University of South Florida
College of Education Graduate Handbook
COEDU Graduate Studies Office has attempted to make this handbook as accurate as possible (Aug 2011). However, if you note any inconsistencies in information, refer to the USF 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog and contact Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Please note the arrow symbol (->) that appears next to any link below indicates the link is external to COEDU's website.
Table of Contents
Students’ Rights & Responsibilities
Most frequently used online links
Initial Certification Information
GENERAL DEGREE INFORMATION
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MASTER'S PROGRAM INFORMATION
- College of Education (COEDU) Requirements for Admission
- The General Knowledge Test (GKT)/College Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST)
- Program Descriptions and Requirements
- Master of Arts (M.A.)
- Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)
- Master of Education (M.Ed.
- Degree Programs and Concentrations
- Degree Program Requirements
- Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree
- M.A. Thesis Requirements
- Major Professor
- Thesis Committee
- Permission to Conduct Research Involving Human Beings - Institutional Review Board (IRB)
- Comprehensive Examination
- Application and Clearance to take Comprehensive Examination
- Submission of Comprehensive Examination Results
- Master's Degree Forms
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION ADVANCED GRADUATE STUDENT INFORMATION
- Degree Options
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
- Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
- Education Specialist (Ed.S.
- Degree Programs and Concentrations
- Doctoral Qualifying Examination
- Guiding Principles for Discussing the Qualifying Examination (QE)
- Doctoral Qualifying Examination Policy
- Using Directed Research Hours to Reduce Dissertation Hours
- General Guidelines for the Administration of all Qualifying Examination Options
- Enrollment in Dissertation Hours
- Continuous Enrollment (Dissertation Hours)
- Readmission Due To Non-Continuous Enrollment After Candidacy
- Appointment of the Doctoral Committee (Ph.D. and Ed.D.)
- Major Professor
- Doctoral Committee
- Establishing a Doctoral Committee
- Change of Committee Membership
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This is the tenth edition of the Graduate Handbook for the College of Education. Its purpose is to assist graduate students to better understand the processes associated with graduate education in the College. This Handbook does not replace University requirements delineated in the USF Graduate Catalog. It is intended to complement the Catalog.
It is the responsibility of the graduate student to be knowledgeable about requirements stipulated in the Graduate Catalog as well as the College of Education (COEDU) Graduate Handbook. Individual programs may have requirements that exceed those listed in these documents. Students are required to meet all University, College and specific program requirements.
PLEASE NOTE: While advisors, directors, department chairpersons and deans are available to help the student meet these requirements, it is the student's responsibility to make sure that he/she has met all degree requirements as specified in the Degree Requirements section of the Graduate Catalog, as well as any College and Program requirements for the degree. The entire USF Graduate Catalog is available online at the USF Office of Graduate Studies' website at http://www.grad.usf.edu.
The USF Graduate Catalog and information on COEDU policies are available online. Many departments also have handbooks that outline policies and procedures unique to the program. Please refer to these documents for specific information. In instances where University, College, department and program requirements differ, students must meet the most stringent requirements. Please note that university, COEDU and program requirements are stated always as minimum requirements.
Students should review official university documents, and collaborate with an assigned faculty or professional advisor prior to making academic decisions, since program and/or course requirements are subject to change, per state legislative mandates, Florida State Department of Education program approval standards, and accreditation criteria.
In addition to the University’s regional accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the College is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for the preparation of P-12 educators. Its initial certification programs are approved by the Florida Department of Education.
This Handbook has been designed to attain the following objectives:
- to provide information to prospective applicants about graduate program options, requirements, and procedures;
- to inform students of degree requirements and procedures, and the respective responsibilities of students and faculty relative to these requirements and procedures; and
- to provide a basis for interaction between faculty and students regarding graduate degree programs.
- to inform faculty of the requirements and procedures of graduate programs and the responsibilities attendant with various faculty roles.
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Mission, Vision, Goals
The USF College of Education envisions itself as a leader in regional, national and international education. Leadership in education encompasses:
- Academic excellence
- Research, scholarship, and inquiry that renews the educational process
- Collaboration that serves communities, institutions, and individuals
- Preparation that builds on academic excellence, scholarship, clinical practice, and collaboration that contributes to a just and productive society.
To fulfill its vision, the College of Education is committed to:
- offering challenging learning opportunities in a supportive and diverse environment;
- creating and supporting research, scholarship, and inquiry in education;
- preparing the next generation of educators, scholars, and leaders for pK-12 and the professoriate through exemplary undergraduate and graduate degree programs;
- serving the community through collaborative relationships; and working with schools, agencies, and communities to offer programs that prepare professionals who work competently, collaboratively, and ethically to improve educational outcomes for all.
Goals of Graduate Education
Graduate education at the University of South Florida is an intellectual and professional response to the needs and aspirations of the diverse communities served by the University. It has as a core value a commitment to disciplined inquiry as a basis for generating knowledge and improving professional practice.
The College of Education's graduate programs reflect the University's philosophy of graduate education. The COEDU is a professional school offering degree programs for educational scholars and practitioners. Within a professional school, disciplined inquiry is a process by which information is collected, evaluated, and applied to problems and issues. Skilled, rigorous inquiry contributes to the theoretical and information bases from which educational decisions are made and practices are developed. From this orientation, the following goals are derived for graduate education in the College of Education:
- to create a vigorous community of scholars in the field of education;
- to develop a highly competent community of educational leaders and practicing professionals;
- to foster disciplined and rigorous inquiry about educational practices, theories, and proposals; and
- to promote the development of educational theory and practice.
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College of Education, Student Academic Services Statement of Rights & Responsibilities
- You have the right to considerate and respectful attention with appreciation for individual dignity, protection of privacy and appropriate confidentiality of information.
- You have the right to a prompt and reasonable response to questions.
- You have the right to know what student support services are available in the college and university.
- You have the right to know what rules and regulations apply to your conduct as an education major at USF.
