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Culminating Project Options

Plan A

Understanding Plan A: Thesis or Creative Work

Master degree students according to their program requirements may choose to complete a thesis or a creative work to meet Plan A requirements.

Plan A: Preparation of a Thesis
The following procedures and regulations govern the preparation of a thesis:

  • A master's thesis is carried out under the supervision of the committee appointed at the preliminary conference consisting of the student's adviser, a graduate faculty member from the major department, and another graduate faculty member from a related department (approved by the graduate dean) chosen on the basis of potential advisory value in the area of the research undertaken. This committee comprises the membership of the student's final evaluation committee.
  • To register for a master's thesis, the student is required to have an individual study approval form signed by his/her adviser before attempting to register in the Office of Records and Registration, 118 Administrative Services Building. The individual study approval form can be found on-line at http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/stuForms.asp. The credits for a thesis may be spread over more than one registration period. If a student elects to do this, an individual study approval form will be needed each semester they register for additional credits. These can be obtained through the Office of Records and Registration. Consult the department program requirements and course lists for the correct course number and credits.
  • The satisfactory completion of the research is reported as S (satisfactory). If all requirements for the research have not been met by the end of the semester in which it was registered, the work is reported as "in progress." An IP grade will remain on a student's transcript for one year, and if not completed by the end of that time, will change to an F grade. A master's thesis must be completed within the seven-year time limit set for the completion of a master's degree.
  • One copy of the thesis, containing an abstract, must be filed with the School of Graduate Studies no later than seven weeks before the completion of work for the appropriate degree. Before the material is submitted, it must have the approval of the respective committee. When the final evaluation committee has approved the research in its final form, three copies are submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for binding no later than three weeks prior to the end of the semester (see academic calendar for deadline date). The student is responsible for the binding fee for a minimum of three copies, four if they wish a personal copy bound. This fee will be paid through the School of Graduate Studies at the time that the final copies are submitted. All copies are bound in black buckram covers, and the title is printed in gold lettering on the front cover and binding edge.
  • Two additional copies of the abstract of not more than 400 words are submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. The abstract will include the signature of the chairperson indicating approval before it is submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. All abstracts are reprinted and submitted for publication, and therefore, must follow the format of St. Cloud State University which is illustrated in A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses. A PDF copy of the manual is also available for download at http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/culmProject/.
  • Standards for the preparation of theses are those published by the School of Graduate Studies in A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses, and an approved style manual specified by the department. The student should contact the Husky Bookstore to purchase A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses or download the PDF version from http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/culmProject/. This manual provides detailed information and instructions on the form and style used by St. Cloud State University.
  • When a conflict exists in standards, format, or style, the manual published by the School of Graduate Studies takes precedence over any other manual approved for department use.

Plan A: Thesis Preliminary Conference
Students on Plan A (Thesis) must arrange for a preliminary thesis conference. This preliminary conference may be scheduled after the student has been fully accepted into a graduate program, if the graduate grade point average is at least 3.0, and after the student's program of study has been approved by the graduate dean, but at least one semester prior to the final oral examination. In consultation with the student's adviser, an outline of the proposed thesis is prepared and one copy is submitted to the School of Graduate Studies two weeks prior to the time requested for the preliminary conference. The student should then schedule a preliminary thesis conference. The student's adviser, one other graduate faculty member from the major department, and one graduate faculty member from a related field (approved by the graduate dean) comprise the faculty representation. These conferences are not scheduled during final examination week.

Plan A: Thesis Final Oral Examination
At least seven weeks prior to the close of the semester in which graduation is anticipated, the student must schedule a final oral examination. At this time one copy of the thesis, containing an abstract, must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies.

  • The final oral examination is conducted by the final evaluation committee, consisting of three members. Membership consists of the same committee that served on the preliminary conference.
  • A majority vote of the final evaluation committee is required to pass the final oral examination.
  • A minimum of three weeks prior to graduation, the student must submit the final approved thesis for approval of form and style. See deadline on the academic calendar.

Theses are approved, bound, and placed on file as described in A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses.

