Graduate Programs

Persons holding the baccalaureate degree and wishing to take graduate-level courses at the University may do so through admission to the Graduate School.

Nasser H. Zawia, Dean
Keith Killingbeck, Associate Dean

Graduate Admission and Registration

Admission

Students may be admitted to URI’s Graduate School to pursue a specific graduate degree or they may pursue postbaccalaureate work in nonmatriculating status (see below). Admission to the Graduate School is based on academic qualifications and potential without regard to race, gender, religion, age, color, creed, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation, and without discrimination against disabled and Vietnam era veterans.

Prospective students can find information on application procedures as well as a link to the application at the Graduate School website at uri.edu/gsadmis. Inquiries concerning particular degree programs or courses of instruction should be addressed to the appropriate department chair or graduate program director, as listed in the “Graduate Programs” section of this catalog and on the Graduate School website.

Applications are initially reviewed by the department or program to which admission is sought. Final decisions rest with the Graduate School, which, after considering the recommendation of the department concerned, will notify the applicant of the decision.

While admission to a doctoral program is possible for those holding the bachelor’s degree and meeting other requirements, the Graduate School reserves the right to offer admission only to the master’s program while postponing a decision on admission to the doctoral program until at least a substantial portion of the master’s work has been completed.

Applications must be accompanied by a $65 nonrefundable application fee. Simultaneous application to more than one department requires duplicate applications and credentials and separate application fees.

The completed application and all supporting documents must be received by April 1 for summer admission, July 15 for fall admission, and November 15 for spring admission (dates for international applicants are below). The application must be received by February 1 for consideration for financial aid for the following year. As indicated in the Graduate Degree Program Descriptions section in this catalog, certain programs admit students only for the fall semester or have earlier deadlines. There is no assurance that applications completed after specified deadlines will be processed in time for enrollment in the desired semester. Admission is valid only for the term offered and must be reconsidered if a postponement is subsequently requested.

International Applicants. Applicants from foreign countries must demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants whose native language is not English must submit an official test report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Pearson Test of English (PTE), or the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Scores are valid for two years. Minimum scores needed to be eligible to be considered for admission are published at uri.edu/gsadmis/gs_apply_int.htm. If a higher minimum is required for admission to a specific program, it is listed under that program’s admission requirements. Prospective students can find information on application procedures as well as a link to the application at the Graduate School website at uri.edu/gsadmis. Applications not received by February 1 for fall admission and July 15 for spring admission will be considered for the next admission period. Inquiries from international students concerning nonimmigrant visas, transfers, funding, etc., should be sent to the Office of International Students and Scholars. Inquiries concerning housing should be sent to the Department of Housing and Residential Life (for apartments on campus) or to the Commuter Housing Office (for rooms, apartments, and houses in the nearby community).

Transfer Credit. Transfer credit can be requested for graduate work taken at other accredited institutions of higher learning. Under usual circumstances, such credits may not exceed 20 percent of the total credits required in the program. The transfer work must have been taken at the graduate level (equivalent to the 500 level or higher in URI’s course numbering system) and a passing grade earned at that institution. It must have been completed not more than seven years prior to the date of admission and must have a clear and unquestioned relevance to the student’s Program of Study. The request for transfer credit should be accompanied by a proposed Program of Study. If transfer credit is desired for work taken elsewhere after a graduate student is enrolled at the University, prior approval must be obtained from the Graduate School. Doctoral candidates holding a master’s degree in the same or a closely related area can request that up to 30 credits from their master’s degree be applied to their Program of Study.

Prospective Students. Applicants must submit a completed application, containing all of the requested materials, directly to the department to which admission is being sought. Where required, test scores in the appropriate nationally administered tests should be sent to the University directly by the testing service. Tests required for specific programs can be found in the Graduate Degree Program Descriptions section and the Graduate School website. Scores (GRE, MAT, or GMAT) earned more than five years prior to the term of application will not be accepted. If test results exceed the five-year limit, applicants must retake the examination.

To be accepted into a degree program, applicants must have maintained an average of approximately B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better in their undergraduate work. For programs that require standardized tests, students must also have satisfactory scores on the appropriate nationally administered test. Applicants with undergraduate averages below the B level may possibly be admitted with submission of other evidence of academic potential; i.e., satisfactory performance in postbaccalaureate work, professional experience as evidenced by publications or letters of recommendation, and/or high scores in the standardized tests referred to above.

