Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Master’s/Specialist Degree

All Master's/Specialist degrees must meet the requirements in this section.  Additional degree requirements are listed in each departmental section of this catalog.

Prerequisite Coursework. Admission to Graduate Studies, does not imply that the applicant has the necessary background to earn a degree in a specific department. To major or minor in a department, the candidate must have or must obtain adequate preparation to assure successful graduate work. Background leveling courses cannot be applied toward the graduate major.

Course Requirements. All master’s degrees require completion of at least 30 graduate hours.

  • Major. A minimum of 18 graduate hours is necessary to complete a major. The student should check the major department section of this catalog for specific course requirements. A student desiring to change majors, must be in academic good standing with the Office of Graduate Studies, and must complete a Change of Major/Degree form.  A minimum of 24 graduate hours in three fields arranged in a 12-6-6 pattern is required for a broad-field major.  Broad-field majors may be available for some MA/MED/MS degrees.
  • Minor. A student may complete a minor (approved sequence of 12 graduate hours (4 courses), upon receiving approval from the major and minor departments.  Completion of a minor is not a mandatory requirement.  Minors are not available for all programs and must be approved within a master's program.  A student receiving a minor must satisfy candidacy and comprehensive examination requirements of the minor department.

Foreign Language Requirement. The candidate for the Master of Arts degree must meet the language requirement for the Bachelor of Arts degree at this institution.
That requirement can be met with one of the following:

  1. Completion of at least 12 semester hours (four courses) in one foreign language.
  2. Completion of 6 semester hours (above elementary courses) if 2 years of high school credit in the language have been submitted as part of the regular university admission requirements.
  3. Completion of 3 semester hours if the student presents 3 or 4 years of high school credit.
  4.  American Sign Language (ASL) is considered an acceptable foreign language. Students should consult with departmental Director of Graduate Studies regarding this requirement.

Grade Point Average. A GPA of 3.00 or better on all graduate work completed at Texas A&M University-Commerce, all graduate courses taken toward the degree, all major courses in the student’s major field, and an overall GPA of 3.00 or better on all graduate courses completed is required for graduation. If a course is retaken, the last grade will be counted in the computation of the overall GPA.  A course in which an “F” is received is considered a course completed.  Only grades earned at Texas A&M University-Commerce are calculated into the student’s GPA.

  • No grade of “D” or below will count toward a master's/specialist degree.
  • No more than three grades of "C" can be used toward a master's degree.

Master's/Specialist Degree Residency. A minimum of two-thirds of the course work applied to a master’s/specialist degree must be taken from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Students should check with the department for any departmental residency requirements.

Time Limitation. All work for the master’s/specialist degree must be completed during the 6 years immediately preceding the date on which the degree is to be awarded. Credit earned over 6 years prior to graduation requires specific written departmental justification and approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies to be counted toward a master’s/specialist degree. The discipline in which the course(s) was taken shall be involved in the validation of an old course. In no case may courses more than 10 years old be applied toward the master’s/specialist degree. These same limitations apply to all transfer courses.

Catalog Privileges. A student is entitled to use the degree provisions of any catalog in effect between the semester the student is admitted to the master’s/specialist degree program and the semester the student’s degree is conferred, provided the catalog used is not more than 6 years old at the time the degree is conferred.

Admission to Candidacy for Master’s/Specialist Degree. In those programs requiring candidacy, the student must apply and be admitted to candidacy at least one semester prior to graduation. Not all programs require candidacy. Students should check with the major department to determine candidacy requirements.  Minimum candidacy requirements are:

  • Full admission into the master’s program and satisfactory completion of all background courses and other departmental requirements.
  • Completion of at least four and not more than six Texas A&M University-Commerce graduate courses. Three of the courses must be in the major field.
  • A grade point average of 3.00 or higher on all graduate work at Texas A&M University-Commerce and on all graduate courses in the major.

