Graduate School

Click on any of the following links for information:

Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies
Business Administration Building
Internet: http://www.tamuc.edu/gradschool
E-Mail: graduate.school@tamuc.edu
Phone: 903-886-5163
Fax: 903-886-5165

Mailing Address
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Graduate School
P. O. Box 3011
Commerce, TX 75429

Physical Address
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Graduate School
2600 S. Neal Street
Commerce, TX 75428

Mission

The mission of the Graduate School is to provide leadership and direction for all aspects of graduate education and to promote graduate student research at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Purpose and Nature of Graduate School

Graduate work offered by the University is distinguished from undergraduate work in that the graduate student is expected to show increased maturity in scholarship, seriousness of purpose, and ability to think independently. In accordance with this distinction, graduate courses are designed to develop the student’s ability to gather relevant facts, analyze them, and make reasonable generalizations and sound conclusions through independent research.

Graduate programs provide for the needs of students seeking professional employment, research opportunities, advanced degrees, (including the master's/specialist, doctoral degrees, educator certification, graduate certificates), or personal satisfaction by increasing their depth of knowledge in their fields of specialization. Our students are prepared to be school and college teachers and administrators and advanced professionals in business, technology management, social work, the arts and various science disciplines. Some of our programs also prepare students for professional and administrative certificates.

The doctoral programs are distinct in purpose and more selective in admitting candidates than the master’s/specialist programs. The purpose of the doctoral program is to produce graduates who have developed breadth of vision, a capacity for interpretation, and the ability to carry out critical investigation.

From association with fellow scholars, the doctoral student is expected to gain new concepts, a zeal for adding to the sum of human knowledge, and the ability to conduct original research and to think clearly and independently. The student must also develop the professional competencies necessary for giving application of knowledge in the essential areas of human and public interest. Guidance toward extended reading and research is an integral part of graduate study.

Major Areas of Study

We offer a master’s degree with the following majors:

  • Accounting*
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Applied Criminology**
  • Applied Linguistics*
  • Art
  • Biological Sciences*
  • Business Administration*
  • Business Analytics*
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Computational Science
  • Counseling
  • Curriculum & Instruction*
  • Early Childhood Education*
  • Educational Administration**
  • Educational Technology Leadership**
  • Educational Technology Library Science**
  • English
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Finance*
  • Health, Kinesiology, and Sports Studies*
  • Higher Education*
  • History
  • Management*
  • Marketing*
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Organization, Learning & Technology**
  • Political Science
  • Physics*
  • Psychology
  • Reading*
  • Secondary Education*
  • Social Work
  • Sociology**
  • Spanish
  • Special Education
  • Technology Management*
  • The Art of Teaching
  • Theatre

We offer a specialist degree with the following major:

  • School Psychology

We offer doctoral degrees with the following majors:

  • Counseling (PhD)
  • Educational Administration (EdD)**
  • Educational Psychology (PhD)
  • English (PhD)
  • Higher Education (EdD)*
  • Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction—Elementary Education (EdD)
*

Also Available As Online Program

**

 Only Available Online

We offer Educator Teacher Certification

We offer graduate certificates in the following areas:

  • Chemical Dependency Counseling
  • Christianity in History
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice Management
  • Criminal Justice Studies
  • Environmental Science
  • Exercise Science
  • Film Studies
  • Holocaust Studies
  • Homeland Security
  • Physical Education Pedagogy
  • Psychology of Gerontology and Positive Aging
  • Public History
  • Studies in Children's and Adolescent Literature and Culture
  • Teacher Leadership in Bilingual/ESL Instruction
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • World History

Graduate Faculty

Since the academic reputation of any graduate program rests upon the quality of its faculty, great care is given to the awarding of Graduate Faculty Membership. The selection of Graduate Faculty rests with the Graduate Council.

Graduate Faculty Membership is only available to full-time faculty who have a terminal degree or its equivalent.  There are two types of membership: Graduate Faculty or Visiting Faculty.  Visiting Faculty are eligible to teach graduate courses, direct master’s theses, and serve on doctoral committees, while Graduate Faculty can teach graduate classes and direct both master’s theses and doctoral dissertations.

Qualifications for Graduate Faculty Membership are (a) holds academic rank of assistant professor or above or rank of assistant professional track faculty or above; (b) holds the highest earned terminal degree in the teaching discipline; (c) competence as a scholar, including research capabilities and/or creative activities as evidenced by publications and creative endeavors. The University will recognize the graduate faculty status that the visiting member holds at his/her home institution.  Anyone not affiliated with an institution of higher education will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Requests for Graduate Faculty Membership and for Visiting Faculty Membership may be initiated by the faculty member or by the head of the department in which the faculty member serves.  The request is forwarded to the Graduate Dean through the Department Head and College Dean with a recommendation from both.  It is then sent to the Graduate Council, which makes a recommendation to the Graduate Dean as to the type of membership to be awarded.

Each Graduate Faculty member’s scholarly research, creative activity, involvement in the discipline, and graduate education is reviewed by the Graduate Council every 6 years.  The purpose of this review is to determine if the faculty member’s current Graduate Faculty Membership is appropriate and warranted.

The 6 year review process is the same as for the initial selection process; however, the options open to the Council should include one of the following:

  1. Approve continued membership in the current status for 6 years.
  2. Refuse to approve Graduate Faculty Membership.
  3. Provide a 3-year provisional term as Graduate Faculty. If this option is chosen, the faculty member must be reviewed again after 3 years and either approved for a regular 6-year membership or dropped from Graduate Faculty Membership. Graduate Faculty whose status is terminated may, after 1 calendar year, reapply for graduate faculty status.

Under extenuating circumstances, the Dean of the Graduate School can grant a temporary exception for other faculty members who do not hold Graduate Faculty Membership to teach graduate courses and/or serve on thesis or dissertation committees.  Information on such exceptions is submitted to the Graduate Council and does not require Council action except in such cases as it deems necessary.  Questions relating to Graduate Faculty Membership should be directed to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Graduate Faculty Membership may be terminated at any time if the faculty member has been negligent and/or ineffective in the performance of his or her responsibilities (without warranting dismissal for Good Cause as set forth in the University Procedure 12.99.99.R0.12 Graduate Faculty Membership.  In such cases termination of Graduate Faculty Membership will be initiated by the Dean of the Graduate School either independently, or upon recommendation of the faculty member's Department Head or Academic Dean.

Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty

The Texas A&M University System has established a System Graduate Faculty, which enables and facilitates the collaborative research and teaching among faculty members of the nine universities and the Health Science Center within the System. By acquiring status through the System Graduate Faculty, a member of The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses and serve as member or co-chair but not as chair with a member of the Texas A&M University Graduate Faculty.

System Graduate Faculty Guidelines

  1. Purpose. The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty has been developed for the following purposes:
    1. To facilitate participation in graduate education for The Texas A&M University System students.
    2. To provide graduate students access to the expertise of faculty members throughout the System.
    3. To increase inter-institutional faculty collaboration throughout The Texas A&M University System.
    4. To promote the development of multidisciplinary educational and research programs and the capacity to study complex scientific and social issues.
  2. Membership Background
    1. Membership on The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty provides the opportunity to participate in graduate education at The Texas A&M University System universities through serving on graduate committees, advising graduate students, and teaching graduate courses.
    2. Appointment to membership on The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty is designed to assure rigor in the directing, counseling, and teaching of graduate students.
    3. All of The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty members can serve as members of any graduate committee.
    4. The chair of a graduate committee must be from the institution that is conferring the graduate degree.
  3. Membership Qualifications. Consideration for membership on The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty requires meeting the following qualifications.
    1. The individual must hold the terminal degree, usually an earned doctorate. Exceptions will be considered only if justified in accordance with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
    2. The individual must be a tenured or a tenure-track faculty member of a Texas A&M University System university and hold a professional rank.
    3. A person holding the title of instructor or lecturer may not be considered for membership on The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty.
    4. Individuals holding professorial rank at an agency of The Texas A&M University System are eligible for membership.
    5. The individual must be a member of the Graduate Faculty at his/her home institution.
    6. The individual must be an active participant in his/her graduate program through teaching, directing, or administering graduate work.
    7. The individual must show evidence of active research and scholarly work within the past 5 years. This should include publication as primary author of scholarly works in peer-reviewed journals, publication of scholarly books, presentations at professional meetings, or creative works, such as performances, work in juried exhibitions, or other creative works appropriate to the individual’s discipline.
    8. A graduate student at any Texas A&M University System institution may not be a member of The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty. Membership on The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty is forfeited upon a faculty or staff member’s admission to a graduate program at any institution in The Texas A&M University System.
  4. Nomination, Appointment and Review Process
    1. Nomination for membership to The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty is made by submission of an official application by a faculty member and an accompanying letter of endorsement from the individual’s Department Head or Chair and College Dean. The application and letter of endorsement are sent to the Graduate Dean, who certifies institutional Graduate Faculty appointment status and forwards the nomination to the Texas A&M University System Council of Graduate Deans for consideration and action.
    2. The application from the faculty member must identify the institutional Graduate Faculty of which he or she is a member, specify the graduate degree(s) that he or she is qualified to supervise under the conditions of the institutional appointment, and specify the graduate program(s) in which he or she wishes to participate as a System Graduate Faculty Member. The application should be accompanied by a current curriculum vitae.
    3. The Council of Graduate Deans will appoint faculty from member institutions as needed to a Graduate Faculty Review Advisory Committee to consider applications and reappointments and to make recommendations to the Council of Graduate Deans.
    4. A Graduate Faculty member of The Texas A&M University System is appointed for a 5-year term. At the end of the 5-year term, the member will be re-evaluated for reappointment by the Council of Graduate Deans. Failure to maintain membership criteria will result in removal from The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty. The Council of Graduate Deans will notify by letter a faculty member who is non-voluntarily removed from membership on The Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty. The faculty member’s Department Head, Dean, Provost, and Graduate Dean will also receive notification.
  5. Graduate Faculty Membership List. A list of the current membership of The Texas A&M System Graduate Faculty will be maintained in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs and the graduate office at each System university.

Administrative Procedures

Administration of the Graduate School is entrusted to the Dean of the Graduate School. A Graduate Council, consisting of elected members formulates and recommends to the President of the University procedures related to graduate education. The Dean of the Graduate School is the executive officer of the Council and has authority to act for the administration and the Council. Faculty membership on the Graduate Council is limited to members of the Graduate Faculty. Student membership is limited to graduate students. All Council members have full voting rights.