Understanding Plan A: Creative Work

Plan A: Statement of Qualifications for Creative Work
A student interested in completing a creative work as may be required by a specific department, or in lieu of the traditional master's degree thesis, must show evidence of creative ability before being accepted as a candidate for the advanced degree. Four copies of this evidence submitted by students from the Departments of English and Music (creative projects, play-writing, performance or production, etc.) must be presented to the School of Graduate Studies in order to schedule a preliminary oral conference. The members of this preliminary committee will consist of the student's adviser, a graduate faculty member from the major department, and another graduate faculty member from a related department (approved by the graduate dean).

The creative work includes a written statement of artistic intent and such supporting materials as are applicable. Other than form and style of the text, the binding of the contents of the creative work must be in accordance with standard thesis requirements. Four copies of the creative work must be filed with the School of Graduate Studies no later than seven weeks before the completion of work for the appropriate degree. At this time a final oral examination will be scheduled.

The statement of artistic intent may contain such information as a description of the work undertaken; the technique(s) involved in the work, and related subject matter. This information is approved, bound, and placed on file as described in A Manual for the Preparation of Creative Works which is available in the Husky Bookstore or on-line at http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/culmProject/.

In certain areas of the fine arts, a student may be required to produce evidence of creative skill by submitting critical reviews, letters of recommendation, or demonstration(s). For further information, contact the appropriate department chairperson.

Plan A: Registration of a Creative Work
To register for creative work (698), the student is required to have an individual study approval form signed by the program adviser before attempting to register. The individual study approval form can be found on-line at http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/stuForms.asp or in the Office of Records and Registration.

  • Creative work credits may be spread over more than one registration period.
  • If a student elects to do this, an individual study approval form will be needed each semester.

Plan A: Creative Work Final Evaluation Conference
Arrangements for the final evaluation conference must be made by the adviser through the School of Graduate Studies.

  • The final evaluation conference must take place during the last semester of the student's graduate program.
  • The final evaluation committee consists of three members who shall judge the artistic merits of the creative work. These three committee members are the same faculty representatives who served on the qualifying conference.
  • One copy of the creative work must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies at least seven weeks prior to the end of the semester. Final evaluation conferences are not scheduled during final examination week.
  • The members of the final evaluation committee must sign the approval page to indicate their acceptance of the creative work.
  • A minimum of three weeks prior to graduation the student must submit a copy of the final approved creative work for approval of form and style. See deadline on the academic calendar.

If the student wishes a personal copy, an additional copy of the final creative work will need to be submitted. The creative work is approved, bound, and placed on file as described in A Manual for the Preparation of Creative Works, available in the Husky Bookstore and online at http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/culmProject/.

Attention: All Plan A Candidates
A candidate for the specialist or master's degree completes the final evaluation during the last semester of the graduate program. Students who have earned less than a 3.0 (B) average in the major, over their entire program, and in all graduate credits earned are not permitted to complete the final examination.

A student selecting Plan A must complete a thesis or creative work and must complete a final oral examination. A final written examination may also be required at the option of the department. For further information about these examinations, consult the thesis, fields study, or creative work sections above.

Final oral examinations are required of all students whose Plan A programs require the completion of a thesis, field study, or creative work. A candidate who fails the final oral examination in the first attempt may, with the approval of the adviser, take the examination a second time, but the candidate may not retake the final oral examination during the same semester in which the exam was failed. A third chance to pass the examination is not permitted. The specific requirements vary according to the nature of the project submitted.

Understanding Plan A: Field Study – For Specialist Students in the Educational Administration and Leadership program

Plan A: Preparation of a Field Study
The following procedures and regulations govern the preparation of a field study:

  • A field study for the specialist degree is carried out under the supervision of the committee appointed at the preliminary conference consisting of the student's adviser, a graduate faculty member from the major department, and another graduate faculty member from a related department (approved by the graduate dean) chosen on the basis of potential advisory value in the area of the research undertaken. This committee comprises the membership of the student's final evaluation committee.
  • To register for a field study, the student is required to have an individual study approval form signed by his/her adviser before attempting to register in the Office of Records and Registration, 118 Administrative Services Building. The individual study approval form can be found on-line at http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/stuForms.asp. The credits for field study may be spread over more than one registration period. If a student elects to do this, an individual study approval form will be needed each semester they register for additional credits. These course forms can be obtained through the Office of Records and Registration. Consult the department program requirements and course lists for the correct course number and credits.
  • The satisfactory completion of the research is reported as S (satisfactory). If all requirements for the research have not been met by the end of the semester in which it was registered, the work is reported as "in progress." An IP grade will remain on a student's transcript for one year, and if not completed by the end of that time, will change to an F grade. A field study must be completed within the seven-year time limit set for the completion of a specialist degree.
  • One copy of the field study, containing an abstract, must be filed with the School of Graduate Studies no later than seven weeks before the completion of work for the appropriate degree. Before the material is submitted, it must have the approval of the respective committee. When the final evaluation committee has approved the research in its final form, three copies are submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for binding no later than three weeks prior to the end of the semester (see academic calendar for deadline date). The student is responsible for the binding fee for a minimum of three copies, four if they wish a personal copy bound. This fee will be paid to the School of Graduate Studies when the final copies are submitted. All copies are bound in black buckram covers, and the title is printed in gold lettering on the front cover and binding edge.
  • Two additional copies of the abstract of not more than 400 words are submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. The abstract will include the signature of the chairperson indicating approval before it is submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. All abstracts are reprinted and submitted for publication, and therefore, must follow the format of St. Cloud State University which is illustrated in A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses. A PDF copy of the manual is also available for download at http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/culmProject/.
  • Standards for the preparation of field studies for the specialist degree are those published by the School of Graduate Studies in A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses, and an approved style manual specified by the department. The student should contact the Husky Bookstore to purchase A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses or download the PDF version from http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/culmProject/. This manual provides detailed information and instructions on the form and style used by St. Cloud State University.
  • When a conflict exists in standards, format, or style, the manual published by the School of Graduate Studies takes precedence over any other manual approved for department use.

Plan A: Field Study Preliminary Conference
Students in the Specialist degree program must arrange for a preliminary field study conference. This preliminary conference may be scheduled after the student has been fully accepted into a graduate program, if the graduate grade point average is at least 3.0, and after the student's program of study has been approved by the graduate dean, but at least one semester prior to the final oral examination. In consultation with the student's adviser, an outline of the proposed thesis or field study is prepared and four copies are submitted to the School of Graduate Studies two weeks prior to the time requested for the preliminary conference. The student should then schedule a preliminary thesis or field study conference. The student's adviser, one other graduate faculty member from the major department, and one graduate faculty member from a related field (approved by the graduate dean) comprise the faculty representation. These conferences are not scheduled during final examination week.

Plan A: Field Study Final Oral Examination
At least seven weeks prior to the close of the semester in which graduation is anticipated, the student must schedule a final oral examination. At this time one copy of the field study, containing an abstract, must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies.

  • The final oral examination is conducted by the final evaluation committee, consisting of three members. Membership consists of the same committee that served on the preliminary conference.
  • A majority vote of the final evaluation committee is required to pass the final oral examination.
  • A minimum of three weeks prior to graduation, the student must submit the final approved field study for approval of form and style. See deadline on the academic calendar.

Field studies are approved, bound, and placed on file as described in A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses.

Plan B

Understanding Plan B: Starred Paper(s) or Final Written Comprehensive Examination

Plan B: Starred Paper(s)
Certain Plan B programs require that starred paper(s) be written. The starred paper(s) includes a research requirement less extensive in nature than a thesis. However, the research should be significantly greater in quality and quantity than the standard graduate term paper. Ordinarily, the thesis is oriented more toward original research, data gathering with statistical analysis, theory testing and theory building, whereas the starred paper is oriented more toward the usage of secondary research sources.

Plan B: Preliminary Starred Paper(s) Conference
Students pursuing a Plan B program which requires starred paper(s) must arrange for a preliminary starred paper conference. This conference may be scheduled at any time after the student has been fully accepted into a graduate program and after the student's program of study has been approved by the graduate dean, but at least one semester prior to the final oral examination. In consultation with the adviser, the student should prepare a preliminary outline of the proposed research paper(s), and should submit one copy to the School of Graduate Studies at least two weeks prior to the preliminary starred paper conference. At that time, the student should schedule the preliminary starred paper conference. The student's adviser, one other graduate faculty member from the major department, and one graduate faculty member from a related field are selected by the graduate dean and shall comprise the faculty representation. Preliminary starred paper conferences are not scheduled during final examination week.

A preliminary starred paper conference cannot be held in the same semester as the final oral examination.