- You have the right to know the identity and professional status of individuals providing educational services.
- You have the right to obtain from your academic advisor accurate and current information concerning your educational status in terms you can reasonably understand.
- You have the right to be informed about the grievance protocols in the College of Education.
- You are responsible for upholding the ethical standards of the University of South Florida and following the rules and regulations regarding student conduct as published in the university documents, catalogs and handbooks.
- You are responsible for reading and understanding the information published in the USF and College of Education handbooks and catalogs.
- You are responsible for treating your peers, support staff and faculty with courtesy and respect.
- You are responsible for meeting all deadlines.
- You are responsible for providing accurate and complete information and to report unexpected changes in your status or intentions regarding your planned program.
- You are responsible for seeing that all needed documents and transcripts are received by the Registrar's Office.
- You are responsible for making it known if a course of action or expectation is not understood.
- You are responsible for your actions if you do not follow your recommended program of studies.
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Most frequently used online links:
College of Education Homepage
College of Education Forms (e.g. program of study templates, committee forms)
Graduate School Thesis-Dissertation Deadlines
Graduate School Homepage
Graduate Admissions Homepage
Graduate Catalog (College of Education section only)
Graduate School Policy Updates
Graduate School Forms (University forms)
Registrar’s Forms (University forms)
Distance Learning Courses
Policy on Transfer Coursework
University of South Florida Graduate Application
University of South Florida Non-Degree Registration
University of South Florida Financial Aid Office
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Initial Certification Information
Students seeking initial certification must be admitted to one of the degree programs offered in the College of Education (COEDU). All initial certification programs in the COEDU require an internship, or in some programs, a practicum. Passing scores on the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) are also required for program completion.
Please be advised that program and course requirements are subject to change per state legislative mandates, Florida State Department of Education program approval standards, and accreditation criteria.
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GENERAL DEGREE INFORMATION
Graduate Admissions Information
NOTE: Consult the Graduate Admissions and Registration and General Information sections of the current USF Graduate Catalog for University requirements for admission to graduate programs. Check also with your prospective program for additional admissions requirements.
Master's and Ed.S. degrees ->
Doctoral degrees ->
Full-Time Status ->
There are three University admissions application deadlines each year: Fall, Spring, and Summer; however, admissions cycles vary by program and some programs admit students only once or twice per year.
University deadlines ->
Students should contact the appropriate department or program for specific information on internal program deadlines.
COEDU programs deadlines ->
Admissions Testing Information ->
Students should contact the appropriate department or program for specific information on internal admissions requirements.
Testing information is also available in the program section of the USF Graduate Catalog, Section 15, College of Education.
Students admitted to initial certification programs must also meet State of Florida testing requirements. Consult your program’s faculty advisor for specific information.
Academic Policies and Regulations ->
Registration Information ->
Academic Integrity ->
Disruption of the Academic Process ->
Academic Grievance Process ->
In the College of Education, the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee will convene to consider academic grievances filed by graduate students, and to make recommendations to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who represents the Dean of the College in these matters. The Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee will be comprised of an equal number of faculty and graduate student members: two graduate faculty members and two graduate students. The graduate students serving on the committee must be coded for degree at the same level as the student who is filing the grievance. Neither members of the faculty, nor graduate students from the department or program directly involved with the grievance can serve. The chairperson of the grievance committee will be selected from a faculty pool, and must be outside the department or program directly involved with the grievance. The chairperson of the grievance committee may not simultaneously hold a position as a member of the committee.
Enrollment Requirements ->
Readmission to a Graduate Program ->
The University requires that students who are seeking admission after non-continuous enrollment use the regular graduate admissions process and procedures. There is no longer a readmission process, or readmission forms.
Students must submit a new USF Graduate Admissions application and the required application fee. Students are considered for the new admission using the criteria and guidelines stipulated at the time their application packets are submitted. This is not an automatic process. Coursework that is to be used to fulfill degree requirements, including transfer coursework, must also meet the University’s stipulated time limits.
In addition to the graduate student application, doctoral candidates seeking readmission must submit a letter of support from their major professors. The COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies, acting on behalf of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, will review the readmission packet and make a recommendation. This process will be independent of, and will not replace any procedures required by the University or the USF Graduate School for readmission. Students who were admitted to candidacy but who have dropped out of the program, must petition for readmission to candidacy in addition to the admissions process outlined. The Readmission to Doctoral Candidacy Form is required.
Auditing of Courses ->
Audit status must be obtained only during the first five days of the term by filing with the Registrar’s Office a Course Audit Form and a date-stamped permit from the college/department on the campus where the course is being offered.
Additional information regarding the deadlines and procedures for auditing of courses can be found at the Registrar’s Office homepage.
Program of Study Form
The Program of Study form is a document that lists all of the courses that students must take to complete their degree programs. This form is also used to approve students for the comprehensive examination and to certify students for graduation. If courses completed and listed on the student's transcript are not consistent with those listed on the Program of Study form, the courses will not be counted as satisfying degree requirements.
If changes are made in the student's program, the program advisor must complete a substitution form and forward it to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies so that the Program of Study may be amended. This should be done as soon as a course change is anticipated. The appropriate forms available for this purpose are: the course substitution form, the transfer course form, or the deletion of courses/other changes to program form.
Change of Degree Program ->
A Change of Program Request cannot be considered for graduate students in their first semester of study. Only a continuing graduate student in good academic standing enrolled for study in a particular program who wishes to change to another program at the same or lower level should complete the Change of Degree Program form. This form must be signed both by the current program and the new program, after which it must be submitted through the COEDU Graduate Coordinator to the Graduate School for approval. If approved by the Graduate School, the change of program form is then sent to the Registrar for processing.
NOTE: Some programs may require another application to be submitted because the Change of Program Request Form does not contain sufficient information for them to make a decision. Also, some limited access programs in the COEDU require an interview and other data.