Class Attendance Rule

Students are expected to be present for all class meetings of any course for which they are enrolled. Students are responsible for learning about and complying with the attendance policy stated in the catalog, Student’s Guidebook, and/or faculty syllabus. Faculty members will provide details on requirements and guidelines for attendance in their classes in their course syllabi. Faculty members will keep students’ attendance records.

Students are responsible for requesting makeup work when they are absent. They will be permitted to make up work for absences that are considered excused by the faculty member. The method of making up this work shall be determined by the faculty member.

The student is responsible for providing the faculty member reason(s) for his/her absence. The faculty member then determines the validity of the reason(s) for the absence and whether the student is to be excused for the absence. Faculty members may consider the following as excusable reasons for absence:

  1. Participation in a required/authorized university activity.
  2. Verified illness.
  3. Death in a student’s immediate family.
  4. Obligation of a student at legal proceedings in fulfilling responsibility as a citizen.
  5. Others determined by individual faculty to be excusable (e.g., elective University activities, etc.).

Appeals can be made through normal administrative channels.

A record of excused and unexcused absences will be maintained by a faculty member since certain financial assistance and other programs may require attendance records.

When requested by the student, faculty will inform the student who has been absent whether make-up work is allowed and whether absences jeopardize the student’s standing in a class.

It is the prerogative of the faculty to drop students from courses in which they have accrued excessive absences as defined in the course syllabus. In such cases, faculty recommend through the Department Head to the appropriate College Dean, that a student be dropped from a class. The faculty member will document absences and will make a reasonable effort to communicate with the student prior to recommending the drop. If approved, the College Dean will forward the recommendation to the Registrar’s Office.

Students who wish to drop a course or withdraw from the university are responsible for initiating this action.

If a student believes a final course grade is unfairly impacted by attendance requirements, an appeal can be made. This appeal process is explained in University Procedure 13.99.99.R0.05 Student Appeal of Instructor Evaluation.

Good Standing

This procedure defines good standing for graduate students enrolled at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Entering students who have been fully admitted (without any type of conditional admission, provisional admission, or other restriction) will be considered in good standing. A student will remain in good standing if, and only if, he or she has a cumulative graduate grade point average of at least 3.00 and is free of the following holds: holds indicating delinquent financial indebtedness, academic suspension, academic probation, provisional status, and disciplinary suspension.  A graduate student must be in compliance with ethical and professional standards as determined by the student's academic department and university rules and procedures University Procedure 13.99.99.RD.13 Good Academic Standing.

Students who are not in good standing are not eligible to graduate until good standing has been achieved.

Academic Honesty of Students

Graduate students at Texas A&M University-Commerce are expected to maintain high standards of integrity and honesty in all their scholastic work.  Faculty and staff members are expected to uphold and support student integrity and honesty by maintaining conditions that encourage and enforce academic honesty. Conduct that violates generally accepted standards of academic honesty is defined as academically dishonest. “Academic dishonesty” includes, but is not limited to:

CHEATING: Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise.  Unauthorized materials may include anything or anyone that gives a student assistance, and has not been specifically approved in advance by the instructor.

COMPLICITY:  Intentionally or knowingly helping, or attempting to help, another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

EXAMPLES:  ABUSE AND MISUSE OF ACCESS AND UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS: Students my not abuse or misuse computer access or gain unauthorized access to information in any academic exercise.

FABRICATION:  Making up data or results, and recording or reporting them; submitting fabricated documents.

FALSIFICATION:  Manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such as that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.

FORGERY:  Making a fictitious document, or altering an existing document, with the intent to deceive or gain advantage.

MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS:  Submitting substantial portions of the same work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization from the instructor of the class for which the student submits the work.

PLAGIARISM:  The appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING GROUP PROJECTS:  If someone in a group commits academic misconduct the entire group could be held responsible for it as well.  It is important to document clearly who contributes what parts to the joint project, to know what group members are doing, and how they are acquiring the material they provide.

UNIVERSITY RULES ON RESEARCH:  Students involved in conducting research and/or scholarly activities at Texas A&M University-Commerce must also adhere to standards set forth in University Procedure 15.99.03.R1. Ethics in Research and Scholarship.

VIOLATION OF DEPARTMENTAL OR COLLEGE RULES: Students may not violate any departmental or college rule relating to academic matters.

If a graduate student is accused of academic dishonesty, the University Procedure 13.99.99.R0.10, Graduate Student Academic Dishonesty will be followed.

Academic Honesty of Faculty and Professional Staff

Graduate faculty and professional staff at Texas A&M University-Commerce are expected to maintain high standards of integrity and honesty in all their scholastic work.  Faculty are expected to uphold and support integrity and honesty by maintaining conditions that encourage and enforce academic honesty.

If a faculty or staff member is accused of academic dishonesty, the Department Head or supervisor is responsible for initiating a timely investigation. Any necessary disciplinary actions that result from this investigation should be related to the severity of the infraction.

If a faculty or staff member disagrees with the charge or level of penalty, he/she is entitled to due process in accordance with the usual procedures available to faculty who are accused of any other infraction.

Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship Training

To ensure integrity and compliance in research, all students, faculty, and staff involved in research activities must successfully complete training in Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship

Additional training is required for individuals whose research involves human/animal subjects or biological agents. 

Student Conduct (Hazing)

The Texas Education Code prohibits hazing at institutions of higher education. Hazing is defined as “any intentional, knowing, or reckless act occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in an organization.” Hazing is a criminal violation under Texas law. A person may be found guilty of criminal conduct for hazing, encouraging hazing, permitting hazing, or having knowledge of the planning of hazing incidents and failing to report in writing his/her knowledge to the Dean of Students.

Registration

Registration dates, times, and instructions are available on the Registrar’s website at http://www.tamuc.edu/admissions/registrar/default.aspx. MyLeo (A&M-Commerce WEB application for Students) allows eligible students to register through the Internet. Students can access MyLeo through http://leo.tamuc.edu.

The academic year is divided into two long semesters, fall and spring, and a summer semester of two terms.  Additional terms and sub-terms may be available.

Courses: Definition, Value and Number

A Course:  A course is one subject carrying three or four graduate semester credit hours of credit. One and two semester hour subjects may, in certain cases, be converted to course equivalents by adding the semester hours and dividing by three. Subjects carrying 6 semester hours of credit count as two courses. Each major or minor department has the right to refuse substitution of 1 hour courses or their equivalents to a graduate program when it deems such substitution inappropriate for the planned program of study.

Semester Hour:  The semester hour is a unit of credit. It is defined as 1 hour of lecture per week, or its equivalent in laboratory work, for 1 semester or its equivalent, as defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Each course has a value of 3 semester hours unless otherwise specified.

Course Numbers:  Graduate courses are numbered at the 500, 600, 700, 5000, and 6000 levels.

Graduate Student Course Load

During the fall or spring semester, a student taking (9) or more graduate semester credit hours is considered full time.  The maximum course load for a full-time graduate student during the fall or spring semester is fifteen (15) graduate semester credit hours.  To enroll in more than 15 graduate semester credit hours, the student must have approval from the Dean of the Graduate School.  A student taking 6 graduate semester credit hours is considered half-time.

The maximum course load for a full-time graduate student during each summer term is 7 graduate semester credit hours. A student taking 6 graduate semester credit hours in a summer term (summer I or II) is considered full-time for that term.  A student taking 9 graduate semester credit hours (combination of summer I and II) is considered full-time for the entire summer (summer I and II).

A graduate student holding a full time graduate assistantship enrolled in 6 graduate semester credit hours is considered a full time student.  Graduate students must be enrolled in 9 graduate hours to be considered full-time for financial aid.

The maximum course load for a mini-term is 3 graduate semester credit hours.

A master's/specialist student who has completed all other course work and is enrolled in 3 graduate semester credit hours of 518 thesis credit is considered half-time.

Only in unusual circumstances shall a doctoral student register for more than 12 graduate semester credit hours in a given semester (fall or spring), and then only if approved in advance by the Dean of the Graduate School or other comparable official.

Doctoral students admitted to candidacy and enrolled in 3 graduate semester credit hours of 718 dissertation credit are considered half-time.  Doctoral students who are enrolled in 9 graduate semester credit hours of organized classes and who are performing research related to their dissertation may be required to register for an additional 3 graduate semester credit hours of dissertation for a total of 12 graduate semester credit hours.

See the section “Graduate Assistantships" for information about course loads for graduate assistants.

Student Class Schedule Adjustments

Students are expected to make all necessary adjustments in their class schedules by the 4th class day of a regular semester and the 2nd class day of a summer semester. Eligible students may use MyLeo (Texas A&M University-Commerce Web Applications for Students) to process drops/adds. Students not eligible to use MyLeo may obtain a drop/add sheet at the Registrar’s Office. The student must obtain approval to add and drop courses from the department/instructor and return the drop/add sheet to the Registrar’s Office. Students may add classes until 4th class day during the fall and spring semesters and 2nd class day during the summer terms. Students may drop a class with a full refund (if remaining enrolled) until the 12th class day during the fall and spring semesters and 4th class day during the summer terms.

The student desiring to add a course(s) after the 4th class day of a regular semester or 2nd class day of a summer semester should pick up a drop/add sheet at the Registrar’s Office. The student should proceed to the department(s) where he/she obtains department/instructor approval and then to the appropriate dean for approval. The drop/add sheet is then returned to the Registrar’s Office. Students will not be allowed to add classes after the 12th class day during fall/spring or the 4th class day during a summer semester.

No course may be added to student schedules after the last day to change schedules as stated in the university calendar, except in very special cases and then only by approval of the instructor and appropriate dean.

Auditing Courses

Students desiring to audit a course may do so with the consent of the instructor and Department Head. Enrollment for audit courses occurs on the first day of classes. Students auditing courses must meet the same admission requirements and pay the same tuition and fees required for credit courses. Students enrolling for a course for audit must notify the Registrar’s Office prior to completing registration for the course. A student may not change from credit to audit after the 12th class day during the fall or spring semester or after the 4th class day in a summer term.

Withdrawal from the University

A student wishing to withdraw from all courses before the end of a semester or summer term for which he/she is registered must clear his record by filing an application for voluntary withdrawal on a form can be secured online at: Withdrawal Form or from the Office of the Registrar. This is a withdrawal from the semester, not the university.

