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									                     Graduate School Regulations

Full admission can be achieved by one of three methods:

1) Applicant has achieved a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher in their last 90
quarter hours of undergraduate degree work, or

2) Applicant has received a score of 395 or higher on the Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT), or

3) Applicant has received on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) an average score of
450 for the verbal and quantitative sections and 3.5 on the analytical writing section, or

4) Applicant already holds a masters degree or higher from a recognized accredited
college or university.

Probationary Admission (limited to one term)

The applicant seeking Probationary Admission must:

1) have achieved between a 2.5 and 2.99 grade point average (GPA) in their last 90
   quarter hours of undergraduate degree work,
2) have taken either the Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record
   Examination (GRE), but has not received the required passing score,
3) have formally applied to the Graduate Studies Committee for probationary status, and
4) has been recommended by the student’s program (petition) for probationary

Application to a particular graduate program

Your application to the Admissions Office is your request to be allowed to study at
Western, it is not a request to enter a particular program. Conversely, acceptance
by a degree program does not automatically grant you admission to the University.
If you are interested in pursuing a master’s degree in the following areas please contact
the office listed; for all other inquiries contact the Graduate Office.

     Degree area                          Division of the University          Phone
  Criminal Justice                                   Social Science          (503) 838 8288
  Deafness related programs                          Center on Deafness      (503) 838 8444
  Master of Science in Education                     School of Education     (503) 838 8471
  Master of Arts in Teaching (Initial high school)   School of Education     (503) 838 8471
  Rehabilitation Counseling                          School of Education     (503) 838 8444
  Special Education                                  Special Education       (503) 838 8322

Finding an Advisor

Advisors are generally not assigned to new students automatically. The student
should take the initiative and contact the program coordinator, or Chair of the Division in
which the program is located, to receive the name(s) of appropriate advisor(s). Some
graduate degree programs will require two advisors. You should make every effort to
keep in close communication with your advisor. The Graduate Office strongly
encourages you to meet with your advisor at least once each term you are on campus. A
student in a teacher education program who attends Western only during the summer
term should make a formal contact with an advisor in April or early May before each
summer term.

Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is your contract with the University. It should be filed as soon as
possible. This contract will list all the courses you are required to take for your degree,
and it will identify your graduate advisor(s). Until the Graduate School accepts the Plan
of Study there is no formal agreement between you and the University. Specific Plans of
Study for your degree are available in the Graduate Office, and your
Division/Department offices.

Students seeking federal financial aid must file a Plan of Study or a draft Plan of
Study in the Graduate Office before they can receive aid.

Admissions verse Candidacy

An admission is considered permission from the University to begin your advanced
studies. Usually students in their second or third term of study apply to become
candidates. An application for candidacy is available in the Graduate Studies Office
(Administration, Room 107). This packet contains an application that must be reviewed
and signed by you and your program advisor. There are three recommendation forms that
must be filled out by professors who have taught graduate courses that you have taken.
The student and advisor will receive a letter from the Graduate Office informing them
that the student has been accepted for Candidacy.
Length of graduate programs - transfer classes

All master degree programs at Western Oregon University must be at least 45-quarter
hours of graduate level courses. Graduate level courses have 500 numbers. Half of the
courses used in your degree must have an “M” designation (example: Ed 521M). The
“M” designation indicates that this course is open only to graduate students.

Please note: several graduate programs at Western are longer in length than 45 credits.
The program and their accrediting agencies establish the length of a particular graduate

With the approval of your advisor, you may transfer up to 15-quarter credits of graduate
coursework from another accredited college or university.

Only courses awarding a letter grade (A-F) can be used in your degree. In some cases
courses listed for a particular degree have in their course catalog description a statement
that specifically states that a Pass or Satisfactory grade is the equivalent to a “B” or
higher. A “Pass” grade from these courses can be used as part of your degree.

Advance Final Project (501, 501M, or 601), Independent studies (506, 506M, or 606),
Seminar (507, 507M, or 607), Workshop (508, 508M, or 608), and Practicum (509, 509M
or 609) courses are limited to a maximum of 15 hours with a limit of 9 hours of the same
number on any plan of study. All courses taken for the degree should not be more than
five (5) years old at the time the degree is conferred (a two-year extension can be granted).

Class load per term

Full time status is considered 9 to 16 credit hours during fall, winter, or spring terms. In
summer term, there is a limit of 9 hours of graduate level courses that can be taken in six
(6) weeks. Nine hours during any term is required for full federal financial aid.

Non-admitted graduate students are limited to a maximum of 8 hours of graduate classes
during any regular academic term (fall, winter, and spring).

Dismissal based on academic performance

A graduate student must maintain a “B” average at all times (GPA 3.0), and cannot have
more than 8 hours of grades less than B-.

