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GCAC-731

Degree Requirements - Professional Master's

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Purpose

To define the minimum requirements for obtaining a professional master’s degree.

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Academic Goal

To ensure that all professional master’s degrees adhere to a minimum set of credit requirements along with an approved culminating experience.

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Scope

All professional master’s degree programs.

The Graduate Council recognizes a difference in purpose, which is reflected in the requirements, for two types of master’s degrees: academic and professional. Of the master’s degrees conferred, the Master of Arts and Master of Science are academic in nature and strongly oriented towards research and the creation of new knowledge. In contrast, the professional master’s degree emphasizes practical application of knowledge for solving problems.

A degree is not conferred for a mere collection of credits. A well-balanced, unified, and complete program of study is required, including the preparation and acceptance of a high-quality approved culminating experience; additional requirements will be defined by the graduate major program faculty.

Policy Statement

  1. The minimum credit requirements for a professional master’s degree are:
    1. 30 credits at the 400, 500, or 800 level.
    2. At least 18 credits at the 500 or 800 level.
  2. Professional master’s degrees must include a requirement for research education in the field as part of the program requirements. The program must specify how this requirement will be fulfilled in their program proposal.
  3. A culminating experience is required (see GCAC-742 Culminating Experience – Professional Master’s).

Procedure

P1 - Graduate Curricular Proposal Requirements - Guidelines for Professional Master's Degree - Methods for Research Education Integration

Revision History

  • Approved by Graduate Council, March 17, 2021. Effective date: Fall 2021 (08/16/2021).
    • New policy.
This page was generated on August 17, 2022 at 1:25 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.