This action must be taken by the date stated in the https://ems.tamuc.edu/MasterCalendar/MasterCalendar.aspx as the last day to drop a class or withdraw. Any student who withdraws from the University is subject to the conditions outlined in the section regarding Scholastic Probation or Suspension. It is the students' responsibility to withdraw from classes if they do not plan to attend during the semester in which they have enrolled. A student has one year from the first day of a semester to appeal a withdrawal refund.

Refund of Fees

 A student officially withdrawing will receive a refund of his fees according to the following scale:

*Class days refer to the university Class Days, not particular class days. **For example: If a class meets MWF, the 12th class day is not the 12th day of the students' actual class; it is the 12th day of the University Class Days.  See the https://ems.tamuc.edu/MasterCalendar/MasterCalendar.aspx for specific dates.

Sixteen-Week Fall/Spring Semester:

  • 100 percent prior to the first class day of the semester
  • 80 percent during the first five class days of the semester
  • 70 percent during the second five class days of the semester
  • 50 percent during the third five class days of the semester
  • 25 percent during the fourth five class days of the semester
  • No refund after the fourth five class days of the semester

Thirteen-Week Semester:

  • 100 percent prior to the first class day of the session
  • 80 percent during the first, second, third and fourth class days of the session
  • 50 percent during the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth class days of the session
  • 25 percent during ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth class days of the session
  • No refund after the twelfth class day of the semester

Twelve-Week Semester:

  • 100 percent prior to the first class day of the session
  • 80 percent during the first, second, third and fourth class days of the session
  • 50 percent during the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth class days of the session
  • No refund after the eighth class day of the semester

Ten-Week Semester:

  • 100 percent prior to the first class day of the session
  • 80 percent during the first, second, third and fourth class days of the session
  • 50 percent during the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth class days of the session
  • No refund after the eighth class day of the semester

Five, Six, Seven & Eight-Week Semester:

  • 100 percent prior to the first class day of the session
  • 80 percent during the first, second or third class day of the session
  • 50 percent during the fourth, fifth, or sixth class day of the session
  • No refund on the seventh day of class of the session and thereafter.

Four-Week Semester:

  • 100 percent prior to the first class day of the summer session
  • 80 percent during the first, second or third class day of the summer session
  • 50 percent during the fourth, fifth, or sixth class day of the summer session
  • No refund on the seventh day of class of the summer session and thereafter

Three-Week Mini Semester:

  • 100 percent prior to the first class day of the session
  • 80 percent during the first and second class says of the session
  • 50 percent during the third and fourth class days of the session
  • No refund after the fourth day of class and the session thereafter

Thirty Two-Week Semester:

  • 100 percent prior to the first class day of the semester
  • 80 percent during the first five class days of the semester
  • 70 percent during the second five class days of the semester
  • 50 percent during the third five class days of the semester
  • 25 percent during the fourth five class days of the semester
  • No refund after the fourth five class days of the semester

Refund Information:

  • Refunds will be the applicable percentage of the total fees due for the semester, less any amount not paid.
  • If a scheduled course of instruction fails to materialize, by reason of lack of required students, all tuition for same will be refunded. Late fees and installment fees are not refunded.
  • No refunds will be made unless application is made within the same school year as withdrawal.
  • No refunds will be made on auditor’s fees.

Withdrawal refunds for students receiving federal funds is based on how much Title IV aid a student has received and not earned at the time of withdrawal. The amount of aid earned is calculated on a prorata basis through 60 percent of the term. Contact the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing for additional information about this new law.

A student leaving the University before the end of a semester or summer term for which he/she is registered must clear his/her record by filing an application for voluntary withdrawal on a form available in the Registrar’s Office or at Withdrawal Form. This action must be taken by the date stated in the University Academic Calendar as the last day to drop a class or withdraw.

Additional information and the withdrawal form are also available on the website at http://www.tamuc.edu/admissions/registrar/default.aspx.

Grading System

Grades—Their Meaning and Value

Grade Marks Grade Meaning Grade points Per Semester Hour
A Excellent 4
B Good 3
C* Average 2
D** Passing (Minimum) 1
F Failure 0
S Satisfactory 0
U Unsatisfactory 0
X Incomplete 0
I Incomplete (thesis & dissertation only) 0
IP In Progress 0
W Withdrew 0
Q Course Drop 0
DP Dropped Passing 0
DF Dropped Failing 0
DS Dropped Satisfactory 0
DU Dropped Unsatisfactory 0
*

No more than 3 graduate courses with a grade of C can be used toward a Master's/Specialist degree.

**

No grades below C can be used towards a graduate program.

***

No grades of C or below can be used towards a doctoral degree.

Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory (S-U) Grading

In certain graduate courses, students will be evaluated on a satisfactory-unsatisfactory (S-U) grading basis rather than by the traditional letter grade system. Students in these specially designated courses will receive the grade of “S,” or “satisfactory,” for graduate level work equivalent to a regular “B” grade or better. Grades of “U,” or “unsatisfactory,” will be assigned to those students whose work falls below the “B” level. In such courses, only a grade of “S” may be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements. Neither “S” nor “U” grades will be included in the calculation of grade point average to determine academic standing. The courses in which the satisfactory-unsatisfactory grading system will be used are indicated by their separate course descriptions in the current Graduate Catalog. All other courses not so identified will be graded on the traditional letter grade basis. Each department may prescribe further rules regulating the use of the satisfactory-unsatisfactory grade system within its specific graduate degree programs, but in no case may more than 50% of the courses presented toward fulfillment of the requirements for any graduate degree have been graded on the satisfactory-unsatisfactory basis.

Dropped Courses

Beginning Fall 2008 DP, DF, DS, and DU are no longer assigned to dropped courses.  A grade of "Q" denotes a dropped course.

After the census date in a term (see University Academic Calendar for specific dates), a student who drops a course will receive a grade of “Q.”  Students who officially withdraw from school prior to the date stated in the current University Academic Calendar will receive a grade of “W.” Courses withdrawn are counted as attempted hours and count towards the three-peat rule.

Additional information and the withdrawal form are also available on the website at http://www.tamuc.edu/admissions/registrar/default.aspx.

Incomplete Courses

Students, who because of circumstances beyond their control are unable to attend classes will, upon approval of their instructor, receive a mark of “X” (incomplete) in all courses in which they were maintaining passing grades.

When an “X” is given for a grade in a course, the credit hours are not included for one year calculating the grade point averages. A grade of “X” converts to a grade of " F" one year from the close of the semester/term in which the grade was originally recorded if the course requirements have not been satisfied.  The hours are included in the number of hours attempted.  

Recording a grade of “X” requires the filing of a plan for completion. The plan will be submitted with the official grade record sent to the Department Head who will forward it to the Dean's office. The plan will include: (1) why the grade was given and (2) steps necessary for the student to receive the final grade.

Once an incomplete has been assigned, the course cannot be dropped; a grade must be assigned.

A grade of “IP” (in progress) will be used for courses that are scheduled over more than 1 semester. The grade of "IP" will not be computed in the grade point average and will be removed when the final grade is filed by the instructor.

A grade of “I” will be given for courses in dissertation and thesis (518 and 718) for all registrations prior to the semester in which the final document is completed. The time limit imposed on the grade of “X” (one year) does not apply for these courses.

Computation of Grade Point Averages

All grade point averages will be computed by dividing grade points accumulated by the number of hours attempted, with grades of "X", "I", "IP", "Q", "W", being excluded.  Only grades earned at Texas A&M University-Commerce are calculated into the student's GPA.

Repeating a Course

When a course is repeated, only the last enrollment for the course will be used in computing the grade point average. Any student who enrolls in the same course a second time must notify the Registrar’s Office during the semester in which the course is being repeated. When the semester is completed, the Registrar’s Office will then update the grade point average to reflect the duplication of the course. After a degree is awarded, courses taken before the degree was awarded (regardless of whether the course is applied to the degree) cannot be repeated and the grade point average cannot be recalculated.

Enacted in the 78th Legislative session, HB1 mandates that students repeating a course for a third time or more may be subject to an additional fee for the repeated courses. Courses withdrawn are counted as attempted hours and count towards the “Three-Peat Rule.”

Semester Grade Reports

At the end of each semester of the regular session and the end of the summer session, grades will be updated to the student information system. Students may check the status of their grades by accessing MyLeo at https://leo.tamuc.edu/login.aspx

Student Appeal of Instructor Evaluation

  1. The final grades awarded by faculty members are their expert judgment concerning student performance. Students challenging a final grade must show that the instructor’s judgment was unfair based on one of the following University Procedure 13.99.99.R0.05 Student Appeal of Instructor Evaluation:
    1. Some basis other than performance.
    2. Standards different from those applied to other students in the same course section.
    3. A substantial, unreasonable, and unannounced departure from previously articulated standards or the syllabus.
  2. Students who believe their grade to be unfair must first discuss the matter with the instructor.
  3. If no satisfactory resolution is reached with the instructor, or if the instructor is unavailable, the student shall appeal to the Department Head. A grade appeal must be initiated in writing with the Department Head (or Dean of the College if the Department Head is the instructor) within 6 months of the last day of the semester in which the grade was awarded. The Department Head will examine the student’s appeal to determine whether the student has established an apparent case of unfair academic evaluation.
  4. The instructor or the student may appeal the Department Head’s decision (with respect to findings and remedies) to the Dean of the College in which the course is offered within 30 days of the date on which the Department Head offered his or her judgment.
  5. Upon receipt of a written appeal, the Dean will appoint a three-person advisory committee of faculty to hear the case. The chair of the committee will be from a department other than the one offering the course in question. The two remaining will be from the department offering the course. One of these faculty members may be suggested by the author of the appeal. The instructor and the student may file additional statements. The committee will review all written materials and may seek other information, as they deem appropriate. After reviewing all information, the committee will communicate their findings and suggested remedies, if any, to the Dean of the College.
  6. The Dean of the College is the final authority on issues of fairness in course evaluation. He or she will consider the recommendations of the committee but has wide latitude in resolving the matter.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistant teaching (GAT),  graduate assistant research (GAR), and graduate assistant non-teaching (GANT) assistantships at Texas A&M University-Commerce offer financial support for graduate education.  Assistantships may be awarded to  qualified graduate students who have full or conditional admission to a master’s or specialist program or full admission to a doctoral program;. Assistantships are available in academic and non-academic departments.  In addition to funding graduate education, assistantships provide students opportunities for professional growth.  