For these programs, a change of program form is not accepted. Students should check with the new program before completing any paperwork.
If a change of degree program request is approved, a program of study form for the new program must be submitted and approved. The name and course number for each course that is to be brought into the new program must be listed as an attachment with the change of degree request. Students who change degree programs are required to meet the requirements that are in place at the time the change is approved. This includes the time limits on coursework to be used in the new program to fulfill degree requirements. No course with missing, incomplete or grades below “C” will be applied. Courses transferred from an external institution can be no lower than “B”.
Master’s students: Upon admission to the master's degree program, the student is assigned a faculty advisor in the field of specialization. Students should meet with their advisors to plan an individual program of study that meets University, College, and, if appropriate, State Department of Education certification requirements.
Ed.S. and Doctoral students: Upon admission to the degree program, students should meet with the program coordinator in the specialization selected to discuss the process for identifying a major professor and faculty committee, and to develop a program of study. Doctoral students may find the need to take longer than Master’s students to submit the program of study form to allow for introductions to faculty members who can serve as committee members. The program of study is unofficial, however, until all appropriate signatures have been obtained approving the proposed plan of study. A program of study should be filed no later than the point at which 50% of the doctoral coursework, excluding dissertation hours, has been completed
Completion and Filing of Planned Program of Study Form
For Master’s Students: A program of study form should be completed by the student in collaboration with the program advisor. The form should be signed by the student, program advisor in the major area, subject area advisor (if applicable), and the department chairperson, and should be forwarded by the program advisor to the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies (EDU 106) by the end of the first semester after the student's admission to the program, or, before 12 hours of graduate coursework have been completed, whichever occurs first. The Coordinator of Graduate Studies reviews the program of study for compliance with College, University and State Department of Education requirements. When the program is approved, a signed copy will be returned to the advisor and mailed to the student. A completed M.A., M.A.T. or M.Ed. Planned Program form should be used.
For Doctoral Students: When the Doctoral Supervisory Committee has been appointed and approved, the major professor convenes the Committee to plan the program of study with the student. The student should request this meeting at the earliest opportunity in the first or second semester after admission to the program. It is the responsibility of the doctoral committee to assure that the student takes the courses necessary, particularly in the areas of research methodology, to prepare for conducting the type of research in which the student is interested. If the student's research plans change, the doctoral committee may recommend other courses in addition to those listed on the program of study. Substitution form(s) should be filed with the COEDU Office of Graduate Studies (EDU 106) to officially amend the student's program.
Courses substituted in the doctoral program require a recommendation from the major professor. The changes being requested and the recommendation statement should be forwarded to the COEDU Graduate Studies Office simultaneously for review and processing.
Transfer of Credit ->
Waiver of Core Courses
Core courses in the specialization area may be waived if the exact course has been taken previously; however, if the course has been used to fulfill degree requirements in another degree, the course(s) may be waived, but other elective coursework must be taken to meet the total number of program hours required for the degree. All requests for waiver of requirements require an academic rationale. Courses substituted outside the students' concentration area and that fulfill requirements outside the program, require a recommendation from the professor currently teaching the course. These waivers are normally requested at the time the planned program of study is filed.
Process Core Examination
Graduate students with sufficient undergraduate background may take the Process Core Examinations (if available) after consultation with their advisors. Successful performance on the examinations enables a student to waive the course requirement, but students must take elective courses of equal hours. The Process Core Examinations are available in Foundations of Measurement, Psychological Foundations, and Social Foundations of Education. Graduate students in a Plan II master's program or M.A.T. master's program are not eligible to take the Process Core Examinations unless they have had a comparable course at the undergraduate level.
Academic Standards and Performance
Grade Point Average Requirement ->
Academic Probation ->
Satisfactory (S)/Unsatisfactory (U) Grades ->
Incomplete (“I") Grade ->
Missing ("M") Grade ->
NOTE: A Change of Grade form submitted by the instructor to the Registrar's Office is needed to remove "I", "M" and "Z" grades.
Application to Graduate/Graduation Requirements
Students must file an application to graduate in the semester during which all degree requirements will be completed. It is recommended that students submit their Graduate Student Graduation Application after they have consulted with their program advisor, are cleared to take the comprehensive examination or its equivalent, and will have completed all degree requirements by the end of the semester. Students will be certified to graduate only if they have completed all requirements for the degree, including the presentation of official test scores. Participation in the graduation ceremony does not guarantee certification for degree. The published date is firm by which an on-time graduation application must be filed.
If a student does not meet certification requirements for the degree during the semester in which graduation was sought, the student must file another graduation application for the following term by the deadline listed in the USF academic calendar. Students must be registered for two (2) graduate hours in the semester during which graduation occurs.
Late Graduation Applicatin
Students who file for graduation after the published University deadline will be considered late applicants. Late applicants should contact the University Office of Special Events and Ceremonies regarding requirements to participate in the commencement ceremony.
Students who believe that they have completed all degree requirements but who have filed a late application for graduation can register on line to participate in the commencement ceremony (www.usf.edu/commencement); however, the names of these students may not appear in the commencement program.
Registration for commencement for late applicants is the responsibility of the student and should not be undertaken unless the student and the advisor believe that the student has met all requirements for degree certification. Participation in the commencement ceremony, does not ensure certification for degree.
Late applicants may experience a delay in their degree certification and in receiving their diplomas.
If a student submits a late application and does not meet certification requirements for the degree during the semester in which graduation was sought, the student must file another graduation application for the following term by the deadline listed in the USF academic calendar. Students must be registered for two (2) graduate hours in the semester during which graduation occurs.
Certifying Degree Completion
The process used to certify degree completion requires the removal of all incomplete (I), missing (M), and continuing (Z) grades. Currency statements are required for all courses that have exceeded the University’s stated time limits. Additionally, official test scores must have been received for all programs requiring them, (e.g. Florida Teacher Certification Exam, and so on).