When the above requirements have been met, the student should petition the major and/or (minor, if applicable) department for admission to candidacy.  The major and/or minor department may require a written and/or oral qualifying examination before granting approval.  It is the student's responsibility to see that the candidacy forms are submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies prior to the semester in which the students expects to graduate.

Thesis (518) and Research Literature and Techniques (595) Credit. All degree programs require the satisfactory completion of either the thesis (518) or the (595) course at Texas A&M University-Commerce. These courses cannot be transferred from another institution. A student who is writing a thesis is required to register for (518) to receive guidance from a member of the faculty or while utilizing university facilities.  Only 6 graduate hours of credit for (518) or 3 graduate hours of credit for (595) per degree will be given upon satisfactory completion of the requirement. Unless approved by the department and the Graduate Dean, (518 or 595) must be taken in the student’s major department. A reduced fee for (518) may be approved by the Registrar’s Office after all other course work for the degree is completed. Students writing a thesis must be enrolled in (518) during the semester the thesis is approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. A student’s completion of the (595) course must result in a product available for reference in the department for a minimum of 3 years.

Final Comprehensive Examinations. The candidate must pass a comprehensive examination administered by the advisory committee or major department and covering all the work within the master’s/specialist degree program, including an acceptable defense of the thesis, if applicable. The student must be fully admitted to a master’s/specialist degree program and be in good academic standing with the Office of Graduate Studies to be eligible to take the final examination. The Final Comprehensive Examination Report form must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies prior to graduation according to the  A candidate who fails this examination must complete whatever further courses or additional study are stipulated by the advisory committee or by the major department to correct the weaknesses or deficiencies revealed by the examination. The candidate who fails the examination may retake it when the department head deems it appropriate. Should the candidate fail the examination upon the second attempt, a third/final attempt may be taken only with the recommendation of the advisory committee or major department and approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Graduation and Commencement. Commencement exercises are held three times each academic year in May, August, and December. Students must file for graduation with the Registrar’s Office during the semester they plan to graduate. Students will be approved for graduation and the degree after they have satisfactorily completed all degree requirements and been approved by the academic department and the Graduate Studies. Please check the Academic Calendar for deadline dates for filing. Graduation information is available online at  Students may apply for graduation online through MyLeo. A student must be in good academic standing in order to complete graduation requirements. Participation in the commencement ceremony does not guarantee conferring of any degree. Texas A&M University-Commerce has the right to rescind any conferred degree if the University becomes aware that the student did not meet all degree requirements including :

  • Good Academic Standing                                        
  • No more than 3 Grades of "C" in the degree program
  • Overall graduate GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Departmental Course Requirements are met
  • Successful Completion of Comprehensive Examination

Students that have applied for graduation and are concurrently enrolled at another institution during the final semester in a program will be required to submit an official transcript before final clearance can be completed and degree can be awarded.

Second Master’s Degree

Subject to the approval of the Graduate Dean and the department head, students holding master’s degrees from a regionally accredited graduate institution in the United States may apply certain courses that were a part of a previously earned graduate degree toward a second master’s degree, provided such courses are not more than 6 years old at the time the second master’s degree is conferred.

The number of courses permitted will be as follows:

  • For 30-semester-hour programs, no more than 9 approved hours.
  • For 36-semester-hour programs, no more than 12 approved hours.
  • For 60, 61 & 62-semester-hour programs, no more than 20 approved hours.
  • For the 63 & 64-semester-hour programs, no more than 21 approved hours.
  • For the 66-semester-hour program, no more than 22 approved hours.
  • All remaining courses applied to satisfy the requirements for the second master’s degree must be Texas A&M University-Commerce courses.
    • A thesis completed for a previous degree cannot be used for a second master's degree.
    • A 595 Research Literature and Techniques course can only be used for a second master's with departmental and Graduate Studies approval.  A 595 Research Literature and Techniques cannot be transferred in from another institution.

The second master’s degree will be subject to the general regulations governing master’s degrees except as stated above.

Students that have applied for graduation and are concurrently enrolled at another institution during the final semester in a program will be required to submit an official transcript before final clearance can be completed and degree can be awarded.