Plan B: Final Evaluation Procedure
A candidate for the Specialist or Master's degree completes the final examination during the last semester of the graduate program. Students who have earned less than a 3.0 average in the major, over their entire program, and in all graduate credits earned are not permitted to complete the final examination.

Plan B: Final Oral Examination
Students completing starred paper(s) must complete a final oral examination. A final written examination also may be required at the option of the department. At least seven weeks prior to the close of the semester in which graduation is anticipated, the student must schedule a final oral examination. At this time one copy of the starred paper(s) must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies.

  • The final oral examination is conducted by the final evaluation committee, consisting of three members.
  • These three committee members are the same faculty representatives who served on the preliminary conference.
  • A majority vote of the final evaluation committee is required to pass the final oral examination.
  • A candidate who fails the final oral examination in the first attempt may, with the approval of the adviser, take the examination a second time, but the candidate may not retake the final oral examination during the same semester in which the exam was failed. A third chance to pass the examination is not permitted.
  • The specific requirements vary according to the nature of the project submitted. A minimum of three weeks prior to graduation the student must submit the final approved starred paper for approval of form and style. See deadline on the academic calendar.

The starred paper(s) are approved, bound, and placed on file as described in A Manual for the Preparation of Starred Paper(s) which is available in the Husky Bookstore or on-line at http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/culmProject/.

Plan B: Final Written Comprehensive Examination
Candidates for the master's degree under Plan B in which a starred paper(s) is not required must pass a final written comprehensive examination. This examination is developed, administered, and evaluated by members of the faculty responsible for the graduate program.

All candidates must notify their adviser of their intention to complete the final written comprehensive examination at the beginning of the semester in which completion of all degree requirements is anticipated. A 3.0 grade point average in the major, over the entire program, and in all graduate credits taken at St. Cloud State University is a prerequisite for taking the final comprehensive examination.

The candidate's adviser is the chairperson of this examination committee, which is appointed by the department chairperson, and which consists of at least three members. A majority vote of the examining committee is required to pass the final written comprehensive examination. A candidate who fails in the first attempt may, with the approval of the adviser, take the examination a second time, but the candidate may not retake the examination during the same semester in which the exam was failed. A third chance to pass the examination is not permitted.

Plan C

Understanding Plan C: Project/Portfolio

Plan C: Project/Portfolio
Plan C programs require that a significant professional project or a portfolio of projects be prepared in conjunction with approved graduate courses in the student's major area of concentration.

Plan C: Project/Portfolio Preliminary Conference
A preliminary conference may be scheduled at any time after the student has been fully accepted into a graduate program and after the student's program of study has been approved by the graduate dean, but at least one semester prior to the final oral examination. In consultation with the adviser, the student should prepare a summary of the proposed project or portfolio of projects, and should submit one copy to the School of Graduate Studies at least two weeks prior to the date of the preliminary project/portfolio conference. At that time, the student should schedule the preliminary project/portfolio conference. The student's adviser, one other graduate faculty member from the major department, and one graduate faculty member from a related field (approved by the graduate dean) comprise the faculty representation. A preliminary project/portfolio conference is not scheduled during the final examination week. A preliminary project/portfolio conference cannot be held in the same semester as the final oral examination.

Plan C: Project/Portfolio
At least seven weeks prior to the close of the semester in which graduation is anticipated, the student must schedule the final oral examination. At this time, the student must prepare a summary of the materials to be included in the project/portfolio. If the material is a single comprehensive project, the summary should be in the form of an abstract. If the material is a portfolio of smaller projects, the summary should be in the form of a brief synopsis of each of the projects. The portfolio must be submitted to the department office at least two weeks prior to the date set for the final oral examination. The department may exercise its option to retain any or all materials prepared for the professional project/portfolio.

Plan C: Final Oral Examination
Final oral examinations are required of all students whose programs require the completion of the Plan C project or portfolio. A candidate who fails the final oral examination in the first attempt may, with the approval of the adviser, take the examination a second time, but the candidate may not retake the final oral examination during the same semester in which the exam was failed. A third chance to pass the examination is not permitted. The specific requirements vary according to the nature of the project submitted.

Plan C: Project/Portfolio Final Evaluation Procedure
A candidate for the Specialist or master's degree completes the final evaluation during the last semester of the graduate program. Students who have earned less than a 3.0 average in the major, over their entire program, and in all graduate credits earned are not permitted to complete the final oral examination.

