Here we provide an overview of the journey towards a master's degree in our program. More details are provided elsewhere on our departmental website; the major ones are noted below.
The first step is, of course, being admitted to the program. For details on the process, refer to Admissions Requirements. As program faculty we make admission decisions based on a combination of factors:
Overall we try to assess your ability to complete this program successfully and look for a "goodness of fit" between you and this program. And we expect that you, during the admissions process, will also be assessing us to make your own judgment about how well our program will enable you to accomplish your goals.
Entering the Program
A New Student Orientation will be scheduled before your first semester and you will be required to attend. You will be assigned one of the Adult Education faculty as your Temporary Chair and you are encouraged to work with this professor in making decisions about what courses to take each semester. Course registration is assessible online at http://register.tamu.edu, but we urge you to consult with your Temporary Chair before registering. For more information, refer to the Department Master's Handbook.
This degree requires a minimum of 36 hours of course work. To make our program accessible we have scheduled most of the courses for fall and spring semesters on a five-weekend format with web-based instruction in between; two courses will be offered each semester, one on Fridays, and the other on Saturdays, each in a 6-hour block. Some electives will be available by TTVN (a compressed-video system) to sites in Houston and San Antonio; a few will be on-line courses. It is possible to begin the program in any semester. Students who take 6 hours each semester and in the summers can complete the degree in two years. For more detail information, go to Required Courses.
Filing a Degree Plan and Choosing your Master's Committee
Before the completion of 15 hours of coursework, you are required to file a degree plan. You will be required to file the degree plan online from the Offiice of Graduate Studies Website. This is a list of the courses, both what you've taken and what you plan to take, that will make up the 36 hours required for the masters degree. For an example, review the Sample Master's Degree Plan.
In filing your degree plan you also identify your master's committee. The University requires that the chair be a professor in the program, and one member must be from outside the department; the other member can be program faculty or other faculty in or outside of the department. For more information, refer to the Department Master's Handbook.
To satisfy the University residency requirement, students must enroll for 9 hours during one semester of their program. Six hours must be courses taught on campus (a directed study qualifies as an on-campus course); the third can be an online course or taken through TTVN. We work with our students to design a reasonable way to meet this requirement. For more information, refer to the Department Master's Handbook.
Final Oral Examination
Upon completion of their 36 hours of coursework students must pass an oral examination with their committee. This exam must be scheduled by the OGS deadlines for the intended semester for graduation. A calendar of deadlines can be found on the Office of Graduate Studies Website. At least three weeks prior to the confirmed date and time, you must contact the Office of Academic Advising to schedule a room for the examination. Notification will be sent out to the committee members and a copy will be sent to you. In this meeting, your committee will ask questions in regards to your completed program.
This is a happy day for all of us! As you step on stage you will receive your degree, then be congratulated by the President of Texas A&M and the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development. Your chair will greet you as you leave the stage, then the celebrating will begin!