Once accepted into a graduate degree program, students are expected to maintain a cumulative average of B (3.00) or better. Students who do not maintain a cumulative B average will have their status reviewed and may be placed on provisional status or be dismissed. A student placed on provisional status must achieve a cumulative B average within one semester (or nine credits, if part-time) or be subject to dismissal.

Advanced Standing. Advanced standing refers to credits taken at URI by a nonmatriculating student, or by a student in one degree program before formally beginning another degree program. In instances where a student plans to take a course or courses while in one degree program so as to apply those credits to a more advanced degree at a later date, the student must request and receive written prior approval from the dean of the Graduate School before enrolling in said course(s). Credits earned at the University of Rhode Island by a nonmatriculating student may be applied as advanced standing toward degree requirements only upon the recommendation of the student’s major professor and the graduate program director and with the approval of the Graduate School. For the credits to be applied to advanced standing, they must have been earned within a five-year period before the student matriculated into the degree program. For a master’s degree program, advanced standing and transfer credit may not total more than 40 percent of the credits required for the degree. For Ph.D. students admitted without a master’s degree, advanced standing may not total more than 20 percent of the credits required for the degree. In special cases, Ph.D. students admitted with a master’s degree in the same or a closely related area may request up to nine credits of advanced standing. The request should be accompanied by a proposed Program of Study and satisfy the time constraints listed for transfer credit.

In certain cases, applicants who have been denied admission may be advised to take several courses in nonmatriculating status (see following paragraph) to provide a basis for later reconsideration of their applications. In such cases, these courses are usually regarded as if they were entrance deficiencies and are not accepted for advanced standing in minimum-credit Programs of Study.

Nonmatriculating Status. Individuals holding a bachelor’s degree who are not enrolled in a graduate degree program may take courses during the academic year or in the summer in nonmatriculating status. Normally, to take courses for personal satisfaction or professional advancement, postbaccalaureate students enroll in the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education. Any nonmatriculated student wishing to take courses on the Kingston Campus must file an application with the Office of Enrollment Services. If nonmatriculated students later wish to be admitted to a degree program, they must complete the regular admission procedure.

Nonmatriculated students do not have the privileges regularly enjoyed by students enrolled in graduate degree programs. For example, on the Kingston Campus they may not register until one week before classes begin and must make payment before accessing the registration system. Their enrollment is subject to the accommodation of matriculated students wishing to take these courses. In addition, there is a limit to the number of courses taken in this status that may be used as advanced standing to satisfy degree requirements. Nonmatriculated students are not eligible for financial aid.

Registration

The responsibility for being properly registered rests with the student. Students must complete their registration within the time period announced by the University at uri.edu/es/calexams/detailedcalendar.pdf. The chair of the student’s major department will assign an advisor to assist the new graduate student in planning a program. All students must register for courses through the Office of Enrollment Services in order to be properly enrolled.

For information on late registration, course schedule, payment of fees, drop and add, auditing, Veterans Administration educational benefits, transcripts, change of address, and required identification, please see “Registration Policies” in Enrollment Services.

Summer Session. Although some graduate-level courses are offered during the summer sessions, the University does not guarantee that any particular course will be offered. The availability of individual faculty members to supervise research or to participate in comprehensive examinations and in examinations in defense of theses or dissertations during the summer sessions varies from year to year. During the summer sessions, special arrangements must be made with both the Graduate School and the department for scheduling comprehensive examinations and thesis or dissertation defenses. Students must be registered to be eligible to schedule these exams. Graduate students must make prior individual arrangements for taking directed studies or special problems courses.

Time Limit and Continuous Registration. Graduate students are required to complete their course work and research within the five-year time limit prescribed for the master’s degree and the seven-year time limit for the doctorate. In exceptional circumstances, requests to the Graduate School for an extension of the time limit must be accompanied by an explanation of delay in program progress, a detailed proposed schedule for completing the degree, along with the approval of the major professor and the graduate program director. The dean of the Graduate School will review such requests and determine whether a variance to the time-limit requirement is warranted (see the Graduate School Manual, sections 7.42 and 7.51).