Assistantships that require teaching, laboratory instruction, and/or research (GAT, GAR, GANT) are available to masters, specialist, and doctoral students in most departments. The awarding of assistantships is a staffing function of the department making the appointment. Inquiries about applications should be addressed to the head of the department in which the applicant wishes to undertake graduate study. Applicants for such positions must satisfy requirements of both the Graduate School and the department.  Additional information available on line at:http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/graduateSchool/funding/assistantships/default.aspx.

Academic, creative excellence, and maturity are the primary qualifications considered in the appointments. Graduate students whose native language is not English must demonstrate a sufficient level of oral and written proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, or an ELI program approved by A&M-Commerce) before they can be awarded a teaching assistantship.

Minimum requirements for holding assistantships are:

  1. Graduate assistants must be admitted (full or conditional) to a graduate degree program, enrolled in graduate courses, and evaluated by the department based on student qualifications and need. Students with a provisional or non-degree admission status are not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship.
  2. Graduate assistants must maintain a graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and be in academic good standing.
  3. Graduate teaching assistants are required to have a minimum of 18 graduate semester credit hours in the field to be taught.
  4. Assistantship positions must be held on one of the Texas A&M University-Commerce campuses.
  5. Course-load requirements:
    • Full-time GAs must be registered in 6 graduate hours or more for fall/spring semester.
    • Half-time GAs must be registered in at least 3 graduate hours for fall/spring semester.
    • Full-time GAs must be registered in 3 graduate hours or more for summer I semester.
    • Half-time GAs must be registered in at least 3 graduate hours for summer I semester.
    • Full-time GAs must be registered in 3 graduate hours or more for summer II semester.
    • Half-time GAs must be registered in at least 3 graduate hours for summer II semester.

Once an assistantship is offered and the graduate student has accepted verbally or in writing, the student has an obligation to stay in that position for the duration of the semester.

Tuition Remission

A Graduate Assistant (GA) receiving tuition remission must be a full-time Graduate Assistant Teaching (GAT) or a full time Graduate Assistant Research (GAR).  Payment is based on resident, designated graduate tuition.  Fees are not included and only six graduate hours of enrollment (no undergraduate courses) at Texas A&M University-Commerce will be paid.  Departments will be required to submit accountability reports each semester for all students receiving tuition remission.  Accountability reports can be found online at the Graduate School website at http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/graduateSchool/funding/assistantships/tuitionRemission.aspx  A student who resigns his/her graduate assistantship or whose graduate assistantship is terminated before at least three-fourths of the academic term/semester is completed, loses a portion of the tuition remission and is responsible for the tuition payment.

Waiver for Out-of-State Tuition

Graduate Assistants who have not established residency in Texas and who hold full-time assistantships in their academic area are entitled to a waiver of out-of-state tuition. Students must be employed by the 12th class day for fall or spring semesters and by the 4th class day for summer terms to receive this waiver.

Work Load

Graduate Assistants begin work on the first class day and end work on the last class day of each semester/term.

  • Full-time GANT/GAR - works 20 hours per week each semester/term of assistantship
  • Full-time GAT - teaches 6 hours per week of undergraduate courses in the fall/spring semester
  • Full-time GAT - teaches 3 hours per week of undergraduate courses each summer semester
  • Half-time GANT/GAR - works 10 hours per week each semester/term of assistantship
  • Half-time GAT - teaches 3 hours of undergraduate courses each semester/term of assistantship

Course Load for Graduate Assistants

The course load for a full-time graduate assistant is 6-12 hours for the fall or spring semester and 3-7 hours for each summer term. A doctoral student shall not be required to register for more than 9 credit hours during any semester, with the exception of a doctoral student who also is doing research related to his or her dissertation who may be required to register for an additional 3 hours of research or dissertation, for a total of 12 credit hours.  A graduate student holding a full-time graduate assistantship enrolled in 6 graduate semester credit hours is considered a full time student.  Graduate students must be enrolled in 9 graduate hours to be considered full-time for financial aid.

Teaching Appointments

Graduate assistants who have primary responsibility for teaching a course for credit and/or for assigning final grades for such a course must, according to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Criteria for Accreditation, be under the direct supervision of a faculty member experienced in the teaching field, receive regular in-service training, be regularly evaluated, and have earned at least 18 graduate semester hours in their teaching discipline.  Graduate students whose native language is not English must demonstrate a sufficient level of oral and written proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS or an ELI program approved by A&M-Commerce) before they can be awarded a teaching assistantship.

Time Limitations

Assistantships may be held for a maximum of four semesters (exclusive of summer sessions) for graduate students in a graduate degree program consisting of less than 60 graduate hours.  Assistantships may be held for a maximum of six semesters (exclusive of summer sessions) for graduate students in a graduate degree program consisting of 60 graduate hours or more.   All appointments are subject to satisfactory performance of assigned duties and progress toward the degree.

Performance and Evaluation

All appointments are subject to satisfactory performance of assigned duties, progress toward the degree or program goal, and maintenance of a 3.00 graduate grade point average and academic good standing. Appointment corrective action may be initiated by the Department Head at any time during the semester. In case of termination, the graduate assistant shall have the right to appeal through normal administrative channels.

Persons holding graduate assistantships have the right to develop to the best of their ability, both academically and professionally, and to be treated fairly and with respect. It is the responsibility of the assistant to carry out, in a professional manner, such duties as may be reasonably assigned by the Department Head or supervisor.

Individuals holding teaching assistantships will be assessed by their students every semester and evaluated annually by the Department Head or faculty supervisor.  Such evaluations will be maintained in the department office. The department shall retain these evaluations for at least 3 years.

Termination

Graduate assistants may have their assistantship terminated for any of the following:

  1. A student does not abide by the appointment conditions.
  2. A student fails to perform tasks as assigned.
  3. A student does not make adequate degree progress.
  4. A student is placed on Academic Probation.
  5. A student does not make satisfactory research progress.
  6. A student fails to maintain minimum registration.
  7. A student persistently refuses to follow reasonable advice and counsel of faculty in carrying out assistantship obligations.
  8. A student fails to comply with responsibilities as an employee set forth in university procedures, department rules governing assistantships, or the terms of sponsored research agreements that fund the assistantship.
  9. A student violates the standards of student conduct in accordance with University Procedure 13.02.99.R0.06 Standards of Student Conduct.

Tuition and Fees for the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Tuition rates (including guaranteed tuition) are subject to change by the Legislature. Current rates are available on the University webpage.  http://www.tamuc.edu/admissions/tuitionCosts/default.aspx

State Residency

A student’s tuition and fees are impacted by the student’s state of residency. The Texas Legislature, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and the Texas A&M University System have established guidelines for determining residency status. Texas residency for tuition purposes is generally obtained by working in Texas for 12 months immediately prior to enrollment in any college or university, by being a dependent of a Texas resident, or by being classified as a Texas resident for the first 5 of the 6 years immediately preceding registration.

Any student who has lived outside of Texas or who has a possibility of being a nonresident is coded accordingly. Determination of eligibility to pay in-state tuition will be finalized upon receipt of a completed residency questionnaire and appropriate documents.

It is the student’s responsibility to insure that the application for admission is properly completed for tuition purposes. Any change in residency status must be reported to the Graduate School office.

Non-resident students who reside in counties or parishes that border the State of Texas may be eligible for assessment of non-resident tuition and student fees at the Texas resident rate.

Students who reside in Oklahoma are eligible to receive a reduced rate in nonresident tuition.

Doctoral students who have accumulated over 99 doctoral hours will be charged nonresident tuition and fees.

Estimated Special Fees

Graduate Fees

Description Fee
Domestic Application Fee: $50
International Application Fee: $75
Master Thesis Fees: $73
Doctoral Dissertation Fees $83

Additional Fees

Description Fee
Diploma fee (payable when applying for degree) $40
Educator Certification Fee based on type of certification earned
Late registration fee $100
Processing fee $35
Late installment payment plan fee $25
Returned check fee $30
Lab fees $5 TO $45
Graduate Business Course Program Fees $25 per hour
Reinstatement Fees $200
Testing Center Fees Fee based on test type

Motor vehicle operation and parking permits are issued for the academic year. They are $40 if purchased in the fall, $32 in the spring, and $24 in the summer. All permits expire August 31 of each academic year.

Note: All fees are subject to change.

Room and Board

For specific room and board costs, contact the Department of Residential Living and Learning at (903-886-5797) or check online at http://www.tamuc.edu/CampusLife/housing/default.aspx.

Overdue Financial Obligations

In the case of overdue financial obligations to Texas A&M University-Commerce by the student, future registrations, transcripts, and other benefits may be withheld.

Admission to Graduate School

Admission to Graduate School permits the student to enroll in graduate courses, but does not guarantee admission to a program leading to a masters/specialist or doctoral degree.  Departments have the right, and many exercise that right, to have program admission requirements that are higher than those set by the Graduate School. In no case, however, can a department set criteria lower than the Graduate School minimum.  Additional information regarding admission can be found online at http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/graduateSchool/graduateAdmissions/default.aspx.

General Requirements for Admission to the Graduate School for Domestic Students

An applicant to the Graduate School who is seeking admission must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. The bachelor’s degree must be substantially equivalent in content to degrees granted by Texas A&M University-Commerce. Each domestic applicant will submit to the Graduate School the following:

  1. An application for admission to the Graduate School, available online: Online Application
  2. A $50.00 non-refundable application fee.
  3. An official bachelor’s degree transcript from a regionally accredited institution and a transcript from any school at which the student has completed graduate courses (these transcripts should be sent directly to the Graduate School by the issuing institutions).
  4. GRE/GMAT Scores.  Some departments have alternative options for meeting the GRE/GMAT requirements.

To view specific departmental requirements go to:  http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/graduateSchool/programs/default.aspx

Applicants holding a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution who are seeking a second master’s/specialist degree may be able to use their first Master's degree as an option to meet the GRE/GMAT requirement, subject to departmental approval.

Admission for Students Receiving Their Bachelor’s Degree from an Unaccredited Institution

Students desiring admission to the Graduate School at Texas A&M University-Commerce who have received their bachelor’s degree from an institution not recognized and accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies must be approved for admission by the Dean of Graduate School. Materials must be submitted to the Graduate School 30 days in advance of initial enrollment.  In addition to the General Requirements for Admission (covered in the previous section), students may be required to submit additional supportive documentation.  Factors considered by the Dean in making the determination include, but are not limited to, GRE/GMAT scores, undergraduate grade point average, nature of undergraduate program, and educational qualifications of the undergraduate institution’s faculty.

