Oct 25, 2020  
2020 - 2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020 - 2021 Graduate Catalog

A&S: Requirements for Degrees



 

I. Constitution of Defense Examination Committees

For the purposes of constituting an examination committee for a dissertation or thesis defense examination, a full-time faculty member is defined to be someone who holds a tenured or tenure-eligible faculty position in Arts & Sciences.

To be the sole chair of a dissertation or thesis defense examination committee, a faculty member must currently be a full-time faculty member within the graduate program. An exception may be requested from the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research if an approved chair of a dissertation or thesis defense examination committee subsequently departs William & Mary for an equivalent full-time appointment at another research institution and both the departing colleague and any one of their advisees wants to preserve the approved advisor-advisee relationship through to completion:

  • If the approved committee chair departs as a tenured member of the Arts & Sciences faculty, then they may continue to serve as the sole chair of a dissertation or thesis defense examination committee, subject to the approval of the director of the student’s graduate program.
  • If the approved chair departs prior to securing tenure as an Arts & Sciences faculty member, then they may continue to serve as a co-chair of a dissertation or thesis defense examination committee, subject to the approval of the director of the student’s graduate program. In this case, the other co-chair must be a full-time faculty member within the graduate program.

In such instances, the graduate program is required to obtain a Courtesy Appointment from the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, to be renewed annually, until all graduate students on whose committees the departed faculty member serves as chair or co-chair have either satisfied all degree requirements or been withdrawn from the graduate program.

A faculty member approved as the chair of an Arts & Sciences graduate student’s dissertation or thesis defense examination committee who subsequently retires may continue to serve as a co-chair of the defense examination committee, subject to the approval of the director of the student’s graduate program. The other co-chair must be a full-time faculty member within the graduate program. If the faculty member does not retire with emeritus status, then the graduate program is required to obtain a Courtesy Appointment from the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, to be renewed annually, until all graduate students on whose committees the retired faculty member serves as co-chair have either satisfied all degree requirements or been withdrawn from the graduate program. Upon their retirement, emeritus faculty members retain their affiliation with the graduate program, therefore a Courtesy Appointment is not required.

A graduate program may, at their discretion, recommend someone who holds a doctorate but is not a faculty member in Arts & Sciences as the co-chair of a defense examination committee, subject to the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. The other co-chair must be a full-time faculty member within the graduate program. The graduate program is required to obtain either a Courtesy Appointment or a contract as a research faculty member from the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, to be renewed annually, until the graduate student has either satisfied all degree requirements or been withdrawn from the graduate program.

When a co-chair who is a current full-time faculty member in the student’s graduate program is required under any of the circumstances outlined above, the co-chair will have full signatory authority on all forms. The co-chair arrangement will ensure the availability of an on-site advisor to the student.

II. Degrees of Master of Arts and Master of Science

In addition to the following general requirements that must be satisfied by students earning either a Master of Arts or a Master of Science degree from Arts & Sciences, special degree requirements (e.g., language proficiency or course requirements) specific to each of the master’s programs are listed under the Graduate Arts & Sciences Catalog entries for departments and programs.  Students are required to satisfy all program-specific requirements in addition to the following general requirements.

A.  All candidates for the degrees of Master of Arts or Master of Science

To be eligible to graduate, all students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all courses undertaken for graduate credit at William & Mary after admission to a degree program.  No credit toward a degree will be allowed for a course in which a student receives a grade below C (grade point = 2.0).

All requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within six years from the first term of enrollment in the master’s program, excluding periods of approved leave and military service.  Requests for extension beyond the six-year limit must be filed following the procedures outlined in Time Limits for Degrees and Extensions   in the Graduate Arts & Sciences Catalog.

B.  Students not submitting a thesis to satisfy degree requirements

Students not submitting a thesis must successfully complete 32 semester hours of graduate credit, subject to the following requirements.

  • At least 20 semester credit hours must be earned in courses numbered 600 or above.

  • Semester credit hours earned for courses numbered 566, 666, 685, 695, 700, 766, 795, and 800 may not be used to satisfy this requirement.