Letters of Completion
A letter of completion verifying satisfactory completion of degree requirements is available to students who request it. The request should be submitted in writing with the signature of the student making the request. The request should be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies in the College of Education.
Graduate Certificates Offered by College of Education ->
Offices & Organizations for Governing Graduate Study
- University of South Florida
The development of University policies for graduate work is the responsibility of the USF Dean of Graduate Studies with the assistance and guidance of the University Graduate Council. The membership of the Graduate Council consists of faculty members who represent the various colleges, two graduate students, and the Dean and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. Faculty members serve three-year staggered terms; students serve for one year.
The USF Dean of Graduate Studies and University Graduate Council exercise the right of inquiry and review to ensure the development and maintenance of high academic standards in all graduate programs; review all new graduate courses and programs, as well as modifications to existing courses and programs; and review/recommend policies and procedures pertaining to graduate financial aid.
The Dean of the College is responsible for all graduate programs. In fulfilling this responsibility, the Dean is assisted by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, and the Graduate Programs Committee, (GPC).
- Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
While the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is responsible to the Dean, this position has direct administrative responsibility for managing graduate programs. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is also responsible for program development and serves as the quality control officer for graduate programs within the College of Education. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is responsible for implementing policies related to credentialing of graduate faculty, appointment of thesis/dissertation committees, allocation of graduate tuition waivers, and exceptions to graduate admission criteria. The Associate Dean serves as an ex-officio member of the Graduate Programs Committee and a member of the COEDU Faculty Council, coordinates the ongoing revisions of the College of Education (COEDU) Graduate Handbook and the COEDU sections of the University Graduate Catalog.
- Coordinator of Graduate Studies
The office of the Coordinator of Graduate Studies is housed in the College of Education's Office of Student Academic Services (SAS). The Coordinator of Graduate Studies is the graduate certifying officer for the COEDU, is responsible to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and is responsible for developing procedures to ensure the implementation of graduate policies within the COEDU. This position provides information and general advising to prospective graduate and advanced graduate students, and maintains files for all active graduate students in the College of Education.
This committee is comprised of faculty members in the College of Education who are elected to represent the academic departments and the School of Physical Education and Exercise Science. It also includes graduate students appointed to represent the student body. This committee is responsible for the review of new and revised graduate level courses and programs, the development of new policies and procedures, and the systematic review of revised policies and procedures that govern the implementation of advanced graduate programs. Recommendations on new and revised programs, courses, and policies and procedures are forwarded from the GPC to the COEDU Faculty Council for approval at the College level. New and revised programs and courses are submitted to the University Graduate Council for university approval after they have been approved by the COEDU Faculty Council
Faculty are credentialed to serve as major professors or outside chairpersons on proposal defenses and final defenses according to criteria developed by the COEDU and approved by the Dean of the College of Education Recommendations for credentialing status are made by the departments to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Graduate faculty and credentialed faculty serve as major advisors for master’s students. They also serve as members of master's committees.
- COEDU Graduate Assistantships, Tuition Waivers, Scholarships
Research, teaching, or graduate assistantships are awarded by the individual departments to degree-seeking students enrolled each semester for the number of credit hours specified by the department.
Fellowships, grants and scholarships are funds distributed by the University to students for which no work or repayment is required.
Information on fellowships, scholarships, and other awards are listed online. The COEDU Student Academic Services Office and the USF Office of Graduate Studies both circulate information listing current sources of financial support for graduate students.
Limited funds are also available in the USF Office of Graduate Studies (BEH 304) to assist graduate students in special circumstances. Typically, these funds are used to support travel for students who have papers accepted at conferences, to provide research support for out of the ordinary expenses related to the thesis/ dissertation, and emergency tuition assistance. For travel and research costs, the USF Office of Graduate Studies requests students to first approach their department or college for assistance. The USF Office of Graduate Studies will then attempt to match the amounts. Please contact the USF Office of Graduate Studies (BEH 304) for additional information and application forms.
Thesis Research Proposal Questions
1.0 Problem and its Context
1.1. Describe context of problem.
1.2. Has problem been stated clearly?
1.3. Has the problem been tied to a theoretical rationale or empirical base?
1.4. Does the problem have sufficient value to justify the study?
1.5. Has problem been delimited (cut to size)?
2.0. Hypotheses or Research Questions
2.1. What are the hypotheses? What are the research questions?
2.2. Are the hypotheses stated as directional research hypotheses?
2.3. Are they consistent with theory or empirical evidence?
3.0.Definitions and Assumptions
3.1. Have unique terms been defined theoretically and operationally as used in the study?
3.2. Have relevant assumptions been stated?
3.3. Have independent and dependent variables been defined?
4.0.Review of Literature
4.1. Is the reviewed literature related to all aspects of the study?
4.2. Have relevant, important studies been synthesized? (Watch for non-relevant fillers.)
4.3. Has attention been given to agreements - disagreements, consistency of findings, major approaches to studying the problem, main positions?
4.4. Does review of literature support need for the study?
4.5. Is it possible to identify a theoretical rationale for the study?
4.6. Is the review comprehensive?
4.7. Does the hypothesis rise from the literature and is it consistent with the literature?
5.0.Procedure - Method (Conduct of Study)
5.1. What type of study? – experimental, survey, case study, ethnographic, etc.
5.2. Describe the design - How does it minimize threats to internal validity? Symbolize the design, if applicable.
5.3. Data gathering
5.3.1. Methods (appropriate to questions)
Instruments, Validity, Reliability, Observation (Participant Observer Bias), Interview (Field Test), Available Records (Internal-External Criticism), credibility.
5.3.2. Sampling procedures
Description of population and sample
Description of sampling plans - random, stratified-non-comparable, purposive.
Note selection and assignment
How does sampling affect External Validity and Generalizability of findings?