Suspension from other Universities

Students on academic suspension from another institution are not eligible for graduate admission consideration to Texas A&M University-Commerce until their specific period of suspension expires.

Incorrect Information, or Omission of Facts

Graduate admission is invalid if granted on the basis of incorrect information or on the omission of facts which, if known, would have caused the applicant to be ineligible.

International Students

An international graduate student is any degree-seeking student holding a non-immigrant visa. International students who desire to enter the university must submit all admission documents to the Graduate School a minimum of 90 days prior to the semester in which they wish to enroll.  Each applicant must submit the following documents:

  1. An application for admission to the Graduate School, available online: at Online Application
  2. A $75.00 USD non-refundable application fee.
  3. Official transcripts and official copies of diplomas, translated into English, from each college or university attended. The bachelor’s degree earned at a foreign institution must be equivalent to an accredited U.S. institution’s 4 year degree or selected 3 year bachelor's degrees using the guidelines established by World Education Services.  Approval requires university accreditation with an A, A+, or A++ rating from National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), and student standing of first class or first division.  
  4. A sponsor’s statement with a current bank statement showing a balance of at least $26,024.82 in U.S. dollars.
  5. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit proof of English proficiency, which is satisfied by one of the following:
    1. A minimum TOEFL score of 79 for internet-based testing (IBT), or score of 550 for paper-based testing (PBT), or 213 on computer-based testing (CBT) scores must be less than 2 years old,
    2. A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 overall band, scores must be less than 2 years old, or
    3. Successful completion of an English Language Institute (ELI) program approved by A&M - Commerce with an overall grade of B or better, or
    4. Completing all years of a Bachelor’s degree or higher degree at a U.S. regionally accredited university.
  6. Some departments have alternative options for meeting the GRE/GMAT requirements.

To view specific departmental requirements go to:  http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/graduateSchool/programs/default.aspx

Each applicant is subject to departmental approval. Individual departments may establish additional requirements for admission. International students must be admitted to a degree program in order to enroll in graduate courses unless visa classification indicates otherwise.

International students who hold a F-1 visa are not eligible for non-degree student status or provisional admission status.

All international students are required to attend New Student Orientation conducted by the International Student Office. New international students must bring their immigration documents with them to orientation.

All F-1, J-1 international students, and J-2 dependents are automatically enrolled in the A&M System insurance plan every semester unless they meet one of the exemption requirements.  Please contact the International Student Services Office at 903-886-5097 or email: Intl.Stu@tamuc.edu for more information, or the student may visit Academic Health Plans.  Due to the mandatory coverage requirements, medical and repatriation/evacuation insurance is required the entire year (including summer).

Submitting an Application (Domestic/International)

Texas A&M University-Commerce Graduate School practices open enrollment. Most programs do not require a submission deadline. For programs that do require a submission deadline, the dates are listed on the specific program area webpages. Below are the general application deadlines for international applicants:

  • To be considered for spring, the deadline is October 15
  • To be considered for summer, the deadline is March 15
  • To be considered for fall, the deadline is June 1

Applications can be submitted online at Online Application. All admission documents need to be mailed to:

Mailing Address
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Graduate School
P. O. Box 3011
Commerce, TX 75429

Physical Address
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Graduate School
2600 S. Neal St.
Commerce, TX 75428

Non-degree Student Status

Students who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, but who are not seeking a graduate degree may enroll in graduate courses for educator certification, career enhancement, a graduate certificate, or personal development may apply for non-degree admission status. International students are ineligible to enroll under non-degree student status. Financial Aid is not available for students in non-degree status.

Applicants for non-degree status must submit the following:

  1. An application for admission to non-degree status Online Application.
  2. A $50.00 nonrefundable application fee.
  3. An official bachelor’s transcript from a regionally accredited institution.

Non-degree students are not subject to the academic suspension policies applicable to degree-seeking students.

Certification Status

Students holding a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and who are not seeking a degree but are working toward a state or professionally mandated certification may enroll in graduate courses. Certification students are not subject to the academic suspension policies applicable to degree-seeking students.  Educator Certification students may be eligible for Financial Aid.

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. An application for admission to Graduate School for certification Online Application.
  2. A $50.00 non-refundable application fee.
  3. An official bachelor’s transcript from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants should consult with a departmental advisor for specific requirements.

http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/colleges/educationHumanServices/educatorCertificationAcademicServices/default.aspx

Graduate Certificates

Graduate Certificates are a planned course of study designed to meet the academic and career needs of graduate students and employed professionals in a wide variety of disciplines.  Students holding a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and who are not seeking a degree may enroll in graduate courses.  Graduate Certificate programs must follow a planned course of study with a minimum of twelve graduate semester hours and no more than twenty-four graduate semester hours.  Course substitutions will not be allowed and all courses required in a certificate program must be earned from Texas A&M University-Commerce.  Graduate School requires students to have a 3.0 GPA on all courses used for the certificate; however, departments may establish more rigorous GPA requirements.  Additional information regarding Graduate Certificates can be found online at http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/graduateSchool/programs/gradCertificates.aspx.

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. An application for admission to non-degree status  Online Application.
  2. A $50.00 non-refundable application fee.
  3. An official bachelor’s transcript from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants should consult with a departmental advisor for specific departmental requirements.

Changing from Non-Degree or Certification Status to a Degree Program

A student wishing to change status from non-degree student status to a degree program must file a new application for admission the Graduate School and satisfy all admission requirements for the specific degree program.  A student must have at least an overall Texas A&M University-Commerce graduate GPA of 3.0 in order to change from non-degree or certification status to a degree program.

No more than 12 graduate semester credit hours taken in non-degree status may be applied toward a master’s/specialist or a doctoral degree. Individual departments will make the final determination on how many semester credit hours (up to 18) a student may transfer from certification status to a master’s/specialist degree program. All students should consult with the degree granting program concerning specific departmental transfer criteria.

DegreeWorks

DegreeWorks is a web-based planning tool to help students and advisors monitor student's progress toward degree completion.  DegreeWorks is not a substitution for consultation with an academic advisor.  DegreeWorks shows the student in an easy to read format, the courses that must be completed to achieve their chosen degree.  All currently enrolled graduate students who attend Texas A&M University-Commerce should use DegreeWorks.  To generate a degree audit a student must be enrolled in the catalog year beginning fall of 2010 and forward.

Master’s/Specialist Degree Program Status

Students desiring acceptance into a graduate master’s or specialist program first must meet the general requirements for admission to Graduate School. For master’s/specialist degree students, there are three types of admission status: full, conditional, and provisional.  Financial aid is available for full and conditional admission status only.

Full Admission Status

The applicant must satisfy the following requirements for full admission status:

  1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or equivalent degree from a foreign institution. The bachelor’s degree must be substantially equivalent in content to degrees granted by Texas A&M University-Commerce.
  2. Have an overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale, or a 3.00 on the last 60 undergraduate hours.
  3. Meet all departmental requirements.
  4. GRE/GMAT Scores.  Some departments have options for meeting the GRE/GMAT requirements.

Conditional Admission Status

Applicants not qualifying for full admission may be granted conditional admission status.

Conditional status will be changed to full admission once the student has met the following requirement:

  • Complete 12 semester hours of Texas A&M University-Commerce graduate coursework with a graduate GPA of at least 3.0

Failure to achieve a 3.0 GPA after completing 12 graduate hours will result in suspension of the student from further graduate study in any degree program for 3 years.

Provisional Admission Status

Some programs will allow a student to enroll for one-semester under provisional status (initial semester of enrollment in Graduate School) with an application for admission and an application fee.  International students are not eligible for provisional admission status.

Students admitted provisionally must be sure all outstanding admission documents are received before the end of the first semester of enrollment.  Students whose files are not complete during the semester of provisional enrollment will not be permitted to enroll in future semesters until the necessary documentation is received and a full/conditional admission decision is determined.  Provisional admission status does not guarantee admission to a degree program.  Financial aid is not available for students in provisional status.

Academic Probation and Suspension from Master’s/Specialist Degree Programs

  1. Students with full admission status who fail to achieve and maintain an overall graduate GPA of 3.00 after the completion of 12 semester hours of graduate enrollment will be placed on academic probation.  A student who fails to achieve a 3.00 overall graduate GPA by the end of the next semester of enrollment will be placed on academic suspension for a period of 2 semesters (Two summer terms count as one semester).  After the academic suspension is served, the student may be allowed to re-enroll only upon the recommendation of the major Department Head and with the approval of the Graduate Dean. Failure to achieve an overall 3.00 graduate GPA during any subsequent semester of enrollment will result in suspension, and the student will not be allowed to pursue further graduate study in a degree program for 3 years.
  2. Students with conditional admission status who fail to achieve a 3.00 graduate GPA after the completion of 12 semester hours will be suspended and will not be allowed to pursue further graduate study in a degree program for 3 years.   This provision applies to all courses taken, with the exception of duplicated courses (courses with the same prefix, number, and title), in which case only the most recent grade will be used. This provision also applies to all drop/fail courses and all incomplete courses in which an “X” has changed to an “F.”
  3. Students with provisional admission status who fail to achieve a 3.00 graduate GPA after the completion of 12 semester hours will be suspended and will not be allowed to pursue further graduate study in a degree program for 3 years.
  4. Courses taken from other institutions will not be transferable if taken during a period of suspension from Texas A&M University-Commerce.
  5. A student who fails to meet the professional expectation of the field for which he/she is preparing may be suspended from further study in that program by the department administering that program.

A graduate student who has not been enrolled for a period of at least 6 years may submit a graduate petition for removal of grades after 6 years to the Dean of the Graduate School to have previous graduate grades eliminated from the calculation of the official grade point average.  No courses eliminated from such calculation could be used toward a graduate degree.

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 School, does not imply that the applicant has the necessary background to earn a degree in a specific department. To major or minor in a specific discipline, 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 their degree plan in DegreeWorks through MyLeo for specific course requirements. A student desiring to change majors, must be in academic good standing with the Graduate School, 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. Twelve semester hours in a second subject area (designated by the course prefix) constitute a minor.  In addition, a set of related courses for a specific area may be submitted for approval as a minor through the curriculum change process.  Completion of a minor is not a mandatory requirement.  Students receiving a minor may be required to satisfy candidacy and are required to meet the 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 School regarding this requirement.
  • Grade Point Average. A overall grade point average of 3.00 or better on all graduate work completed at Texas A&M University-Commerce and an overall GPA of 3.00 or better on all graduate work taken toward the graduate degree program 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/specialist 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 the Graduate School 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.  A master's/specialist student who has not been enrolled for 1 calendar year must apply for readmission under current admission & program standards for master's/specialist programs.
  • 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/specialist 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.
    • An overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better on all graduate work completed at Texas A&M University-Commerce and an overall GPA of 3.00 or better on all graduate work taken toward the graduate degree program.