  • No more than a total of 12 semester credit hours earned in courses numbered 694 may be used to satisfy this requirement.

C.  Students submitting a thesis to satisfy degree requirements

Students submitting a thesis must successfully complete 30 semester hours of graduate credit, subject to the following requirements.

  • At least 12 semester credit hours must be earned in courses numbered 600 or above, excluding 700 (Thesis).

  • At least 6 semster credit hours must be earned in courses numbered 700 (Thesis), but no more than 6 semester credit hours can be used to satisfy the requirement of 30 semester hours of graduate credit.

  • Semester credit hours earned for courses numbered 566, 666, 685, 694, 710, 766, and 800 may not be used to satisfy this requirement.

  • No more than a total of 12 semester credit hours earned in 693 and 695 may be used to satisfy this requirement.

Some master’s programs in Arts & Sciences require a student earning a thesis master’s degree to take a comprehensive or qualifying examination to demonstrate competence in his or her field of study.  If so, students submitting a thesis must pass the comprehensive examination to satisfy this requirement for their degree program.

  • The comprehensive examination may be either written, oral, or both at the discretion of the student’s master’s program.

  • The comprehensive examination committee must consist of at least three members, at least two of whom must be full-time faculty with appointments in the Arts & Sciences and must have a formal affiliation with the student’s graduate program. The third member of the comprehensive examination committee must hold a doctorate.

  • The student must be physically present for the comprehensive or qualifying examination.

Students submitting a thesis must present work that is based on original research that constitutes a contribution to scholarly knowledge. 

  • The thesis defense examination committee must consist of at least three members who hold a doctorate, at least two of whom must be full-time faculty with appointments in Arts & Sciences and must have a formal affiliation with the student’s graduate program.

  • The student’s master’s program recommends the names of members to serve on the master’s defense examination committee, which the director of the student’s graduate program must approve. Final approval of the committee rests with the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and must be secured at least two weeks in advance of the thesis defense examination.

  • Each student must successfully defend his or her thesis in a final examination before the thesis may be submitted to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

    • If the student’s graduate program requires a public defense of thesis, the examination must be open to the faculty of Arts & Sciences and to such outside persons as the graduate program may invite.

    • The first preference is for all thesis defense examination committee members to be physically present for the examination.

    • Electronic participation by the thesis defense examination committee members is allowed to accommodate schedules, particularly those of committee members who do not hold appointments at William & Mary.

    • The student must be physically present for the thesis defense examination.

III. Degree of Master of Public Policy

A. The director of The Public Policy Program will plan and approve the student’s program.

B. Each MPP student is expected to attend full-time (12 credits per semester) for four semesters. Students in the Accelerated B.A./B.S. and MPP path are expected to attend full-time (12 credits per semester) for two semesters following conferral of the Bachelor’s degree.

C. At least 49 semester hours of graduate credit are required for the MPP degree. Students accepted for the degrees of MPP/JD, MPP/MBA, MPP/MS in Marine Science, MPP/PhD in Marine Science, or MPP/MS in Computational Operations Research are required to have 37 hours of MPP course credit. Each student must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all courses undertaken for graduate credit at William & Mary after admission to the MPP program. No credit toward a degree will be allowed for a course in which a student receives a grade below C (grade point=2.0).

D. It is expected that all degree requirements will be completed within 2 years after admission to the degree program.

E. Each student must complete a 10-week internship during the summer between the first and second years of the program. The program director must approve all internships.

IV. Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to the following general requirements, which must be satisfied by students earning a Doctor of Philosophy from Arts & Sciences, special degree requirements (e.g., language proficiency or course requirements) specific to each of the doctoral programs are listed under the Graduate Arts & Sciences Catalog entries for departments and programs. Students are required to satisfy all program-specific requirements in addition to the following general requirements.

To be eligible to graduate, all students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all courses undertaken for graduate credit at William & Mary after admission to a degree program. No credit toward a degree will be allowed for a course in which a student receives a grade below C (grade point = 2.0).