Special considerations and/or waivers to the guidelines

Any student can petition the Graduate Studies Committee for special consideration and/or
waivers to policy. Petition forms are available in the Graduate Office, and in most
Division/Department offices. The Graduate Studies Committee usually meets on the third
Tuesday of each month from September through May.
                     Types of Final Evaluation Procedures
All Graduate students must complete a final evaluation. Common final evaluations are:

       Written Comprehensive Examinations
       Field Study
       Professional Project
       Advanced Proficiency Documentation

In some degree programs, a combination of two final evaluations may be required. For
example, it is possible that both a Portfolio and written comprehensive examination will
be required. Each program has approved final examination procedures. Contact
your advisor to find out which final evaluation procedures are open to you.

Western Oregon University’s Institutional Review Board must approve all research
dealing with Human Subjects. Failure to secure appropriate approval before data
collection is a serious breach of professionalism, and could be grounds for a
student’s removal from graduate study at Western.

The latest version of the University’s human subject research policy can be found by
opening the University web site (www.wou.edu) and clicking on “Graduate
Programs”. On the Graduate Program front page you will see “Institutional Review
Board” click there.

                        Written Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive written examinations are taken during the student’s last quarter of study
or after all courses have been completed for a particular degree. The examination is
designed to be taken in two morning sessions or on one full day. The dates for
comprehensive examinations are established for the University for each term. Individual
test dates for comprehensive examinations are not allowed.

The examination is seven (7) hours in length. Most examinations have a general
education component that requires three hours to complete, and a subject matter/specialty
component that usually requires four hours to complete. The readers/evaluators of your
examinations will not know who wrote any particular answer. All candidates will be
identified by code numbers picked by random by the Graduate Office.
The examination section of the examination will be graded as:

With Distinction

If you receive a failing grade you must retake that section of your examination. Each
graduate student will be allowed only two attempts to pass their comprehensive
examination. If you receive an unsatisfactory grade you will be scheduled for a one-hour
oral review by a committee of faculty. The oral will focus on the section(s) that was/were
evaluated as unsatisfactory. Every attempt will be made to have at least one member of
the oral committee from your program.

A team of professors usually writes the general knowledge/general education component.
Your answers will also be read and graded by a team of readers.

Your advisor and/or professors who usually teach courses listed on the student’s Plan of
Study often write the subject matter or specialty area questions. These questions are
based on the courses you took as part of your degree. The faculty who wrote the
questions in the subject matter or specialty area usually read and rates the responses.

Note: All of the following final evaluation procedures should be planned for the
latter part of your program. These procedures are designed to build on the
knowledge that you have gained from your program of study. All of the procedures
listed below will need the active involvement of your advisor and an advisory

                                 Thesis and Field Study

Thesis and Field Studies are similar projects. They are both attempts to share with the
professional community information that may be used to enhance the common
knowledge base of a particular profession. The focus of the Thesis research is to answer a
question that is of interest to the general profession. The focus of Field Study research is
to answer questions that are of concern to a segment of a profession. The results of Thesis
research are generalizable to an entire field; where as results of Field Studies are not.

In both cases the master’s candidate must show familiarity with previous work in the
field and must demonstrate ability to organize data and explain their results. Thesis at the
master’s level does not require exhaustive review of work in the student’s field, nor is
original scholarship necessarily expected.
The format for both Thesis and Field Study are similar:

       Thesis                                          Field Study

     Introduction                       Rationale for the Project which includes
                                         a detailed description of environment
                                           for which the study was designed

 Review of Literature                            Review of Literature

Statement of Hypothesis

    Methodology                                       Methodology

     Analysis                                          Analysis

      Results                                           Results


Portfolio is an exit document that is approved on a program by program basis. Individual
graduate candidates cannot select a Portfolio unless their degree program has been
approved to offer Portfolio. Generally Portfolios are documents limited to development
of an individual philosophical statement. Portfolios are usually part of a professional
degree in which the candidate has demonstrated professional competency in closely
supervised field experiences, and in fields that have diverse professional philosophies.
Each graduate program that requires Portfolios may add to the basic Portfolio
requirement listed below. Each student within a particular graduate program will be
required to follow the same format as determined by the program.

Portfolio must include the following:

       Analysis of the Professional Literature

       Application of the Literature to the Candidate’s Specific Professional Goals

       Associated Project/ Case Study Which Demonstrates that the Candidate has
       Incorporated the Specific Application as Previously Stated

                                  Professional Project

A Professional Project attempts to share with the professional community information
that may be used to enhance the common knowledge base of a particular profession. The
focus of the Professional Project is to produce a product that is of interest and useful to
the student’s professional field of study.