5.4. Data Analysis
5.4.1. Appropriate technique
5.4.2. Identify the model symbolically (if appropriate)
5.4.3. Note assumptions underlying statistical technique
5.4.4. Processing Model
6.0. References - Books, Journals, Publications, Periodicals, Primary Sources, Reports, Secondary Sources
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College of Education Master’s Program Information
College of Education (COEDU) Requirements for Admission
The General Knowledge Test (GKT)/College Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST) (for students in Plan II and MAT programs) ->
Program Descriptions and Requirements
There are three degree programs offered at the master's level:
Beginning with the Spring semester of 2011, the College of Education’s minimum requirements for the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree are as follows:
||Foundations & Curriculum Core
||Minimum Degree Total
Degree Programs and Concentrations:
- Adult Education –M.A. M.Ed.
- Career and Technical Education - M.A
- College Student Affairs - M.Ed.
- Counselor Education - M.A.
- Early Childhood Education - M.A., M.Ed.
- Educational Leadership - M.Ed.
- Elementary Education - M.A.
- Elementary Education/ESOL - M.A.T.
- English Education - M.Ed. (M.A. is closed to new admissions)
- English Education/ESOL - M.A.T.
- Exercise Science - M.A.
- Foreign Language Education French, Spanish or German - M.Ed. (M.A. is closed to new admissions)
- Foreign Language Education/ESOL - M.A.T.
- Human Resource Development - M.A.
- Instructional Technology - M.Ed.
- Mathematics Education - M.Ed. (M.A. is closed to new admissions)
- Mathematics Education - M.A.T.: 5-9 or 6-12
- Measurement and Evaluation - M.Ed.
- Music Education (contact the College of The Arts)
- Physical Education - M.A.
- Reading Education - M.A.
- Science Education - M.A.T.
- Science Education (Biology, Chemistry, or Physics) - M.Ed. (M.A. is closed to new admissions)
- Secondary Education (M.Ed.)
- Social Science Education - M.A.T., M.Ed. (M.A. is closed to new admissions)
- Special Education, Behavior Disorders - M.A.
- Special Education, Exceptional Student Education Varying Exceptionalities/ESOL - M.A.T.
- Special Education, Gifted Education -M.A.
- Special Education, Mental Retardation - M.A.
- Special Education, Motor Disabilities (currently unavailable)
- Special Education, Specific Learning Disabilities - M.A.
NOTE: M.A programs in Art Education and Music Education are housed in the College of the Arts. Please contact that college for information.
Information about pursuing two master's degrees simultaneously will be available on the Graduate School website beginning Fall 2011.
M.A. Thesis Requirements
NOTE: Students working toward a thesis degree will have the benefit of a committee of members of the graduate faculty. Please check the requirements for your degree program to see if thesis is required.
Major Professor ->
Thesis Committee ->
Permission to Conduct Research Involving Human Beings - Institutional Review Board (IRB) ->
For both ethical and legal reasons, USF requires all researchers (including students) who conduct studies involving participation of human beings to have their projects reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects prior to the start of their studies. Virtually all research studies in the College of Education will require approval by the IRB as these studies involve the use of human subjects. Master’s students who have chosen the thesis option, must therefore submit an application for approval of their study by the IRB.
Comprehensive Examination ->
The comprehensive examination at the master's level is designed to assess the student's general knowledge, understanding and skills in the domain of study, and his or her ability to synthesize and apply critical components of this domain. Prior to clearance for the granting of the master's degree, candidates must perform satisfactorily on a comprehensive examination in their field. The format used to satisfy the comprehensive examination requirement may vary by department or program. The arrangements for the examination are made at the department level. Please check with your program advisor to determine the requirements needed in your academic discipline to fulfill this requirement.
Application and Clearance to take the Comprehensive Examination
Effective Fall 1998, comprehensive examinations within the College of Education are to be administered during the 11th or 12th week of the Fall and Spring semesters, and within the 3rd week in June for Session A & Session C classes, and the 4th week of July for Session B classes. Examinations that are administered jointly with the College of Arts and Sciences may need to be scheduled at other times.
Submission of Comprehensive Examination Results
The Program Advisor must submit the results of the comprehensive examinations to the COEDU Coordinator or Graduate Studies (EDU 106) no later than the deadline for submission of term grades in order for the student to meet graduation requirements for that semester. Results of comprehensive examinations taken in the College of Arts and Sciences (Secondary Education majors) are to be reported to the COEDU Departmental Program Coordinator. A copy of the results will be forwarded by the Departmental Program Coordinator to the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies.
On receipt of the student's Application for Comprehensive Examination form, the Program Advisor will check the student's current transcript against his/her officially signed and approved Program of Study form to ensure that all required coursework will have been completed and grades submitted by the end of the semester in which the comprehensive examination is to be taken. No more than 12 hours of coursework may be taken in the semester in which the comprehensive exam is to be taken, without prior approval from the program advisor. In the event there are changes to coursework listed on the Planned Program of Study, these changes must be submitted by the program advisor to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies and must be officially approved by that office. Notification of approval or denial [with reason(s)] to take the comprehensive examination will be sent to the student by his/her program advisor. A copy of the signed application form is to be retained in the student's departmental file.
Master's Degree Forms
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College of Education Advanced Graduate Student Information
Many concentrations are offered under the umbrella of “Curriculum and Instruction.” Students who have identified a degree program should contact the advisor listed for that program specialization.
Students seeking initial certification must be admitted to one of the degree programs offered in the College. Please be advised that program and/or course requirements are subject to change per state legislative mandates, Florida State Department of Education program approval standards, and accreditation criteria.
There are three degrees offered at the advanced graduate level:
Degree Programs and Concentrations:
- Adult Education - Ed.S., Ed.D., Ph.D.
- Career and Workforce Education - Ph.D.
- College Student Affairs - Ph.D. - (closed to new admissions)
- Counselor Education - Ed.S., Ph.D.
- Early Childhood Education - Ph.D.