All requirements for the Ph.D. must be completed within seven years from the first term of enrollment in the Ph.D. program, excluding periods of approved leave and military service.

  • For a student enrolled in a master’s program in Arts & Sciences who subsequently advances to candidacy in the doctoral program in the same field, the term of enrollment in the master’s program will count toward the seven-year limit for the doctoral degree unless otherwise stated in the letter of admission.  Such exceptions are granted only at the time of admission.
  • Requests for extension beyond the seven-year limit, or the limit stated in the letter of admission, must be filed following the procedures outlined in Time Limits for Degree and Extensions  in the Graduate Arts & Sciences Catalog.

A minimum of three years of graduate study beyond the baccalaureate is required. At least 30 semester credit hours beyond either the baccalaureate or the master’s is required; semester credit hours used to satisfy baccalaureate or master’s degree requirements cannot be used to satisfy the requirement of a minimum of 30 semester credit hours to earn a doctorate. In addition, the following requirements must be met:

  • At least 30 semester credit hours must be earned in courses numbered 600 or above.
  • At least 24 semester credit hours must be earned in courses numbered 800 (Dissertation); no more than 24 semester credit hours may be used to satisfy the requirement of at least 30 semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate or master’s.
  • Semester credit hours earned for courses numbered 566, 666, 685, 700, 710, and 766 may not be used to satisfy program requirements for the doctorate.

Doctoral students must pass a comprehensive or qualifying examination designed to demonstrate competence in his or her field of study.

  • The qualifying examination may be either written, oral, or both at the discretion of the student’s doctoral program.
  • The qualifying examination committee must consist of at least three members, at least two of whom must be full-time faculty with appointments in Arts & Sciences and must have a formal affiliation with the student’s graduate program. The third member of the qualifying examination committee must hold a doctorate.
  • The student must be physically present for the qualifying examination.

Doctoral students must submit a dissertation that is based on original research that constitutes a significant contribution to scholarly knowledge.

  • The dissertation defense examination committee must consist of at least four members who hold a doctorate.
    • At least two members of the committee must be full-time faculty with appointments in Arts & Sciences and must have a formal affiliation with the student’s graduate program.
    • At least one member of the committee must be an individual who does not have a formal affiliation with the student’s doctoral program, and thus is eligible to serve as an external examination committee member.
    • Individuals who have any affiliation with the student’s doctoral program (e.g., Adjunct Professor, Visiting Assistant Professor, etc.) do not qualify as an external examination committee member.
    • External examination committee members must have earned a doctorate in the same or closely related discipline and may include individuals who have earned a doctorate and who hold an appointment at an institution other than William & Mary.
  • The student’s doctoral program recommends the names of members to serve on the dissertation defense examination committee, which the director of the student’s graduate program must approve. Final approval of the committee rests with the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and must be secured at least two weeks in advance of the dissertation defense examination.
  • Each student must successfully defend his or her dissertation in a final examination before the dissertation may be submitted to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.
    • This examination must be open to the faculty of Arts & Sciences and to such outside persons as the doctoral program may invite.
    • The first preference is for all dissertation defense examination committee members to be physically present for the examination.
    • Electronic participation by the dissertation defense examination committee members is allowed to accommodate schedules, particularly those of committee members who do not hold appointments at William & Mary.
    • The student must be physically present for the dissertation defense examination.

V. Submission and Acceptance of the Dissertation or Thesis

Acceptance of the dissertation or thesis by Arts & Sciences is conditioned upon a student submitting their dissertation or thesis, along with all other documents required by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, subject to the requirements published for the term for which the student has filed to graduate. The submission must meet the deadline published in the Graduate Arts & Sciences Catalog under A&S: Academic Calendar to graduate in the intended term. Students should confirm with their graduate program, in advance of final submission, that they have satisfied all the degree requirements specific to their program.

When an Arts & Sciences graduate degree requires the submission of a dissertation or thesis to fulfill degree requirements, the degree will not be granted until the dissertation or thesis has been submitted to and accepted by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.