The master’s candidate must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must
demonstrate ability to organize data and explain how their end product will add to the
previous body of knowledge. Examples of a Professional Project may include but are not
limited to: curriculum design for a particular discipline, training programs, or computer
programs for a particular application.

The Professional Project is a professional paper, which is accompanied by the finished

The general format of the Professional Project is:


       Review of Literature

       Need Statement or Reason Why There is a Need for the Professional Product

       Rationale for the Design of the Professional Product

       Attachment: Professional Project

                     Continuing Teaching License Documentation
                 (Formerly titled: Advanced Proficiency Documentation)

This alternative final procedure is only available to students seeking a Continuing
Teaching License (part of a Master of Science in Education degree). Specific
requirements for completing the Continuing Teaching License Documentation course (Ed
501M or FS 601) are available from the College of Education. The student must be
employed as a teacher and make formal arrangements with a school district to complete
this on-the-job demonstration of competency. The student must register for six credit
hours during the last year of study. A written comprehensive examination may also be
required as part of the degree requirements.

                                Publication Standards
The general format required of all typed final evaluation materials is listed below:

       1)      There is a minimal top, bottom, and side margin of one (1) inch.
       2)      The body of the paper must be double-spaced. Graphs, tables and charts
               should be easily readable but do not have to be doubled-spaced.
       3)      Only 12 point typeface should be used.
       4)      All pages should be numbered at the bottom of the page.
       5)      Only white 8.5” X 11” paper may be used.
       6)      Manuscript should be printed on 20 to 25 pound bond paper.

For all other publication standards, Western Oregon University, Office of Graduate
Studies has adopted the American Psychological Association (APA) publication
standards. APA publication manuals are available in most bookstores and libraries.
Information is also available on the World Wide Web at http://www.apa.org.
Any master’s candidate may propose an alternate publication style. The request to use
another publication style must be made in writing to the Director of Graduate Studies.

      Special Requirements for Thesis, Field Study, and Professional Projects


The candidate must select a committee before beginning their thesis, field study or
professional project. The committee and topic must be pre-approved.

Pre-approval requires a short abstract and copy of Institutional Review Board,
Human Subject application approval letter be attached in cases where human
subject will be part of the study.


For the Thesis, Professional Project, and Field Study, after successfully completing their
oral defense, the candidate must provide the Graduate Office one unbound committee
approved manuscript. A fee will be assessed to cover the cost of producing library copies.
The student can order additional copies.

                  Requirements for All Final Evaluation Procedures
                   (except Written Comprehensive Examinations)

                                  Writing Committee

All final evaluations, except the written comprehensive examination, will require the
candidate to establish a committee of three advisors/reviewers. The committee will have
a chair, usually the candidate’s major advisor, and at least one other approved faculty
member of Western Oregon University. The third member can be a member of Western’s
faculty or a professional who has supervised the candidate sometime during their degree
program. Please note: candidates seeking the Master of Science in Education degree must
have one graduate faculty member who represents the educational core, and one faculty
member representing the 21 credit hour competency area.
                               Oral Examination/Oral Defense

All final evaluations, except the written comprehensive examinations, require the
candidate to complete an oral examination. This examination/defense is usually
conducted by the candidate’s writing committee. The examination/defense committee
will be comprised of three members; two must be graduate faculty of Western Oregon
University. The focus of the oral examination is usually the written manuscript and/or
product produced by the candidate. However, the committee is not limited in their range
and scope of inquiry. A final report that includes both an evaluation of the candidate’s
written material and performance in their oral examination must be sent to the Graduate
Office. Unless the candidate’s committee chair has made other arrangements with
the Graduate Office, final evaluation forms are due in the Graduate Office at least
two (2) weeks before the end of any term.

In the event the defense is unsatisfactory, the committee shall so inform the candidate and
counsel the candidate as to possible future actions. The results of the oral defense shall be
reported in writing to the Graduate Office along with a statement of the future action to
be taken by the candidate.
                                Personal Log of Activities

Applied to Western Oregon University, Admissions Office              Date: _______

Received letter of acceptance from the Admissions Office             Date: _______

Contacted graduate program to receive general information            Date: _______

Applied to graduate program (not necessary of all programs)          Date: _______

Received letter of acceptance from graduate program                  Date: _______

Met with graduate advisor(s)

        Advisor name: _________________________ Office phone _____________

        Advisor name: _________________________ Office phone _____________

Developed/filed a Graduate Plan of Study
(usually completed with advisor(s) approval during first term)       Date: _______

Apply for candidacy
(must be done before beginning the last 18 hours of study)           Date: _______

Receive candidacy approval letter from the Graduate Office           Date: _______

If needed, request pre-approval of thesis, professional project,
or field study                                                       Date: _______

Apply for graduation, and if needed, apply for comprehensive examination
(Term before your intended term of graduation)                         Date: _______

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