee must vote affirmatively for the student to pass. A student who fails the thesis defense may not attempt it again until at least two months have elapsed. A student may re-defend only once.
This examination is administered by a committee of at least three graduate faculty appointed by the program director. A majority of the examination committee must vote affirmatively for the student to pass. A student who fails the examination may not attempt it again until at least two months have elapsed. The student may retake the examination only once.
Master’s Degree Examinations
Most Master’s degree programs require a comprehensive examination or a thesis defense (see above) after the other requirements for the degree have been substantially completed. A student must be registered at the time in which the comprehensive examination or thesis defense is held.
Admission to Candidacy—Master’s Degree
Each student pursuing Master’s degree should file an Application for Admission to Candidacy in the office of the Graduate Dean during the first five weeks of the semester of intended graduation. This application will certify that all requirements for the degree have been met, or are in progress. Although the work for advanced degrees is specified partly in terms of credit hours, an advanced degree will not be conferred merely for the completion of a specified period of residence and the passing of a given number of courses. A student should not expect to get from formal courses all the training, knowledge, and grasp of ideas necessary to meet the requirements for an advanced degree. The student regularly admitted to the Graduate School and later accepted as a candidate for Master’s degree will be recommended for the degree when all requirements have been met.
Time Limits—Master’s Degree
Although students are normally expected to complete a Master’s degree in one to three years,Master’s degree students have six years from the date of the start of course work to complete all degree requirements (which includes filing the thesis with the Kraemer Family Library if Plan I is followed). A student who fails to complete the degree in this six-year period must file a petition for extension with the Graduate Dean. The petition, giving reasons why the student should be allowed to continue in the program,must be endorsed by the program director. The program direct must approve applying any course to the degree that was taken more than six years prior to the semester of graduation, and all such courses must be validated by special examination.
Doctoral Degree Minimum Requirements
General Requirements (Check with Program of Interest)
- 75 semester hours of graduate level credit, including 30 units of dissertation credit.
- Each doctoral program shall determine how many credits from an earned Master’s degree may be included in this total.
- File application for admission to candidacy for degree.
Every candidate pursuing a doctoral degree is required to write a dissertation based upon original investigation and showing mature scholarship and critical judgment, as well as familiarity with tools and methods of research. The subject must be approved by the student’s program director. Each dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a doctoral degree must satisfy the specifications of the UCCS Thesis and Dissertation Manual. The dissertation shall represent 30 semester credit hours of work for PhD candidates.
A dissertation advisory committee shall consist of five members of the graduate faculty, including one member of an allied department. One of the five members may be from another institution, provided the faculty member has been granted associate membership on the graduate faculty. Upon the recommendation of the dissertation advisor, the committee is appointed by the program director with the approval of the Graduate Dean. The dissertation must be signed by the student’s dissertation advisory committee. Two formally approved copies of the dissertation must be filed in the Library by the published deadline date.
Doctoral Degree Examinations
Each doctoral program will require one or more of the following types of examinations. A student must be registered at the time any of these examinations are taken. Successful completion of either a comprehensive examination or a specialty examination must precede advancement to candidacy.
An examination to ensure that a student is qualified for doctoral study.
An examination in the field of concentration and related fields. This examination may be written or oral or both, and will test the student’s mastery of a broad field of knowledge, not merely the formal course work which has been completed. The comprehensive examination shall be conducted by an examining board of at least three members appointed by the program director.
An examination in a specific area of the general field of concentration. This examination may be written or oral or both, and will test the student’s mastery of a single subject that may well go beyond formal course work that has been completed. The specialty examination shall be conducted by an examining board of at least three members appointed by the program director.
Dissertation Proposal Examination
An examination to determine the preparedness of the student and the appropriateness of the topic, prior to commencing work on the dissertation.
After the dissertation has been accepted by the student’s dissertation advisor, a final examination of the dissertation and related topics will be conducted by the Dissertation Advisory Committee. The examination is open to anyone who wishes to attend. A successful candidate must receive the affirmative vote of majority of the members of the dissertation committee. In case of failure, the examination may be attempted once more after a period of time determined by the committee. A student must be registered for at least 5 dissertation credit hours during the semester in which the dissertation defense is held. The Graduate School must be notified of the dissertation defense at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled date of the defense, which must be no later than 18 days before the final day of the semester of graduation.
Doctoral Dissertation Credit Hour Requirements
A doctoral student may take no more than one half of the total number of dissertation credit hours required for the degree prior to or during the semester in which the comprehensive examination is passed.
Following successful completion of the doctoral comprehensive examination, a student must register each fall and spring semester for five to ten semester units of dissertation credit, until the requirements for the degree are completed. A student may register for no more than ten dissertation credit hours in any semester, and for no more than seven credit hours during a summer semester. If, following the completion of the doctoral comprehensive examination, there is a semester during which a student will be using no university resources, the student may petition to register for a minimum of one unit of dissertation credit. Such a request must be approved by the program director. A student must be registered for at least 5 dissertation hours during the semester (or summer session) in which the dissertation defense is held.
Admission to Candidacy—Doctoral Degree
A doctoral student who wishes to become a candidate for a degree must file an Application for Admission to Candidacy in the Office of the Graduate Dean during the first five weeks of the semester of intended graduation. This will certify that all requirements for the degree have been met or are in progress. Admission to candidacy will be granted only to students who have completed a significant fraction of the required course work, and have passed the comprehensive examination and language requirement (if any).
Time Limits—Doctoral Degree
Doctoral students are normally expected to complete all degree requirements within seven years from the date of the start of course work in the doctoral program. A student who fails to complete the degree in this seven-year period must file a petition for extension with the Graduate Dean. The petition, giving reasons why the student should be allowed to continue in the program,must be endorsed by the program director or by three members of student’s dissertation advisory committee. If the Graduate Dean approves, the student may continue studies for one additional year. If the Graduate Dean does not approve, with the concurrence of the program director, the student may be dismissed from the program. If the Graduate Dean and the program director do not agree on whether a student should continue, the Graduate School Executive Committee shall make the final decision.
Graduate Student Appeals
Student Appeal Procedures
The procedures for a student appeal to the Graduate Dean and the Graduate School Executive Committee are as follows:
- An appeal will be officially accepted from a student only after it has been determined that the student has exhausted the appeals process in effect in the department.
- If a resolution to the problem identified in the student’s appeal cannot be reached on the department or unit level, the student may submit a written appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School. The written appeal must describe in detail the basis in fact for the opinion that the student has been treated unfairly and must describe actions taken to resolve the problem at the departmental level.
- Upon receipt of a written appeal from a student, the Dean of the Graduate School will contact the appropriate departmental officer to get a response to the questions or objections raised by the student. In some cases, a written response from the department may be requested.
- The response and appeal is then sent to the Student Affairs Subcommittee of the Graduate School Executive Committee. This committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Graduate Dean and will forward their findings and recommendations to the Dean.
- The Graduate Dean will make a decision in the case. This decision may be appealed by either party to the dispute to the full Graduate School Executive Committee, but only if the decision of the Dean is in disagreement with the recommendation of the Student Affairs Subcommittee.
All appeals regarding course grades shall follow the procedures established by the school or college in which the course was taken. Final authority on appeals submitted by graduate students concerning actions (other than grading) taken by faculty members, program directors, the Graduate Dean, or other administrative officials rests with the Graduate School Executive Committee.