Graduate students must remain continuously enrolled—except for summer sessions, which are optional—until they have completed all requirements and have received their degree. Unless they are on a Leave of Absence approved by the department and the Graduate School, students who wish to maintain graduate status must be enrolled in at least one course/research credit. For students who have completed all degree requirements with the exception of removing grades of Incomplete or submitting the final, formatted copies of a successfully defended thesis/dissertation, enrolling in CRG 999 (continuous registration) will maintain their graduate status.

Students who are on a Leave of Absence or are on continuous registration do not have the privileges of consulting regularly with faculty on research or thesis preparation, nor of using laboratory, computer, or other educational facilities at URI. Students on continuous registration are not eligible for continuation of educational loan deferments based on student status.

A student who does not register for a semester, or obtain approval for a Leave of Absence, will be considered as having voluntarily withdrawn from the University. Students who are later permitted to re-enroll must pay the continuous registration fee for each semester in which they did not maintain graduate status.

Full-Time and Part-Time Students. Minimum full-time registration is nine credit hours during a regular semester and six credit hours during a summer session. Maximum registration of 15 credit hours during a regular semester and eight credits during each summer term may not be exceeded without prior written permission of the Graduate School, based on extraordinary circumstances. (Students on graduate teaching and research assistantships are limited to a minimum of six and a maximum of 12 credits.) Credits in excess of 15 will be billed at the per-credit rate. Full-time registration is required of all international students and of all students holding fellowships, assistantships, full scholarships, and traineeships administered by the University.

Credits Earned Off Campus. Students wishing to register for credits to be counted toward a degree, who will be earning these credits through off-campus activities (such as research or independent study at a national laboratory), must obtain prior approval from the Graduate School to have these activities listed as part of their Programs of Study.

Intellectual Opportunity Plan (Pass-Fail Option). To allow graduate students to venture into new areas of knowledge without fear that their scholastic average will suffer, the Graduate Council has approved the Intellectual Opportunity Plan. (Please note that courses below the 400 level are automatically excluded from the scholastic average.) To be eligible for this option, the student’s major professor or advisor must certify that the course or courses are outside the student’s major field of study, are not entrance deficiencies, and are not specific requirements of, but are relevant to, the student’s program. A maximum of four credits may be taken by the master’s degree student and a maximum of eight credits, including any taken as a master’s student, by the doctoral student.

Graduate School Calendar

Fall Semester 2013

September 3, Tuesday. New Graduate Student Orientation.

September 4, Wednesday. Classes begin, Kingston campus.

October 1, Tuesday. Final date for Leave of Absence requests for Fall 2013.

October 1, Tuesday. Final date for nominations for December 2013 graduation.

November 8, Friday. Final date for potential December 2013 graduates to submit completed defense copies of theses/dissertations in a form acceptable for examination purposes, along with the request for oral defense of thesis/dissertation. NO EXTENSIONS OF TIME CAN BE GRANTED. Theses/dissertations must be submitted at least 20 calendar days prior to the date requested for oral defense. Selection of date should allow sufficient time for necessary revisions and retyping before final submission. See December 6 deadline and important note at end of calendar below.

November 15, Friday. Deadline for the submission of applications for graduate programs for Spring 2014, except for programs with earlier deadlines.

November 15, Friday.  Final date for all applications to be submitted via IRBNet in the Office of Research Integrity for IRB or IACUC approval for potential May 2014 graduates. (IRB= Institutional Review Board – research involving human subjects; IACUC = Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee – research involving vertebrate animals)

December 6, Friday. Final date for potential December 2013 graduates to submit, in final, correctly formatted form, theses/dissertations that have been successfully defended, and fully approved. NO EXTENSIONS OF TIME CAN BE GRANTED.

December 9, Monday. Classes end. Programs of Study due for students admitted for Spring 2014.

December 27, Friday. Final date for changes of grades, changes to Programs of Study, results of master’s examination(s), results of comprehensive examination(s), etc. for potential December 2013 graduates to be received in the Graduate School for certification for December graduation. NO EXTENSIONS OF TIME CAN BE GRANTED.

