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Recent Actions of Graduate Council

POLICY CHANGE - EFFECTIVE FALL 2018
Research Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) - Dissertation Committee Formation, Composition, and Review
Approved by Graduate Council, May 2, 2018

This policy was revised extensively. Note that the name change from "Candidacy Examination" to "Qualifying Examination" was approved as part of this policy change.


REVIEWED - EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
Research Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) - Residency Requirement
Reviewed by Graduate Council, May 2, 2018

This policy was reviewed by Graduate Council, but no substantive changes to the policy were made.


APPROVED - EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
Guidelines for Research Master's (M.A. and M.S.) Degree Proposals
Approved by the Committee on Programs and Courses, Feb. 15, 2018

All new program and program change proposals submitted must include a description of how programs that include an M.A. or M.S. will meet these requirements. These guidelines have been added to the Graduate Program Proposal Procedures page.


APPROVED - EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
Recommended Practices in Graduate Education
Approved by Graduate Council, Feb. 14, 2018

This document suggests examples of recommended practices in each of three core areas for all of the key participants in graduate student education. Programs are encouraged to use these suggestions as a starting point to develop a set of recommended practices that meets the needs of their students.


POLICY CHANGE - EFFECTIVE FALL 2017
Graduate Faculty Membership
Approved by Graduate Council, May 3, 2017

The Graduate Faculty Membership policy was revised to include a new Category of membership, Category Q.

  • In the Graduate Faculty Membership Policy, under Categories of Membership in the Graduate Faculty, a section for Category Q Membership was added. This section defines the expected duties and minimum qualifications of a Category Q member. The nomination forms for all categories of membership in the Graduate Faculty were updated.
  • In the Doctoral Degrees policy in the Bulletin, under the heading “Advisers and Doctoral Committees,” and the subhead “Doctoral Committee,” the first paragraph was updated to specify that only one member of a Ph.D. doctoral committee can be a Category Q member of the Graduate Faculty.

POLICY CHANGE - EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
Graduate Course Definitions – 500- vs. 800-Level Courses
Approved by Graduate Council, March 15, 2017

The definitions of 500- and 800-level courses were revised to provide more detail about the distinction between the two categories.


POLICY CHANGE - EFFECTIVE FALL 2017
M.A./M.S. Culminating Experiences and Transcript Notations
Approved by Graduate Council, Dec. 14, 2016

The requirements for the culminating experience for the M.A. and M.S. were revised to add a third possibility: either a thesis based upon original research in the field; a scholarly paper or essay that is research-oriented; or a capstone course that includes a work product which demonstrates evidence of analytical thinking and synthesis of knowledge in the field of study. The transcript for all students graduating with an M.S. or M.A. degree will be notated to reflect the applicable culminating experience. Programs may offer one, two, or all three options, subject to approval of the Graduate Council Joint Curricular Committee. Two sections of the Bulletin were updated to reflect the updated policy: Master’s Degrees and M.A. and M.S. – Additional Specific Requirements.


APPROVED - EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
Scholarly and Professional Goals for All Graduate Degree Students
Approved by Graduate Council, April 13, 2016

These broad, overarching educational goals were endorsed by Graduate Council to provide a framework for graduate education policies across all of Penn State's graduate programs, for both research and professional degrees, and at all degree levels.


POLICY CHANGE - EFFECTIVE FALL 2016
Concurrent Degrees
Approved by Graduate Council, Feb. 17, 2016

This policy was revised extensively.

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