Attention: All Plan C Candidates

Students completing Plan C programs must complete a final oral examination covering the portfolio of materials which has been developed in consultation with the adviser. A final written comprehensive examination may also be required at the option of the department.

Culminating Doctoral Project

Doctor of Education degree students according to their program requirements must complete a dissertation.

Preparation of a Dissertation
The following procedures and regulations govern the preparation of a dissertation:

  • A doctoral dissertation is carried out under the supervision of the committee appointed prior to the preliminary conference. All members of the committee must be doctoral faculty at St. Cloud State University or receive approval by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies to serve on the committee. Three faculty members (including the committee chair) affiliated with the student's doctoral program, one faculty member from outside of the department in which the doctoral program resides, and one additional graduate faculty member comprise the faculty representation. The student must receive committee approval before undertaking the culminating doctoral project. The doctoral committee is charged with conducting the final oral defense of the project and determining if the project is acceptable.
  • To register for dissertation credits, students use the online registration system. The credits for a dissertation may be spread over more than one registration period. Consult the department program requirements and course lists for the correct course number and credits.
  • The satisfactory completion of the research is reported as S (satisfactory). If all requirements for the research have not been met by the end of the semester in which it was registered, the work is reported as "in progress." An IP grade will remain on a student's transcript for one year, and if not completed by the end of that time, will change to an F grade. The F grade can be returned to an IP grade by the committee chair if the dissertation remains In Progress. A doctoral dissertation must be completed within the seven-year time limit set for the completion of a doctoral degree.
  • One formatted copy of the dissertation, containing an abstract, must be filed with the School of Graduate Studies no later than seven weeks before the end of the term for preliminary format review. Before the material is submitted, it must have the approval of the respective committee. When the final evaluation committee has approved the research in its final form, and the final format review has been successfully completed, three copies are submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for binding no later than the end of the semester. The student is responsible for the binding fee for a minimum of three copies, four if they wish a personal copy bound. This fee will be paid through the School of Graduate Studies at the time that the final copies are submitted. All copies are bound in black buckram covers, and the title is printed in gold lettering on the front cover and binding edge.
  • Two additional copies of the abstract of not more than 400 words are submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. The abstract will include the signature of the chairperson indicating approval before it is submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. All abstracts are reprinted and submitted for publication, and therefore, must follow the format of St. Cloud State University which is illustrated in A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses. A PDF copy of the manual is also available for download at http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/culmProject/.
  • Standards for the preparation of theses are those published by the School of Graduate Studies in A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses, and an approved style manual specified by the department. The student should contact the Husky Bookstore to purchase A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses or download the PDF version from http://www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/current/culmProject/. This manual provides detailed information and instructions on the form and style used by St. Cloud State University.
  • When a conflict exists in standards, format, or style, the manual published by the School of Graduate Studies takes precedence over any other manual approved for department use.

Doctoral Preliminary Conference
Doctoral students must arrange for a preliminary conference. This preliminary conference may be scheduled after the student has been fully accepted into a graduate program, if the graduate grade point average is at least 3.0, and after the student's program of study has been approved by the graduate dean, but at least one semester prior to the final oral examination. In consultation with the student's adviser, an outline of the proposed culminating doctoral project is prepared and one copy is submitted to the School of Graduate Studies two weeks prior to the time requested for the preliminary conference. The student should then schedule a preliminary conference. Three faculty members (including the committee chair) affiliated with the student's doctoral program, one faculty member from outside of the department in which the doctoral program resides, and one additional graduate faculty member comprise the faculty representation. These conferences are not scheduled during final examination week.

Doctoral Final Oral Examination
At least seven weeks prior to the close of the semester in which graduation is anticipated, the student must schedule a final oral examination. At this time one copy of the dissertation, containing an abstract, must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies.

  • The final oral examination is conducted by the final evaluation committee, consisting of five members. Membership consists of the same committee that served on the preliminary conference.
  • A majority vote of the final evaluation committee is required to pass the final oral examination.
  • A minimum of three weeks prior to graduation, the student must submit the final approved thesis for approval of form and style. See deadline on the academic calendar.

Dissertations are approved, bound, and placed on file as described in A Manual for the Preparation of Field Studies and Theses.

 

 

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