December 27, Friday. Final date for submission of approved thesis/dissertation proposals for potential May 2014 graduates. Thesis/dissertation proposals should be submitted before substantial research has been completed, typically during the first or second semester in which the student registers for research credits.

Spring Semester 2014


January 22, Wednesday. Classes begin, Kingston campus.

February 1, Saturday. Final date for the submission of admission applications to graduate programs from individuals seeking financial aid for 2014. Applications for financial aid received after this date cannot be assured of full consideration.

February 1, Saturday. Deadline for submission of international applications to graduate programs for Fall 2014.

February 7, Friday. Final date for nominations for May graduation.

February 28, Friday. Final date for receipt of all applications to be submitted via IRBNet in the Office of Research Integrity for IRB or IACUC approval for potential December 2014 graduates. (IRB = Institutional Review Board – research involving human subjects; IACUC = Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee – research involving vertebrate animals)

March 3, Monday. Final date for Leave of Absence requests for Spring 2014.

March 21, Friday. Final date for potential May 2014 graduates to submit completed defense copies of theses/dissertations in a form acceptable for examination purposes, along with the request for oral defense of thesis/dissertation. NO EXTENSIONS OF TIME CAN BE GRANTED. Theses/dissertations must be submitted at least 20 calendar days prior to the date requested for oral defense. Selection of date should allow sufficient time for necessary revisions and retyping before final submission. See April 18 deadline, and important note at the end of calendar below.

April 1, Tuesday. Application deadline for Summer 2014 admission, except for programs with earlier deadlines.

April 15, Tuesday. Deadline for nominations for August graduation.

April 18, Friday. Students who have completed their coursework, successfully passed their master’s examination(s) (if required), successfully passed their comprehensive examination(s) (if required), and successfully defended their theses/dissertations (if required) by this date are eligible to march in the 2014 Graduate Commencement ceremonies to be held May 17th. Results of examinations and defenses must be received in the Graduate School by this date to participate in the 2014 Graduate Commencement. (For complete listing of eligibility regulations, visit here or see the Graduate School Manual Appendix B.).

April 18, Friday. Final date for potential May 2014 graduates to submit, in final, correctly formatted form, theses/dissertations that have been successfully defended, and fully approved. NO EXTENSIONS OF TIME CAN BE GRANTED.

April 18, Friday. Final date for changes of grades for courses taken in previous semesters, changes to Programs of Study, results of master’s examination(s), results of comprehensive examination(s), etc. for potential May 2014 graduates to be received in the Graduate School for certification for May 2014 graduation. NO EXTENSIONS OF TIME CAN BE GRANTED.

April 29, Tuesday. Classes end. Programs of Study due for students admitted for Fall 2014.

May 9, Friday. Final date for approved thesis/dissertation proposals for potential Summer 2014 and Fall 2014 graduates. Thesis/dissertation proposals should be submitted before substantial research has been completed, typically during the first or second semester in which the student registers for research credits.

May 15, Thursday. Final date for changes of grades for courses taken in Spring 2014 to be received in the Graduate School for certification for May 2014 graduation. NO EXTENSIONS OF TIME CAN BE GRANTED.

May 17, Saturday. Graduate Commencement.

2014 Summer Sessions

Note: All courses taken by graduate students during summer sessions are subject to the same regulations regarding inclusion in Programs of Study and calculation of overall academic average, etc., as courses taken during the regular academic year. Students wishing to take directed studies or special problems courses during summer sessions must obtain individual approval for these courses from the Continuing Education office unless the specific offering is listed in the summer Course Schedule for that year. Students wishing to enroll for thesis or dissertation research during summer sessions must first determine that their major professors and/or members of their thesis or dissertation committees will be available and are willing to provide the necessary supervision. See also the important note at the end of this calendar regarding scheduling of examinations, including defense of theses/dissertations, during summer sessions. See the schedule of summer courses available online at uri.edu/summeror visit the Continuing Education (Summer Session) office in Kingston.

Session I: May 19–June 20


May 19, Monday. Classes begin.

June 2, Monday. Final date for nominations for August 2014 graduation.

Week of June 16. Classes end. Exams.

Session II: June 23–August 1

June 23, Monday. Classes begin.

