Policies Governing Graduate Study

Master’s, Ed.S., and Certificate Programs

Plan of Study

At the time of admission to a degree program, an individual plan of study, also called a degree audit, will be sent to the student with their official letter of admission from the Dean of Graduate Studies. This individual plan of study will list all requirements for the completion of the degree program. These requirements may include deficiency courses and other provisions of admission, as well as specific courses to be completed to graduate and comprehensive examinations, if applicable. Any deviations to this plan of study must be approved by the student's advisor, graduate program committee chair, and Dean of Graduate Studies by completing the Change in Plan of Study form. Upon approval, the student and department/school will be notified.

A "B" average (3.0 on a scale of 4.0) must be maintained in all graduate work taken as part of a degree program.

Plan of Study Report

The plan of study report outlines the requirements to complete the degree program at UNO. The summary of credit toward graduation includes any credit completed at UNO, as well as any approved transfer credit which applies to requirements for the degree. Listed below are important things to keep in mind:

  • Graduate Students should meet regularly with their advisors or with other department/school-approved advisors.
    • Review the standard degree/certificate plan. Submit to the Office of Graduate Studies (EAB 203) any deviations on the Change in Plan of Study form with appropriate signatures.
    • Concentrations and Minors: If including a concentration or minor in one’s degree/certificate program, a Change in Plan of Study form must be submitted that includes this information. If one’s degree/certificate program includes a thesis, non-thesis, or project option, the appropriate option must be selected on the form as well.
    • Please note: provisions of admission are included in the plan of study report.
    • Transfer Credits: Up to one-third of the coursework required for the degree/certificate may be accepted from a regionally accredited institution other than the University of Nebraska. All transfer credit must have a grade of "B" (3.0) or better and be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies on the Change in Plan of Study form.
    • Graduate course requirement: At least one-half of the graduate course work required for the degree/certificate program must be restricted to graduate students only (8--0 or 9--0). No more than two 3--0/8--5 courses are allowed on a plan of study.
      • BSAD courses 8110, 8120, 8130, 8170, and 8180 may not be used on any plan of study.
      • ISQA 8010, 8020, 8040, and 8050 may not be used on any plan of study.
  • If completing a thesis, or thesis-equivalent project, or Ed.S. field project: Refer to the Guidelines for Preparing Theses, Thesis-Equivalent Projects, EdS Field Projects below for information pertaining to approval of a supervisory committee, proposal approval, formatting, and deadlines.
  • Grade point average: Students must maintain an overall GPA of "B" (3.0) in all graduate course work taken as a part of their degree/certificate course of study. Grades of "C-" or below result in dismissal from Graduate Studies and may not be used on a graduate plan of study. If a student tre-registers for a course to improve his or her grade, he or she must work with the Registrar's Office to note this on his or her transcript.
  • Time Limit: The degree, certificate, or Ed.S. program must be completed within ten consecutive calendar years. Coursework that is over 10 years old (30 consecutive terms) at the completion of the degree program (as defined by the plan of study and including any necessary comprehensive exams) cannot be used for a Master’s or Ed.S. degree. The first day of class of the earliest course which appears on the student’s plan of study is the beginning of the student’s graduate education.

Minor Field

A student is not required by the graduate faculty to have a minor. However, a student may elect to complete a minor with the permission of both the major department/school and the minor department/school.

The minor must consist of no fewer than nine (9) graduate hours. The courses must be included on the Change in Plan of Study form and the minor department must sign off on this form. The minor will be reflected on the student's transcript at the time of graduation.

Students who elect to complete a minor may be required to take a comprehensive examination over the minor field. This requirement will be at the discretion of the minor advisor. If such an examination is given, it should be given at a date arranged at the convenience of both the student and the minor advisor, but falling within the limits established for all comprehensive examinations.

Concentrations

A department/school may offer specialized areas of concentration of at least nine (9) hours to graduate students pursuing degrees in that department/school. The area of concentration must appear on the approved plan of study. The Registrar will identify this area of concentration on the student's transcript.

Transfer of Graduate Credit

Approval of the transfer of graduate credit for course work taken at another regionally accredited university (including extension credit but not including correspondence courses) is made at the time a Change in Plan of Study form is submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies. Grades received in courses for transfer of credit must be the equivalent of "B" (3.0 on a scale of 4.0) or higher. Transfer of graduate credits from a course taken with a pass/fail option must be recommended by the relevant Graduate Program Committee, supported by a written evaluation from the instructor and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. All work accepted for transfer of credit must have been taken within the prescribed time limits for graduate degrees and is subject to restriction if previously used to satisfy requirements for another graduate degree.

The only course work from other institutions posted on the UNO transcript will be those used on the approved plan of study.

Transfer of Credits Taken Outside the University of Nebraska

Up to one-third of the coursework required for a graduate degree program may be accepted from an accredited institution other than a unit of the University of Nebraska when the transfer is supported by the student's adviser and the appropriate Graduate Program Committee. Final approval will be made by the UNO Dean of Graduate Studies. All other policies regarding graduate programs will apply. An official transcript must be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies documenting that the course(s) were taken for graduate credit.