- Educational Leadership - Ed.S., Ed.D.
- Educational Leadership, College Leadership - Ed.D.
- Elementary Education - Ed.S., Ed.D., Ph.D.
- English Education - Ph.D.
- Higher Education - Ed.S., Ph.D.
- Instructional Technology - Ed.S., Ph.D.
- Interdisciplinary Education - Ed.S., Ph.D.
- Mathematics Education -Ed.S., Ph.D.
- Measurement and Evaluation - Ed.S., Ph.D.
- Reading Education - Ed.S., Ph.D.
- School Psychology - Ed.S., Ph.D. (M.A. available only when combined with the Ed.S. or Ph.D. degree)
- Science Education - (Biology, Chemistry, or Physics) - Ed.S., Ph.D.
- Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology (SLAIT) joint program with the
- College of Arts & Sciences - Ph.D.
- Teaching and Learning in the Content Area: General Education - Ph.D.
- Secondary Education - Ph.D.
- Secondary Education (Social Science Education) - Ph.D.
- Special Education - Ed.S., Ph.D.
- Vocational Education - Ed.S.
Doctoral Qualifying Examination ->
Guiding Principles for Discussing the Qualifying Examination (QE)
The faculty in the College of Education (COEDU) sets forth six (6) principles that serve as a guide for the Qualifying Examination (QE). They are as follows:
- The QE represents an experience that is greater than the sum of the coursework that precedes it. Hence, the QE is neither a repetition of exercises and performances previously encountered in coursework, nor an opportunity to complete advanced work on the dissertation.
- The QE is a summative evaluation. It represents a terminal performance where students demonstrate a level of scholastic mastery that allows them to begin the task of independent research. At the same time, successful completion of the QE is a rite of passage that heralds a new relationship between mentor and protégé.
- The College respects and reveres the diverse intellectual traditions of its constituent programs. Variations in the nature and substance of the QE reflect these disciplinary differences.
- The QE represents a shared responsibility between professors and their students. Professors are responsible for informing advisees about the format and general content of the QE. Students are responsible for being mentally prepared to successfully complete the examination as well as for meeting administrative requirements and deadlines specified in the COEDU Advanced Graduate Handbook.
- The College is committed to the growth and success of its students as emerging scholars. Professors serve as advocates in guiding and mentoring students to perform well on the QE while upholding rigorous standards of academic performance.
- The COEDU has an unwavering commitment to the concept and practice of academic honesty and the QE exemplifies this in all aspects.
Excerpted from Guiding Principles for Discussing the Qualifying Examination. Developed by a subcommittee of the Graduate Programs Committee (GPC), and approved by GPC and COEDU Faculty Council, 2006.
Doctoral Qualifying Examination Policy
The COEDU offers the college-wide examination and the program specific examination as options to fulfill the qualifying examination requirement.
Policies and procedures related to the doctoral qualifying examination are developed by the College of Education's Graduate Programs Committee (GPC) and the COEDU Faculty Council and are coordinated through the COEDU Office of Graduate Studies. Students requiring accommodations for a documented disability should make the request in writing at the time the doctoral qualifying examination application is filed.
All students seeking to take the doctoral qualifying examination, whether college-wide option or program specific option must adhere to the policies and procedures associated with the eligibility and general guidelines.
Please check with your doctoral program advisor to determine whether or not a program specific option has been approved for your discipline.
All students, regardless of the Qualifying Examination option (College-Wide or Program-Specific) must meet the eligibility criteria below and must follow the procedures outlined for applying to take the Qualifying Examination.
- Have completed all coursework or be in the semester during which all coursework will be completed. (All incomplete ("I") and missing ( "M") grades for courses on the Planned Program of Study form and transcript must be removed prior to clearance for the Qualifying Examination).
- Have an approved Graduate Student Supervisory Committee form on file in the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs with a copy in the COEDU Graduate Studies' Office (EDU106): http://www.coedu.usf.edu/main/downloads/AdvDoctoralForms.html
- If changes have been made to the Supervisory Committee, an approved Change to the Advanced Graduate Student Supervisory form(s) must be on file in the Office of the COEDU Associate Dean for Academic Affairs with a copy in the COEDU Graduate Studies Office.
- Have an approved and current Program of Study form on file in the COEDU Graduate Studies Office.
- Be enrolled for at least 2 hours of graduate credit during the semester in which the qualifying examination will be taken. Students wishing to apply hours to the dissertation requirement must register for EDG 7910 (Directed Research), must have completed all required courses, and must have "I" and "M" grades removed from their transcripts.
- Have completed the Application to Take the Doctoral Qualifying Examination form and had it signed by the Major Professor and approved by the COEDU Graduate Coordinator. http://www.coedu.usf.edu/main/downloads/AdvDoctoralForms.html
- Have submitted the Application to Take the Doctoral Qualifying Examination form to the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies by the published deadline: http://www.coedu.usf.edu/main/sas/importantdates.html
The COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies approves the application if the student has met the eligibility requirements, the Graduate Student Supervisory Committee Appointment form is on file, and the Ph.D. Program of Study form is approved and on file. The COEDU Graduate Coordinator enters the date of the examination on the application form, makes two copies, and sends one copy to the student, one copy to the Major Professor, and retains the original application.
Using Directed Research Hours to Reduce Dissertation Hours
NOTE: No more than 50% of the total number of required dissertation hours may be used to reduce the required number of dissertation hours. Directed Research hours may be used in this way only during the semester the qualifying examination is taken and/or the semester during which the student is awaiting admission to candidacy. To initiate this process, the Major Professor must submit a written request to the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies during the appropriate semester(s).
General Guidelines for the Administration of all Qualifying Examination Options
- Students are given one opportunity to retake the exam with a minimum of 10 weeks between exam administrations and a maximum of one year.
- The Application to Take the Doctoral Qualifying Examination form is the vehicle used to reserve a space for students desiring to take the QE.