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 Graduate School prior to the semester in which the student 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 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 Graduate School. 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 Graduate School to be eligible to take the final examination. The Final Comprehensive Examination Report form must be submitted to the Graduate School prior to graduation according to the https://ems.tamuc.edu/MasterCalendar/MasterCalendar.aspx.  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 the Graduate School.
  • 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 School. Please check the University Academic Calendar for deadline dates for filing. Graduation information is available online at http://www.tamuc.edu/admissions/registrar/default.aspx  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 3.00 or better
    • Overall graduate GPA of 3.00 or better on all graduate work taken toward the graduate degree program
    • 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.  In addition, all courses from A&M - Commerce with a grade of X or IP must be completed before a degree can be awarded, even if the courses are not used in the program.

Earning Graduate Credit

Graduate Courses

Graduate courses that are applied toward a masters/specialist degree are numbered 500, 600, 700, 5000, and 6000.  Course requirements for specific degree programs can be found in the academic department section of this catalog.

Undergraduate Courses Taken for Graduate Credit

Under some circumstances a student may take a 300 or 400 level course for graduate credit. In such cases a student will be expected to complete additional work beyond the normal course requirements at a level commensurate with graduate instruction. In order to obtain graduate credit for a 300 or 400 level course, the student must, prior to enrollment, submit a Graduate Credit for a 300 or 400 Level Course form with a copy of the course syllabus detailing the additional requirements for graduate credit to the Graduate School for final approval by the Dean of the Graduate School.  In addition, the syllabus must include enhanced learning outcomes for the graduate student. Up to two such courses may be applied toward a master’s/specialist degree, and courses are not applicable to a doctoral degree.  The course must be taught by a Graduate Faculty member.

Graduate Credit for a 300 or 400 Level Course form: http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/graduateSchool/graduateForms.aspx

Transfer of Credit and Experiential Credit

Up to one-third of the credit required for a master’s/specialist degree program (excluding leveling courses) may be accepted as transfer credit from another regionally accredited institution in the United States. For example, a maximum of 12 graduate semester hours can be transferred for a 36-hour program; for a 30-hour program, a maximum of 9 graduate hours can be transferred.  Transfer courses applied toward a master’s/specialist degree must be in a graduate academic area taught at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

  • Transfer credit will be granted for only those courses in which the student received a grade of “B” or better.  Courses with a grade of P or S are acceptable when the transcript legend on the official transcript states the P or S grade is equivalent to a B or better.
  • 595 or 518 courses must be taken at Texas A&M University-Commerce and cannot be transferred from another institution.
  • Only grades earned at Texas A&M University-Commerce will be calculated into the student’s grade point average.
  • Time limitations on transfer courses are the same as Texas A&M University-Commerce courses.
    • All work for the masters/specialist degree must be completed during the 6 years immediately preceding the date on which the degree is to be awarded.
  • Transfer courses will only be used from a regionally accredited university.

Students desiring to use transfer courses toward their degree requirements must have full or conditional admission to a degree program.  A transfer request must be submitted and approved by the student's Academic Advisor via the Transfer Course Request form.  An official transcript must be sent directly from the institution to the Graduate School.  These courses will be evaluated and, if approved, posted to the Texas A&M University-Commerce transcript. Approval from both the major department and the Dean of the Graduate School is required before these courses can be applied toward a master’s/specialist degree.

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.

Experiential credit is limited to one-third of the hours required for an A&M-Commerce master's/specialist program.  The remainder of the graduate program must consist of coursework completed at A&M-Commerce.  Awarding of this credit will be based solely on experiential learning that is part of an official agreement between the University and another national, state, or regionally accredited institution or certifying agency.

The combination of experiential credit, transfer credit, or credit from a previous A&M-Commerce graduate degree is limited to one-third of the hours required for an A&M-Commerce master's/specialist program.  The remainder of the graduate program must consist of coursework completed at A&M-Commerce.

Correspondence Courses

Credit earned by correspondence will not apply toward a master’s/specialist degree.

Seniors in Graduate Courses

Texas A&M University-Commerce seniors in their last semester of coursework, who lack no more than 12 hours to graduate and have an overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or higher, may enroll for 3 to 6 hours of graduate credit.  Prior written recommendation from the major undergraduate department head and approval by the Dean of the Graduate School is required.

  1. Graduate hours taken cannot apply toward an undergraduate degree.
  2. The maximum load for seniors who register for graduate and undergraduate credit is 12 credit hours per semester or 6 hours per summer term.

Independent Studies Courses

The maximum number of individually arranged courses ("589" and "689") permissible toward a master's/specialist degree program is 25% of the required coursework.  Doctoral degree programs (excluding master's credit) are limited to 12 semester hours.

Enrollment Limitation or Administrative Withdrawal

Enrollment in any graduate course is subject to approval by the academic dean, the department offering the course, the instructor teaching the course, and the Dean of the Graduate School, whether or not such is specifically stated in the course description. A student may be prevented from enrolling in the course or dropped from the course if the student is not academically qualified, becomes a threat to the health and/or safety of anyone in the class (including the student), interferes with the educational process, and/or is disruptive in any way. In such cases, the Graduate Dean will confer with the faculty member, Department Head, and academic dean involved and then take appropriate action. Any tuition refund to which the student is entitled will be determined according to the University schedule for refunds and will be based on the date in which the student was dropped from the course.

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 School 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.

Thesis Process

The thesis proposal process is a major step in the academic history of a master/specialist student completing a thesis at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Below are guidelines to help the student navigate through this important time. Students are expected to uphold the highest standards of research conduct and strictly adhere to all federal, state, and local regulations involving research.

The Office of Thesis and Dissertation Services (OTDS) is responsible for the development of supportive services for graduate students writing theses and dissertations, as well as reviewing all theses and dissertations.  Services provided are training and support to faculty, students, and staff including materials and approaches to fit each unique discipline.  The Office of Thesis and Dissertation Services is located on the second floor of the McDowell Business Administration Building in rooms 250C.

To ensure integrity and compliance in research, all students involved in research activities must successfully complete training in Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship (http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/training/Responsible-Conduct-in-Research.aspx). Additional training is required for individuals (see #2 in below section: To be able to propose the thesis) whose research involves human/animal subjects or biological agents.  Graduate students whose research involves human subjects, animals, infectious biohazards and recombinant DNA must adhere to the University research compliance procedures.  For questions or clarification about the student's responsibilities regarding research compliance, please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 903-886-5766.  Additional information is located online at http://www.tamuc.edu/Research/.

In order to submit a proposal to OTDS, a student must have committee approval and meet research compliance requirements, including IRB, IACUC, or IBC approval if applicable.  Students may not begin collecting data for their study until they have received proposal approval from OTDS.  Any data collected prior to OTDS approval is an ethical violation and the use of those data will be disallowed.

 To be able to propose the thesis:

  1. Students must complete the online training for Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship (http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/training/Responsible-Conduct-in-Research.aspx).  This training is required of all students and is good for three (3) years.
  2. Students must complete the following if the proposed research/study involves:
    1. Human Subjects: Human Subjects research is defined as a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalized knowledge, which involves the collection of data from or about living human beings.  In addition, all student research involving human subjects outside the classroom is considered to be in this category (see: http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/training/protection-human-subjects-training.aspx).
      1. Students must complete the Human Subjects online training and gain approval for the inclusion of human subjects in their research /study from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects.  The online training can be accessed at the following website: (http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/training/protection-human-subjects-training.aspx).
      2. Students must gain IRB approval for their study.  The process to gain approval from the IRB includes protocol application completion, submission, the revisions (if required by the Departmental IRB Representative and/or IRB) of the IRB protocol form see: (http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/training/protection-human-subjects-training.aspx).  IRB protocol forms must be submitted to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs through their faculty advisor.  Final approval for the inclusion of human subjects in their research/study rests with the IRB.
    2. Animal Subjects: Animal subjects are defined as any live, vertebrate animal (see: http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/training/AnimalCareInstructions.aspx).
      1. Students must complete the Animal Subjects online training and gain approval for the inclusion of animal subjects in their research/study from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.  The online training can be accessed at the following website: (http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/training/AnimalCareInstructions.aspx).
      2. Students must gain IACUC approval for their study.  The process to gain approval from the IACUC includes protocol application completion, submission, and revisions (if required by the IACUC) of the IACUC protocol form (see Research Protocols Form A at (http://www.tamuc.edu/research/animalCare.aspx).  IACUC protocol forms must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Programs.  Final approval for the inclusion of animal subjects in students research/study rests with the IACUC.
    3. Biological Agents: If a student conducts research involving any of the agents/materials listed below, the student must have approval from the Texas A&M University-Commerce Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) prior to initiation of the research: (see: http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/training/biosafetybiosecurity.aspx).
           Pathogens and potential pathogens of humans, animals or plants;
           Materials potentially containing human pathogens (including human and non-human primate blood, tissue, and cell lines);
           Recombinant DNA and RNA including creation or use of transgenic plants and animals;
           Select agents and toxics listed by CDC;
           Any material requiring a CDC license to import or a USDA permit;
      1. Student must complete Biosafety training online and gain approval from the IBC before commencing any work.  On-line training can be accessed at http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/training/biosafetybiosecurity.aspx.
      2. The IBC approval for students study includes training, self-assessments, safety concerns, required biosafety levels, risk, analysis and emergency procedures.  The detailed information can be found under Office of Research Sponsored Programs website.  Final approval rests with the IBC, and the approval must be included in students' application package.

TO GAIN PROPOSAL APPROVAL

Submit the thesis proposal and required forms electronically to The Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services (OTDS@tamuc.edu). Students must gain proposal approval from OTDS at least one semester prior to the semester they defend and submit their final thesis for approval.  Before collecting any data a student must have OTDS approval, which includes completion and submission of the following.

  • Ethics Training (CITI trainings, i.e., RCR)
  • IRB, IACUC, or IBC Approval (if applicable)
  • Committee, Department Head, Dean of College, and Dean of the Graduate School Approval.