July 3, Thursday. Final date for all potential August 2014 graduates to submit completed defense copies of theses/dissertations in a form acceptable for examination purposes, along with the request for oral defense of the thesis. NO EXTENSIONS OF TIME CAN BE GRANTED. Theses must be submitted at least 20 calendar days prior to the date requested for the oral defense. Selection of date should allow sufficient time for necessary revisions and retyping before submission in final form. See July 30 deadline.

July 15, Tuesday. Deadline for submission of Fall 2014 graduate program applications, except for programs with earlier deadlines.

Week of July 21. Classes end. Exams.

July 30, Wednesday. Final date for potential August 2014 graduates to submit, in final, correctly formatted form, theses/dissertations that have been successfully defended, and fully approved. NO EXTENSIONS OF TIME CAN BE GRANTED.

August 1, Friday. Final date for changes of grades, changes to Programs of Study, results of master’s examination(s), results of comprehensive examination(s), etc. to be received in the Graduate School for certification for August 2014 graduation. NO EXTENSIONS OF TIME CAN BE GRANTED.

IMPORTANT: Requests for scheduling exams must be submitted to the Graduate School at least 20 calendar days prior to the date(s) requested. Theses and dissertations must be distributed to members of the examining committee at least 15 days prior to the date of the defense. Oral and written (including qualifying and comprehensive) exams and defenses of theses will be scheduled only at the convenience of the faculty members involved and depending on the availability of the student’s program committee and additional qualified examiners. Such exams will not be scheduled during periods when the University is in recess. Students wishing to take any exams should first check the availability of the faculty members. Each faculty member must initial the request to indicate his or her willingness to serve. Faculty should be consulted well in advance for exams being scheduled during the summer sessions. If they are not registered for course work or research during the summer sessions, students must register for one credit of research to defend theses/dissertations.

Graduate School Requirements and Policies

Each advanced degree awarded by the University requires as a minimum the successful completion of a specified number of approved credits of graduate study at the University and the passing of prescribed examinations. Credit hours for a master’s or doctoral degree may include formal course work, independent study, research, preparation of a thesis or dissertation, and such other scholarly activities as are approved by the student’s program committee and the Graduate School.

It is the student’s responsibility to know the calendar, regulations, and pertinent procedures of the Graduate School and to meet its standards and requirements. These are set forth in this catalog, the Graduate School Manual, the Statement on Thesis Preparation, and other publications, all of which are available to graduate students at uri.edu/gsadmis. These documents are also available in some department offices. The manual is available at the library and, for a fee, at commercial centers in Kingston. These documents govern both master’s and doctoral degree programs.

The Graduate School Manual gives detailed information on responsibilities of major professors and program committees, examination procedures, preparation of theses and dissertations, academic standards, and the Graduate Student Academic Appeals System.

The requirements immediately following are general requirements for all graduate students. Specific requirements for individual programs are itemized in the Graduate Degree Program Descriptions that follow.

Program of Study

The purpose of the Program of Study is to ensure that students, at an early stage in their graduate study, organize coherent, individualized plans for their course work and research activities. It is expected that the successful completion of students’ Programs of Study along with collateral readings, research, etc., will enable them to demonstrate that they have achieved the high level of competence required of graduate students in their respective fields.

All students matriculated in a graduate degree program are required to prepare a Program of Study with the guidance of their major professors (for master’s degree programs) or of their program committees (for doctoral programs) in accordance with the guidelines in the Graduate School ManualAfter the program has been approved by the major professor or by the program committee, the Program of Study is submitted for approval to the Graduate School.

Course Numbering System

All regular graduate courses are numbered at the 500 and 600 levels. All 900-level courses are special graduate courses for which no graduate program credit is given. Courses numbered at the 400 level are for advanced undergraduates, but may, with approval and to a limited extent, be accepted toward meeting degree requirements at the master’s level. For doctoral students who have completed the master’s degree in the same field or one closely related, all program work must be at the 500 or 600 level.

Scholastic Standing

Graduate work is evaluated by letter grades. All grades earned will remain on the student’s record, and unless the courses were approved for no program credit prior to registration, all unacceptable grades will be included in calculating the student’s scholastic average.