- Students are approved to take the college-wide examination during a specified semester on a space-available (first-come, first-served) basis due to the limited seating and computer equipment in the lab.
- Students must be cleared by the COEDU Graduate Coordinator prior to beginning the examination using the deadline dates posted at www.coedu.usf.edu
- The COEDU Graduate Studies Office will generate the paperwork necessary for Admission to Candidacy once the Verification form has been received, all coursework has been completed, and all missing and incomplete grades have been removed.
NOTE: Students who are unable to perform satisfactorily on two administrations of the qualifying examination will be dismissed from their degree programs.
Students who wish to be admitted to candidacy must submit all necessary documents to the Graduate School by the university’s published deadline. Please note that this is a firm deadline. Students are eligible to begin registering for dissertation hours the semester immediately following their admission to candidacy.
Admission to Candidacy ->
The COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies initiates the process for admission to candidacy when the Verification of Qualifying Examination Results form has been submitted to the COEDU Graduate Studies Office with the original signatures of all committee members. The Admission to Candidacy form is sent to the Major Professor and the Department Chairperson for review and signatures indicating that program and department specific requirements have been met. Once returned by the department, the COEDU Graduate Studies Office reviews the student's file one final time to ensure that the course titles and course numbers listed there reconcile with what appears on the student's transcript. If so, the Admission to Candidacy form is initialed by the COEDU Graduate Coordinator, and the form is sent forward to the COEDU Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Associate Dean reviews the form, signs in approval, if appropriate, and sends the original and one copy of the form to the USF Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School signs in approval, if appropriate, and notifies the Registrar that the student is admitted to candidacy and may enroll for dissertation hours the semester immediately following the semester of admission to candidacy. The Dean of the Graduate School notifies the student that he/she is admitted to candidacy.
The original form is filed in the Graduate School, and a copy is returned to the COEDU Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who then makes and sends one copy to the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies, one copy to the Major Professor, and one copy to the Department Chairperson/Program Coordinator. A copy is also sent to the student with a letter from the COEDU Associate Dean of Academic Affairs notifying him/her of admission to candidacy.
The student may not enroll in dissertation hours until the semester immediately following the semester of formal admission to candidacy. Students who must register for coursework while awaiting admission to candidacy should register for Directed Research (7910). Students who wish to use this coursework to decrease the overall number of dissertation hours required should have their major professors submit a request in writing to the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies, EDU 106. No more than 50% of the total dissertation hours required may be reduced in this way, and all other coursework must have been completed.
Enrollment in Dissertation Hours
Students must be admitted to candidacy before they are permitted to enroll in dissertation hours. Students may not register for dissertation hours until the semester immediately following the semester of formal admission to candidacy by the USF Dean of Graduate Studies. This requirement is strictly enforced at USF. Students who obtain an override and register for dissertation hours will be dis-enrolled by the Graduate School. Faculty and staff who override this restriction may have their permitting privileges revoked by the university.
- If students have incomplete or missing grade(s) or are completing coursework during the semester in which they sit and successfully complete the doctoral qualifying examination, their admission to candidacy will be delayed until the grades are cleared. Once the admission to candidacy form has been filed by the COEDU, and while students are awaiting official notification of admission to candidacy, they may enroll in Directed Research hours (xxx 7910). These Directed Research hours, upon written request by the Major Professor to the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies, may be applied to reduce the total number of dissertation credit hours required. The written request should be sent during the semester in which the Directed Research hours will be taken. No more than 50% of the total number of dissertation hours required may be used in this way. Directed Research hours taken during the qualifying examination semester, and the semester during which admission to candidacy is awaited may be used in this way.
- If students have completed all coursework prior to the semester in which they sit and successfully complete the doctoral qualifying examination, their admission to candidacy can occur during the same semester in which the qualifying examination is completed, if and only if, their admission to candidacy paperwork has been received in the Graduate School by the published university deadline in the semester during which candidacy is sought. If this condition is met, students may enroll in Directed Research hours(xxx 7910) in the semester during which the qualifying examination was taken, if they will also be working on the dissertation proposal during the semester and approval is requested by the Major Professor and approved by the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies. These Directed Research hours, upon written request by the Major Professor, may be applied to reduce the dissertation credit hour requirement.
Students are advised to consult their major professors to determine in which section of the Directed Research course (XXX 7910) they should register. Upon formal written request by the major professor to the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies (EDU 106), these directed research hours may be applied to reduce the total number of dissertation credit hours required. Directed Research hours taken during a semester when coursework is being completed may not be applied toward dissertation hours.
Ph.D. students will enroll for dissertation hours under the course prefixes for their areas of specialization. Specialization areas by Department are as follows:
Adult, Career & Higher Education:
EDV ADE 7980
EDH EDH 7980
Educational Leadership -
|EDV ECT 7980
Career & Workforce Development
EDH EDH 7980
EDU EEC 7980
EDE EDE 7980
EDR RED 7980
EDB EDA 7908
EDQ EDF 7980
Measurement & Evaluation
(College of Visual & Performing Arts)
MUS MUE 7980
Psychological & Social Foundations:
EDG MHS 7980
EDF SPS 7980
Second Language Acquisition &
EDX SLA 7980
EDT LAE 7980
EDK EME 7980
EDO MAE 7980
EDN SCE 7980
EDI ESE 7980
EDS EEX 7980
College of Education (Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Studies)
EDC EDG 7980
Continuous Enrollment (Dissertation Hours) ->
Beginning with the semester immediately following the semester of formal admission to candidacy, a doctoral student must be enrolled for a minimum of 2 hours of dissertation coursework (7980) each semester, including summer semester, until the dissertation has been defended successfully. This includes the semester during which the dissertation is defended, the semester in which final submission of the dissertation is made and the student certified for degree.