Lastly, it is the student's responsibility to submit his or her proposal and all required documents (listed below) to the Office of Thesis and Dissertation Services.

  • Thesis proposal (Word format)
  • Thesis proposal approval form
  • Advisor's approval to submit form
  • CITI trainings
  • IRB, IACUC, or IBC Approval letter (if applicable) see Research Compliance.
  • iThenticate similarity report and score justification (if similarity score is above 12%

Submission of Thesis

Notification of the Thesis defense. A Notification of Thesis Defense form must be sent to the Office of Thesis and Dissertation Services (OTDS@tamuc.edu) at least 7 days prior to the date the defense is to be held.  Refer to University Academic Calendar for thesis defense deadline if graduating in current semester.  It is the responsibility of the student to collect all required signatures and to submit the completed form to OTDS.

Thesis Defense. The student will defend the completed thesis before the advisory committee.  Following a successful defense and acceptance by the advisory committee, the student will submit the final thesis.  Thesis Final Defense Report, and all other required forms (including all signatures except Dean of the Graduate School), to the Office of Thesis and Dissertation Services.  Students must be in good academic standing with the Graduate School to be eligible to defend.

Initial Submission of Final Thesis:  Initial submission of final thesis must be made by the deadline in the University Academic Calendar for the semester the student wishes to graduate.  All required documents listed below must accompany the final thesis.  The candidate will be contacted with any changes to the thesis. After making these changes, and gaining advisor's approval, the student will resubmit their corrected thesis for final approval.   Once the Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services (OTDS) has given final approval of the thesis, the student will upload the thesis to ProQuest and pay for publishing, binding and copyrighting (if applicable).  Three copies will be bound and distributed to the student’s major department, major advisor, and the library.  The student may order more copies through ProQuest.

  • Initial submission. One copy of the thesis in its final form must be electronically submitted to the OTDS by the deadline indicated in the University Academic Calendar or the Graduate Catalog for that particular semester (this deadline is approximately 6 weeks prior to commencement). Accompanying this copy will be the following:
    • Comprehensive Exam Report
    • Thesis Final Defense Report
    • Advisor's Approval to Submit Thesis
    • forms page
    • iThenticate similarity report and score justification (if score is above 12%

   It is the student's responsibility to submit his or her proposal and all required documents to the Office of Thesis and Dissertation Services.

  • Final Approval.  Approval of the thesis rests with the Dean of the Graduate School.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Texas A&M University-Commerce offers the following Doctor of Education (EdD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree programs:

  1. EdD in Educational Administration
  2. EdD in Higher Education
  3. EdD in Supervision, Curriculum, and Instruction—Elementary Education
  4. PhD in Counseling
  5. PhD in Educational Psychology
  6. PhD in English

Admission to Doctoral Degree Programs

Students desiring acceptance into a doctoral program must meet the general requirements for admission; have an overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale, or a 3.00 on the last 60 undergraduate semester credit hours, or a 3.40 for a master’s degree and work beyond the master’s level; and must meet all departmental requirements, such as GRE, letter of recommendation, interviews, etc.

Individual departments may establish additional requirements for admission to a specific degree program. Applicants will be required to fulfill any additional requirements established by the major department.

Applications of students who have met the requirements listed above will be forwarded to the major department. The department will review each application and make a recommendation regarding admission status to the Dean of the Graduate School who will send written notice of the admission decision to the applicant.

A student is either granted full admission or denied admission. There is no provisional or conditional admission status.

A doctoral student who has not enrolled for 5 calendar years must apply for readmission under current admission and program standards for doctoral programs.

Some departments have specific dates for the departmental review of applications.  Applications submission deadlines are available online at http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/graduateSchool/graduateAdmissions/default.aspx.

Requirements for the Doctoral Degree

DegreeWorks

DegreeWorks is a web-based planning tool to help students and advisors monitor student's progress toward degree completion.  DegreeWorks is not a substitution for consultation with an academic advisor.  DegreeWorks shows the student in an easy to read format, the courses that must be completed to achieve their chosen degree.  All currently enrolled graduate students who attend Texas A&M University-Commerce should use DegreeWorks. 

Course Requirements

A minimum of 90 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree or 60 semester hours beyond the master’s degree is required for the doctoral degree. At least 45 hours of graduate course credit must be earned from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Master's level 595 research courses cannot be used toward a doctoral program.  All courses applied toward a doctoral degree must be 500-level or higher. Undergraduate courses taken for graduate credit are not applicable to a doctoral degree.  No more than 12 graduate semester credit hours (including hours completed in non-degree status) beyond the master’s degree taken prior to admission to a doctoral program can be applied toward a doctoral degree.

  1. Major. A major requires at least 36 semester hours excluding dissertation hours (718); however, a specific program may require additional semester hours for a major. (Specific program requirements are listed under each departmental section of this catalog.)
  2. Minor. Students selecting the 60 hours beyond the master’s degree option are not required to have a minor. A minor consisting of a minimum of 30 semester hours is required in all 90-hour programs except counseling, educational psychology, and English programs. The minor requirement can be fulfilled by one of the following options:
    1. A comprehensive minor with all course work in one academic area. A committee member will be assigned from the academic area and will determine the courses to be taken and be involved in evaluating the written and oral qualifying examinations, the dissertation, and the dissertation defense.
    2. A split minor of two academic areas with at least 12 hours in each area (a 12-18 or 15-15 format). Committee members will be assigned from both academic areas, and they will determine the courses to be taken and to be involved in the written and oral qualifying examinations, the dissertation, and the dissertation defense.
    3. An interdisciplinary studies minor in three academic areas (a 12-9-9 format). In rare cases, an interdisciplinary studies minor consisting of at least 9 hours in each of three academic areas may be approved. Committee members will be assigned from each of the academic areas, and will be involved in the written and oral qualifying examination, the dissertation proposal, and the dissertation defense.

Regardless of the option chosen the following conditions will apply: assignment of minor advisors rests with the head of the minor department or departments; all courses applied to the minor areas must be approved by the head of the appropriate minor department; at least one committee member must be from outside the student’s major department; transfer courses applied toward a minor must be in academic areas taught at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Other Requirements:

Credit for no fewer than nine semester hours and not more than 12 semester hours of dissertation (718) will be given.

Electives and other course requirements as indicated under each departmental section of this catalog.

Specific program requirements are listed under each departmental section of this catalog.

Grade Point Average. A grade point average of 3.00 or better on all graduate work completed at Texas A&M University-Commerce and an overall grade point average 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 toward graduation and computation of the overall grade point average. No grade of “C” or below will count toward a doctoral degree. A course in which an “F” is received is considered a course completed. Only grades earned at Texas A&M University-Commerce will be calculated into student’s grade point average.

Academic Probation and Suspension from Doctoral Degree Programs. A student who fails to achieve and maintain an overall 3.00 graduate grade point average during any semester of enrollment will be placed on academic probation. A student who fails to achieve a 3.00 overall graduate grade point average by the end of the next semester of enrollment will be placed on academic suspension for a minimum of two semesters (two summer terms count as one semester). After the academic suspension is served, the student may be allowed to re-enroll only upon the recommendation of the major department and with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. Failure to achieve an overall 3.00 graduate grade point average during any subsequent semester of enrollment will result in dismissal, and the student will not be allowed to pursue further study toward the doctoral degree at Texas A&M University-Commerce. No course with a grade of “C” or lower will count toward a doctoral degree. A student receiving a grade of “C” or lower in a third graduate course will be suspended and will not be allowed to pursue further doctoral study at Texas A&M University-Commerce. This provision applies to all courses taken, including all duplicated courses. Courses taken from other institutions will not be transferable if taken during a period of suspension from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Students on academic suspension from another institution will not be admitted to Texas A&M University-Commerce until their specific period of suspension expires. A student who fails to meet the professional expectations of the field for which they are preparing may be suspended from further study in that program by the department administering that program.

A doctoral student who has not been enrolled for a period of at least 6 years may submit a graduate petition for removal of grades after 6 years to the Dean of the Graduate School to have previous graduate grades eliminated from the calculation of the official grade point average.  No courses eliminated from such calculation could be used toward a graduate degree.

Doctoral Degree Residency. After admission to a doctoral degree program, each student is required to engage in activities that fulfill departmental residency requirements. The departmental residency plan specifies requirements in the following areas:

  1. Involvement in events that broaden intellectual growth.
  2. Use of academic support resources.
  3. Faculty-student interactions that promote scholarship, mentoring, and opportunities for evaluation.
  4. Involvement with cognate disciplines and research scholars in those disciplines.
  5. Engagement in meaningful peer interactions.
    Please check with the major department for specific requirements. Successful completion of residency is conferred by approval of the department.

Time Limitation. Course work taken beyond the master’s degree that is over 10 years old at the time the doctoral degree is to be conferred cannot be used toward the doctoral degree.  A doctoral student who has not enrolled for 5 calendar years must apply for readmission under current admission and program standards for doctoral programs.

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 doctoral degree program and the semester the student’s degree is conferred, provided the catalog used is not more than 10 years old at the time the degree is conferred.

Research Tools. All research tools courses must be taken at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Candidates for the doctoral degree must possess proficiency in the use of the research skills necessary to successfully complete the doctoral dissertation.  Research tool courses must include bibliographic research skills, so that the candidates are able to find, evaluate, use, and communicate information in all its various formats.  It is desirable for students to demonstrate these proficiencies early in their program; however, if that is not possible, students should demonstrate such proficiency prior to taking the qualifying examinations.

Research tools requirements for doctoral degrees in the College of Education and Human Services can be met by successfully completing required coursework.

  • The Doctor of Education (EdD) requires 12 hours of prescribed coursework.
  • The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) requires 15 hours of prescribed coursework.
  • Courses must be completed with a grade of B or better.
  • Only doctoral research tool courses approved in advance of their offering, by the Graduate Council can be used to satisfy this requirement.
  • These course requirements cannot be met through individual studies courses.

The research tools requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in English can be met with any of the following options:

  1. Twelve semester hours of college-level classes in one foreign language, as verified by official transcript, or
  2. Successful completion of a foreign language reading exam, as assessed by departmental faculty and written verification sent to the Graduate School, or
  3. Verified native or near-native competence in a second language, as assessed by departmental oral examination and written verification sent to the Graduate School, or
  4. Completion of any four of the following courses, with a grade of B or above: ENG 501, ENG 520, ENG 599, ENG 613, ENG 686, ENG 710, ENG 780, PSY 612.

