Advisory and Examining Committee

Upon admission to graduate standing, students are assigned a temporary Advisor by the graduate program. At the completion of twelve (12) graduate credits, the student selects a permanent advisor who shall chair the student's advisory/examining committee. The student and the permanent advisor arrange the appointment of the remaining members of the student's advisory/examining committee. This committee, along with the graduate director of the program, supervises the student's course of study and examinations.

Committee Composition

Advisory/examining committees consist of at least three (3) members of the Graduate Faculty. Two (2) faculty members, not necessarily from the student's department, represent the student's area of specialization and one (1) faculty member is selected to serve as the Graduate School Representative. Students may request the appointment of a committee member from the faculty of another university or from a relevant discipline or profession, provided the prospective member has achieved a record of distinction. Formal approval of the student's advisory/examining committee is made by the Graduate Dean.

The Role of the Advisory/Examining Committee Members

All advisory/ examining committee members are involved in the approval of the student's program of study and in the topic design of the thesis/dissertation and in the conduct of all examinations.

The Role of Graduate School Representative Committee Members

All graduate school representative committee members are to represent the Graduate School, assure compliance with Graduate School regulations and procedures, and report any deviations from prescribed standards to the Graduate School.

The Master of Business Administration and the Master of Accountancy programs do not use the usual committee structure. For details refer to the graduate programs information in the College of Business section of the catalog.

  1. Program of Study
      1. Advanced degrees are conferred by the university upon the recommendation of the graduate faculty and the Graduate Dean, following the completion of an approved Program
      2. of Study Form. The approved program of study describes
      3. the student's specific plan of courses, research, and related activities. The graduate student's advisor, the graduate director of the program, and the advisory/ examining committee
      4. determine the program of study for each degree candidate.
      5. This includes the thesis/professional paper and the acceptable courses for completion of the degree. The Graduate Dean has
      6. final approval of the program of study. Only graduate courses
      7. are applicable toward the graduate degree. Graduate courses are those numbered 600 and 700.


Subsequent changes may be made at any time via the online Change in Program of Study Form or Change of Advisory Committee Form, but only with the approval of the major advisor, graduate director of the program, and the Graduate Dean.

It is the responsibility of the student and the advisory/ examining committee to ensure that the graduate courses in the proposed program of study are consistent with the requirements of the Graduate School and the department.

Additional Courses

The student's advisory/examining committee may require the student to take additional courses if, in its opinion, additional training is needed to achieve the expected level of proficiency. Students should consult individual departments to find out the specific requirements for completing the master's degree through either a thesis or non-thesis program.

Program of Study Course Limitations

A maximum of nine (9) graduate semester credits completed prior to admission to graduate standing may be applied to a master's degree program of study. These credits are subject to the approval of the advisory committee and the Graduate Dean. Credits completed during the semester in which the student is approved for admission (as indicated by appropriate recommendation by the Graduate Program Director on the NOLIJ Admission Data Sheet - the date of admissions being the date the admissions letter is signed by th Graduate Dean) are exempt from the nine (9) credit graduate special limitations.

S/U Grades: A maximum of three (3) graduate credits towards a master's degree of satisfactory/ unsatisfactory (S/U) grading, in addition to the S/U credits allowed for the comprehensive examination, including transfer credits, is acceptable. For graduate courses, a grade of "S" indicates achievement equivalent to a "B" or above. The grade of "U" represents performance equivalent to a "B-" or below.

A maximum of six (6) graduate credits of S/U grades, in addition to the S/U credits for the comprehensive examination, may apply to the master degrees offered by the College of Education.

Thesis Credits: A maximum of six (6) thesis credits may be applied to a master's degree. Final credits for thesis are not officially recorded until the candidate is approved by the faculty for the graduate degree via the online Master's Notice of Completion Form.

Extension Courses: Graduate credits earned through extension courses are not accepted for transfer credit.

Correspondence Study: No graduate credit is allowed for correspondence study completed at another university.

Professional Courses: Generally course work from a professional degree (i.e. Medicine, Law) are not considered graduate level and not accepted for credit.

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