A grade of C+ (2.33) or lower in courses numbered at the 400 level is considered a failing grade. In such cases of failure the course must be either repeated, if it is a required course, or else replaced by another course approved by the student’s program committee and the Graduate School.

Grades of C- or lower are failing grades in courses at the 500 and 600 levels and require immediate review of the student’s status. Students failing these courses must repeat them, if they are required courses, or else they must replace them with courses approved by the student’s program committee and the Graduate School.

The grades S (satisfactory) and U (unsatisfactory) are used for courses of study involving research undertaken for the thesis or dissertation and for certain courses and seminars so designated. The letter I (incomplete) is used for excused unfinished work. Graduate students have one year to make arrangements with the instructor to remove the incomplete. If the grade of I (incomplete) is not removed within three calendar years, it will remain on the transcript. Incomplete grades may not be used for program credit. Grades of S, U, I, and all grades in courses below the 400 level are not included in the academic average.

To qualify for continuation of degree student status and for graduation, a cumulative average of B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in all work is required, except for courses approved for no program credit prior to registration in the course. At any time when the academic record indicates unsatisfactory performance, the student’s status is subject to review. A student who fails to maintain a satisfactory grade point average or to make acceptable progress toward the degree may be dismissed as a graduate student.

Degree Requirements

Master’s Degree. There are no major or minor area requirements for the master’s degree. However, no degree can be awarded for the accumulation of credits without a planned and approved Program of Study. Courses for the degree are expected to be concentrated in the student’s field of interest and related areas to produce a well-developed and coherent program.

The requirements listed here must be met within five years after the date the student is first enrolled as a matriculated graduate student at the University. In exceptional circumstances, requests to the Graduate School for an extension of the time limit must be accompanied by an explanation of delay in program progress, a detailed proposed schedule for completing the degree, along with the approval of the major professor and the graduate program director. The dean of the Graduate School will review such requests and determine whether a variance to the time-limit requirement is warranted (see the Graduate School Manual, sections 7.42 and 7.51). The master’s degree may be earned through full- or part-time study, or a combination of the two

Some departments offer both a thesis and a nonthesis option, while others offer only one plan. Please refer to the “Graduate Degree Program Descriptions” for specific information on each program. General requirements for these options are as follows.

Thesis Option. The minimum requirements for a master’s degree are 1) the successful completion of 30 credits, including six to nine thesis research credits; 2) at the discretion of the department, the passing of written comprehensive examinations toward the end of the course work; 3) the submission of an acceptable thesis and the passing of an oral examination in defense of the thesis. A statement on the preparation of theses is available from the Graduate School Office.

Nonthesis Option. Depending on departmental requirements, some master’s degrees may be earned without a thesis. The minimum requirements for a nonthesis master’s degree program are: 1) the successful completion of a minimum of 30 credits; 2) completion of practicums, internships, or other experiences useful to the student’s future professional career; 3) registration in one course that requires a substantial paper involving significant independent study; 4) the passing of a written comprehensive examination toward the end of the course work. Some departments may also require a final oral examination.

Research Competency. Although not normally required for the master’s degree, a student’s major professor or thesis committee may require proficiency in a foreign language, statistics, or computer science where appropriate for the subject chosen.

Professional Degrees. Students should refer to the specific program requirements for professional degrees and consult with the appropriate dean or director.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree. The Doctor of Philosophy degree must be completed within seven years of the date when the student first enrolled as a matriculated student.

The requirements for the doctoral degree are 1) the completion of a minimum of 72 credits of graduate study beyond the baccalaureate degree, of which a minimum of 42 credits must be taken at the University of Rhode Island; 2) the passing of a qualifying examination or the completion of a master’s degree; 3) if required by the department, proficiency in one or more foreign languages and/or in an approved research tool; 4) the passing of a comprehensive examination; 5) the completion of a satisfactory dissertation; 6) the passing of a final oral examination in defense of the dissertation; and 7) fulfillment of the residence requirement by taking a minimum of six credits per semester (specific graduate programs may require more) for at least two consecutive semesters after satisfying qualifying examination requirements. Residence is interpreted as attendance on campus or in the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education during a regularly scheduled semester. Full-time registration for both terms of a summer session counts as one semester of residence.