These requirements are to be viewed as minimal requirements.  Consequently, a department may require additional research tool courses either for all of their students or as a requirement for an individual student based upon that student's need.

Students cannot be admitted to doctoral candidacy until the research tools requirement has been met.

Qualifying Examinations. Upon the completion of approximately 2 full years of study, doctoral students take written and oral qualifying examinations. The qualifying examinations are designed to test the student’s knowledge in the major and minor fields and are administered under the direction of an advisory committee consisting of representatives from the major and minor departments. An application for taking qualifying examinations and a current Texas A&M University-Commerce transcript must be submitted to the major department at least 3 weeks prior to the examinations. An applicant who does not pass the qualifying examinations may be suspended from the doctoral program, or upon the recommendation of the advisory committee and with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, may be permitted to repeat the examinations.  It is the students responsibility to submit all documents to the Graduate School.

Admission to Candidacy for Doctoral Degree. After the qualifying examinations and all research tools have been satisfactorily completed and all requirements have been verified by the Graduate School, the student will be admitted to candidacy. Notification of admission to candidacy will be made by the Dean of the Graduate School.  After a student has been admitted to candidacy and all course work (except 718 Dissertation) has been completed, the student may qualify for reduced tuition for a 718. The degree can be conferred no sooner than 8 months after admission to candidacy.

Dissertation Committee.  A doctoral advisory committee will be appointed for each doctoral student to oversee the dissertation process from initial proposal to completion. After consulting with the student and the faculty member in question, the head of the major department will appoint one faculty member from the major field as the dissertation advisor. After consultation with the advisor and the student, the Department Head will approve at least one or two other department members to serve on the committee, as well as an outside member.  The committee will consist of a minimum of three faculty members from the student’s major and minor areas of study with at least one committee member from outside the student’s major department University Procedure 11.04.99.R0.23 Doctoral Advisory Committees and Dissertations.  Once the committee has been formed, the Department Head will submit the Dissertation Committee Form to OTDS.

Process to Schedule Dissertation Proposal Defense.  Scheduling of the dissertation proposal defense is a major step in the academic history of a doctoral student at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Below are guidelines to help students navigate through this important time. Students are expected to uphold the highest standards of research conduct and strictly adhere to all federal, state, and local regulations involving research.

To ensure integrity and compliance in research, all students involved in research activities must successfully complete training in Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/training/Responsible-Conduct-in-Research.aspx. Additional training is required for students (see #2 in below section: To be able to schedule proposal defense) whose research involves human subjects and must adhere to the University research compliance procedures.  For questions or clarification about the student's responsibilities regarding research compliance, please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 903-886-5766.  Additional information is located online at http://www.tamuc.edu/Research/.

To be able to schedule proposal defense:

  1. Students must complete the online training for Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/training/Responsible-Conduct-in-Research.aspx before the student can submit their schedule form. This training is required of all doctoral students and is good for three (3) years.
  2. Student must complete the following if their proposed research/study involves:
    1. Human Subjects: Human Subjects research is defined as a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalize knowledge, which involves the collection of data from or about living human beings. In addition, all student research involving human subjects outside the classroom is considered to be in this category see http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/humanSubjectsIRB.aspx.
      1. Student must complete the Human Subjects online training and gain approval for the inclusion of human subjects in their research/study from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects. The online training can be accessed at the following website: http://www.tamuc.edu/research/compliance/humanSubjectsIRB.aspx
      2. Student must gain IRB approval for their study. The process to gain approval from the IRB includes protocol application completion, submission, and revisions (if required by the Departmental IRB Representative and/or IRB) of the IRB protocol form see http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/graduateSchool/graduateForms.aspx. IRB protocol forms must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Programs through the departmental IRB representative. Final approval for the inclusion of human subjects in students research/study rests with the IRB. Attach IRB approval email to schedule form
  3. Submit the Schedule Form for the Proposal Defense (fully filled out and signed) to the Graduate School by the 20th of the month preceding the month in which the presentation of the Dissertation Proposal Defense is to be held.  Should the 20th fall on Saturday or Sunday, the form must be filed on the Friday prior to the 20th.  It is the responsibility of the student to collect all required signatures, and to submit the completed form to the Graduate School.
  4. Proposal. The student will work with the members of the advisory committee in developing the dissertation proposal.  The proposal will be presented to the advisory committee in a session that will be open to all Graduate Faculty Members.  The student must gain proposal approval at least one semester prior to graduation.  After the proposal, students must submit their proposal to the Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services (OTDS) for approval.  In order to submit a proposal to OTDS, a student must have committee approval and meet research compliance requirements, including IRB approval if applicable.  Students may not begin collecting data for their study until they have received proposal approval from OTDS.  Any data collected prior to OTDS approval is an ethical violation and the use of those data will be disallowed.  It is the responsibility of the student to submit his or her proposal and all required documents to the Office of Thesis and Dissertation Services.  The following items must be included with a proposal submission to OTDS:
    1. Dissertation Proposal (Word document)
    2. Proposal Approval Form
    3. Advisor's Approval to Submit Form
    4. A copy of all required training certificates and IRB approval (if applicable)
    5. iThenticate similarity report and score justification (if score is above 12%)

​Again, before collecting any data you must have OTDS approval, which includes completion of the following:

  • Ethics Training (CITI trainings, i.e., RCR)
  • IRB, IACUC, or IBC Approval (if applicable)
  • Committee, Department Head, Dean of College, and Dean of the Graduate School Approval.

Lastly, it is the students responsibility to submit his or her proposal and all required documents to the Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services.

Dissertation Credit. After admission to candidacy, the student is required to enroll in at least 3 hours of 718 each fall and spring semester until the dissertation is completed and approved by the advisory committee and Graduate School.  Enrollment during the summer term is not required unless the student is using the counsel of the major advisor and/or University facilities.  Students who fail to enroll for dissertation during a fall or spring semester after admission to candidacy will be prohibited from enrolling until the tuition has been paid for those semesters.

Scheduling the Dissertation Defense. A completed and signed: Schedule for Final Dissertation form must be filed in the Graduate School by the 20th day of the month prior to the month the defense is to be held.   Refer to the University Academic Calendar for dissertation defense deadline if graduating in the current semester.  It is the responsibility of the student to collect all required signatures, and to submit the completed form to Graduate School. 

Dissertation Defense. The student will defend the completed dissertation and respond to any questions related to his/her program of study before the advisory committee in a session open to all Graduate Faculty Members.  Students must be in good academic standing with the Graduate School to be eligible to defend.

Submission of Dissertation. Registration in the dissertation course (718) is required the semester that the dissertation is submitted.  It is the responsibility of the student to submit his or her dissertation and all required documents to the Office of Thesis and Dissertation Services.  A dissertation and required forms must be submitted to the Office of Thesis & Dissertation Services (OTDS) by the deadline indicated in the University Academic Calendar for that particular semester (this deadline is approximately 6 weeks prior to commencement).  It is the student's responsibility to submit his or her dissertation and all required documents to the OTDS.  Submit the following items:

  • Final Dissertation (Word document)
  • Final Examination/Dissertation Defense Report
  • Survey of Earned Doctorates (required for PhD students only, not EdD students)
  • Advisor's Approval to Submit Form
  • Dissertation Information Sheet
  • iThenticate similarity report and score justification (if score is above 12%)

The candidate will be contacted with any changes to the manuscript.  After making these changes, and gaining the advisor's approval, the student will resubmit the corrected dissertation for final approval (final approval of the dissertation rests with the Dean of the Graduate School).  Once the Office of Thesis and Dissertation Services has given final approval of the dissertation the student will upload the dissertation to ProQuest and pay for publishing, binding, and copyrighting (if applicable). Three copies will be bound and distributed to the student's major department, major advisor and the library. The student may order more copies through ProQuest.  Once OTDS has given full approval of the dissertation the student will upload his or her dissertation to ProQuest.

Filing for Graduation.  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 completed all degree requirements satisfactorily, have been approved by the Graduate Committee of the department, and the Graduate School. Please check the University Academic Calendar for deadline dates for filing. Graduation information and a graduation application are available online at http://www.tamuc.edu/admissions/registrar/default.aspx.  Students may apply for graduation 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 degree requirements.

Earning Graduate Credit

Transfer of Credit

Transfer courses applied to a doctoral degree must be in a graduate academic area taught by Texas A&M University-Commerce.  Credit for graduate coursework taken from other regionally accredited graduate schools in the United States is granted in accordance with approval by the student's advisory committee and evaluation by the Graduate School.  Time limitations on transfer courses are the same as for A&M-Commerce courses. Research tool courses must be taken at Texas A&M University-Commerce and are not allowed to be transferred.  Transfer credit will be granted for only those courses in which the student received a grade of “B” or better.

Experiential Credit

Experiential credit is limited to one-third of the hours required for an A&M-Commerce master's/specialist program.  The remainder of the graduate program must consist of coursework completed at A&M-Commerce.  Awarding of this credit will be based solely on experiential learning that is part of an official agreement between the University and another national, state, or regionally accredited institution or certifying agency.

The combination of experiential credit, transfer credit, or credit from a previous A&M-Commerce graduate degree is limited to one-third of the hours required for an A&M-Commerce master's/specialist program.  The remainder of the graduate program must consist of coursework completed at A&M-Commerce.

Correspondence Courses

 Credit earned by correspondence will not apply toward a doctoral degree.

Independent Studies

Registration in an individual studies (589 or 689), research, or similar course shall imply an expected level of effort on the part of the student comparable to that associated with an organized class with the same credit value. No more than twelve graduate semester credit hours (including master’s credit) of individual studies courses may be applied to a doctoral degree. Independent Studies course credit cannot be used toward fulfilling the residency requirement.

Enrollment Limitation or Administrative Withdrawal

Enrollment in any graduate course is subject to approval by the department offering the course, the instructor teaching the course, and the Dean of the Graduate School, whether or not such is specifically stated in the course description. A student may be prevented from enrolling in the course or dropped from the course if it is already in progress if the Graduate Dean, Department Head, or a faculty member considers the student physically or mentally incapable of performing satisfactorily or safely in a course, or if the student becomes a threat to the instructor or others in the course or is disruptive in any way. In such cases, the Graduate Dean will confer with the faculty member and Department Head involved and then take appropriate action. Any tuition refund to which the student is entitled will be determined according to the University schedule for refunds and will be based on the date on which the student was dropped from the course.