Unless a written exception has been approved by the Associate Dean of the USF Graduate School, failure to enroll as specified may result in dismissal of the student from the program, or students may be required to register retroactively for hours that were not taken.
Students whose status reverts to that of non-degree seeking due to non-continuous enrollment after admission to candidacy must reapply to the program and to candidacy. Another application fee is required. Students who are admitted after non-continuous enrollment must adhere to the policies at the time of their new admission and will be required to file a timeline for completion of degree and other documentation. Admission for students who reapply is at the discretion of the program and is not guaranteed.
Readmission Due To Non-Continuous Enrollment After Candidacy ->
Appointment of the Doctoral Committee (Ph.D. and Ed.D.)
Upon admission to a doctoral program, the student is required to meet with the department's graduate program coordinator or assigned program advisor during the first semester of study to select a major professor and form a doctoral supervisory committee. The coordinator or advisor will help the student identify a major Professor who must be a fully credentialed member of the College of Education graduate faculty, and who has knowledge and interest in the area of study chosen by the student. If co-major professors are desired, at least one must be a College of Education graduate faculty member who is credentialed to serve as a major professor, and who has knowledge and interest in the area of study chosen by the student. If co-major professors are desired, at least one must be a faculty member in the College of Education who is credentialed to serve as a major professor; the second co-major professor may be a faculty member in the College of Education or a similarly qualified faculty member from another USF college.
Major Professor ->
The role of the major professor is to serve as an academic mentor, an advocate for the student, and a representative of the academic institution. As chairperson of the doctoral committee, the major professor is the executive and accountable officer of that group. In that capacity the major professor has the responsibility and authority to make decisions on academic, logistical, technical, and interpersonal issues that may surface during the life of the committee.
The major professor is responsible for the following:
- assisting in the organization of the doctoral committee;
- convening and chairing the doctoral committee meetings;
- supervising the planning of the student's program of study;
- supervising the design and evaluation of the qualifying examination;
- supervising the preparation of the proposal and the dissertation, and
- conducting the affairs of the doctoral committee consistent with college and university policies.
Doctoral Committee ->
The Role and Composition of the Doctoral Committee are as follows:
- participating in the planning of the program of study;
- meeting with the candidate as needed for consultation;
- participating in the preparation and evaluation of the qualifying examination.
The Doctoral Committee is comprised of at least four members (a minimum of three members in addition to the Major Professor). The members must be College of Education graduate faculty. In special cases, a member(s) outside of the College of Education with special expertise in the academic area in which the major work of the degree will be done and whose academic record meets the criteria for graduate faculty in the College of Education may serve on the doctoral committee. At least three members of the doctoral committee must come from the academic or dissertation topic area in which the major work for the degree will be done. At least one member of the committee must be from outside the department of the student's major (or, in the case of School Psychology, outside the identified program faculty). If the student’s program of study includes a cognate area, one of the committee members should represent the cognate area that is a part of the student’s program of study.
- For a four-member committee, at least two members (the major professor and one other member) must be credentialed at the Full level in the College of Education.;
- A faculty member from one of the foundational areas (Psychological and Social Foundations, Educational Measurement & Research, or Curriculum and Instruction) may be counted toward the 3-member minimum requirement for the academic area in which the major work of the degree will be done.
Establishing a Doctoral Committee
The student should meet initially with the major professor for help in identifying prospective doctoral committee members. (As is noted above, one member of the doctoral committee must be from the cognate area that the student plans to pursue). The student should then meet individually with prospective committee members to ask them to serve on the doctoral committee. As soon as students have secured the approval of all faculty members to serve on the committee, they should complete the Appointment Form for Advanced Graduate Student Supervisory Committee, available online through the COEDU homepage at Advanced Graduate Forms. The student should then secure the signatures of his/her major professor and other committee members on the form.
After all committee members have signed, the student should submit the form to the department chairperson for review and approval. A current vita for the major professor and committee member(s) outside the College of Education must accompany this form when submitted to the department chairperson.
The department chairperson reviews the Appointment Form for Advanced Graduate Student Supervisory Committee and, if approval is to be granted, signs and submits the form along with an accompanying vitae of non-COEDU member(s) (if applicable) to the COEDU Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (EDU 105). The COEDU Associate Dean for Academic Affairs approves and signs the form if it is complete and all committee members are appropriately credentialed. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs sends copies to the major professor, the student, the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies, and the department chairperson/program advisor.
The Supervisory Committee form must be submitted and approved. The doctoral committee must be appointed as soon as possible, and the selection of the major professor and committee must be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
NOTE: It is in the best interest of the student to form the doctoral committee as soon as possible. The doctoral committee assists the student in planning the program of study, which must be approved no later than the time the student has completed fifty percent (50%) of the required coursework for the program. This 50% total excludes the required dissertation hours.
Change of Committee Membership ->
Change of Committee Form: Whenever there is a change made to the Doctoral Supervisory Committee a Change to the Advanced Graduate Student Supervisory Committee form should be completed and submitted by the doctoral student to the Office of the COEDU Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (EDU 105E). Committee members leaving the Committee or being added to the Committee should be listed and the form signed by the Major/Co-Major Professor(s) and new Committee members. The form must also be signed by the Department Chair. (For the Interdisciplinary Education program, the form must be signed by the Interdisciplinary Program Coordinator.) No changes may be made to the Doctoral Committee within six weeks of the final dissertation defense.
At the time of the Doctoral Qualifying Examinations, the proposal defense, and the final oral defense, a current approved Advanced Graduate Student Supervisory Committee form must be on file in the Office of the COEDU Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and a copy in the COEDU Graduate Coordinator's office in order for the student to be cleared for the qualifying examination or defenses.
Graduate Certificates Offered ->
Advanced Programs Forms
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Office of Student Academic Services
Location: EDU 106
Internship: (813) 974-3440
Graduate Studies: (813) 974-3406
Undergraduate Advising: (813) 974-4728
Issues or concerns about the SAS Office should be communicated to:
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