The department in which the student studies for the doctoral degree may or may not require a master’s degree preliminary to, or as part of, the regular course of study.

Qualifying Examination. This examination is intended to assess a student’s potential to perform satisfactorily at the doctoral level. A student without a master’s degree who is accepted as a matriculated doctoral student is expected to take a qualifying examination, usually after 24-30 credits have been completed. A student who holds a master’s degree in the same or a closely related field is normally not required to take the examination. If an examination is required, it will be stipulated at the time of admission.

Research Competency. Each department, in cooperation with the Graduate School, is authorized to formulate and to amend its own requirements and methods of testing for competency in research tools such as foreign language(s), computer science, or statistics. The department may, in turn, delegate this responsibility to the program committee for each individual doctoral student.

Comprehensive Examination. Each doctoral student will take comprehensive examinations at or near but not later than 12 months after completion of the formal courses stipulated in the Program of Study. The examination is designed to assess the student’s intellectual capacity and adequacy of training for scholarly research.

The comprehensive examination consists of two parts: written and oral. The student, with the approval of his or her program committee, applies to the Graduate School to take the examination. The oral examination committee includes the student’s committee and two additional members of the graduate faculty appointed by the Graduate School. One of the additional members represents a field of study allied to that of the student’s major. The student’s major professor arranges for and chairs the examination. Unanimous approval by the examining committee is required for the passing of the comprehensive examination.

A student whose performance fails to receive unanimous approval may, with the committee’s recommendation and the approval of the Graduate School, be permitted one re-examination in the part or parts failed, to be taken no sooner than ten weeks, and no later than one year after the initial examinations.

Final Oral Examination. This examination is a defense of the dissertation and is open to all members of the faculty and, generally, to all students. The examination, usually a maximum of two hours, is conducted by an examining committee made up of the student’s program committee and two additional graduate faculty members appointed by the Graduate School. One of the appointed members will be designated by the dean to chair the examination.

Unanimous approval of the examining committee is required for passing. If the student does not perform satisfactorily, the committee may recommend to the Graduate School that the student take one re-examination under stated conditions.

Theses and Dissertations

For the oral defense, a sufficient number of completed copies of the thesis or dissertation, acceptable in form and substance to each member of the examining committee and the Graduate School, is required. At least 20 calendar days prior to the proposed defense, the copies must be submitted to the Graduate School for scheduling of the examination.

Following a successful defense, and after all changes and corrections have been made, copies prepared in accordance with requirements of the Graduate School and the library must be submitted to the Graduate School. Doctoral students must submit an additional abstract, not exceeding 350 words.

Students are advised to consult the Statement on Thesis Preparation and Instructions for Thesis Defense, both available in the Graduate School (and at uri.edu/gsadmis), and the most recent edition of Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, published by the University of Chicago Press.

Graduate Degree Program Descriptions

This section describes the admission and degree requirements for the University’s graduate programs, which are included within the general requirements set forth previously, and do not reduce those requirements.

The specific program requirements that follow are also minimum requirements; additional course credits may be required for students whose academic background is considered insufficient.

For example, in nonthesis master’s degree programs, all students must take at least one course requiring a substantial paper involving significant independent study, and all Ph.D. students who do not hold an earned master’s degree in a closely related field are required to take the Ph.D. qualifying examination even if it is not listed in the individual program requirements.

The standardized test scores admission requirement is also specific to each particular program. For programs requiring a standardized test, applications will not be reviewed until scores have been received. In all other cases, scores may be submitted if applicants believe the test results will enhance their application. However, the test results should be submitted as early as possible. If an application is received before test results, the admission decision may be made without the scores.

Successful completion of any course of study at URI does not guarantee that the student will find either a specific kind or level of employment. Graduate students interested in the career opportunities related to their program of study are encouraged to discuss their interests with the appropriate department chair or director of graduate studies, the Graduate School’s dean, or Career Services staff. Students uncertain about career choices are also invited to use the services offered by the Counseling Center.

The availability of these programs of study and areas of specialization, administrative locations, requirements, and titles, are subject to change without notice.

For information on the background of your program’s faculty, turn to the directory at the end of this catalog or visit the website of the relevant department(s) at uri.edu.

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