Transfer of Credits Taken at the University of Nebraska

There are no a priori limits on the transfer and applicability of credits earned in one program of the University of Nebraska toward meeting degree requirements in another such program, except as they are used to earn distinct degrees. However, such credits must be individually evaluated and approved by the appropriate Graduate Program Committee and campus Dean of Graduate Studies before they can actually be transferred. UNOmaha students who wish to take courses at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, or the University of Nebraska at Kearney for transfer of credit should complete the intercampus application process available at https://intercampus.nebraska.edu/pre_inter_campus.aspx.

Thesis

Master’s Thesis, Thesis-Equivalent Project and Ed.S. Field Project Guide

A Master’s Thesis, Thesis-Equivalent Project, or Ed.S. Field Project provides the opportunity for students to acquire first-hand experience in research or creative activities with the supervision of experienced faculty. A thesis or thesis-equivalent project is equivalent to six semester hours of credit. The Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) field project is equivalent to three semester hours of credit. Required course hours must be indicated on each student’s plan of study.

Grades for a thesis, thesis-equivalent project, or Ed.S. field project are recorded on the permanent record after completion and approval by the department/school and the Office of Graduate Studies. For a thesis or thesis-equivalent project, grades will be either “S” for “Satisfactory” or “U” for “Unsatisfactory”. A letter grade will be recorded for the Ed.S. field project.

The thesis, thesis-equivalent project, or Ed.S. field project is not considered to be a publication; thus, it may be published, in whole or in part, and either quoted or paraphrased by giving appropriate credit to the relevant department/school, the Graduate College, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Students must file a Proposed Supervisory Committee form (http://www.unomaha.edu/graduate/downloads/Supervisory_committeeForm.pdf) and a Thesis Proposal Approval form (http://www.unomaha.edu/graduate/downloads/Thesis_ProposalapprovalForm.pdf) with the Office of Graduate Studies before initiating the thesis, thesis-equivalent project, or Ed.S. field project, at least one semester prior to the student’s anticipated graduation date.

Thesis, Thesis-Equivalent Project, and Ed.S. Field Project (ETD) Submission Procedures

The Supervisory Committee guides the student in the conduct and development of the thesis, thesis-equivalent project, or Ed.S. field project and approves the final product. Typically, final recommendations from the supervisory committee or the Supervisory Committee Chair are provided to the student at the time of the final oral examination, although details vary among departments/schools and individual faculty. Final approval of the ETD, in PDF format, is contingent upon approval by the supervisory committee and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Procedures:

When the final PDF version of the thesis/project has been approved by the supervisory committee, the student must submit the following to the Office of Graduate Studies for the final administrative step in the approval process:

NOTE : If the thesis/project is to be held pending patent issuances, etc., the student must specify this at the time the PDF file is submitted to ProQuest (UMI).

An electronic version of the thesis, thesis-equivalent project, or Ed.S. field project (collectively referred to as ETDs) is required. An ETD is a document expressed in a format simultaneously suitable for machine archives and worldwide retrieval. Preparation of the ETD may be done using most word processor or document preparation systems that incorporate relevant multimedia objects.

The ETD has many benefits, including:

  • More access to research, both on campus and worldwide
  • Lower expense to authors as there are no paper costs
  • Can provide a better presentation of the research than available in a traditional paper format

Students who wish to order bound copies may do so through ProQuest, or they may make other arrangements.

As part of the ETD submission, students’ abstracts are published in UMI’s Master’s Theses or Dissertations Abstracts publications. Upon submission, the student authorizes ProQuest to produce copies of his or her work on demand for a fee. However, the student may request that UMI not distribute (or embargo) his or her ETD until further notice (up to two years). Some reasons for this include if there is a patent pending, the student’s employer requires a review of the work, or a publishing agreement requires initial publication. The ETD will also be included in the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Database (PQDT), which includes more than 2.3 million citations, of which 870,000 are available in PDF. Each submission includes an abstract, citation, a preview, and a PDF if available. About 3000 libraries subscribe to the PQDT.

After the documents are submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies, the student must upload the thesis/project to ProQuest. Instructions for the upload can be found at http://dissertation2.umi.com/unomaha/.

Be certain that the electronic version, in PDF format, is exactly as was approved by the supervisory committee. ETDs are to be checked for formatting, pagination, spelling, grammar, and typos by the student and the student’s supervisory committee.

For help with conversion of files from word processing to PDF, see the Library staff. Since errors may occur when converting from a word processor file to a PDF file, it is essential that the student review the final version of the PDF.

NOTE: There is a fee to submit the ETD through ProQuest. The amount is noted on the website.

After successfully uploading the thesis/project, the Office of Graduate Studies will be notified electronically by ProQuest of the submission and asked to provide final approval. Final approval of the thesis/project will not be granted if the paper copy and the Report on Completion of Degree form are not already completed.

NOTE: These steps must be completed prior to the end of the day of the Graduate deadline, 12 working days prior to the commencement ceremony at the end of each semester.

Formatting Instructions: http://www.unomaha.edu/graduate/thesis_format.php

Submission Instructions: http://www.unomaha.edu/graduate/thesis_submit.php

Double Major, Dual-Degree Programs and Second Master’s Degrees

Master’s Degree with a Double Major

The professional/scholastic goals of some master’s students may be enhanced substantially by acquiring more knowledge of a second field than is currently provided by the option of earning a minor, yet they may not need a dual degree (i.e., two masters degrees in separate majors, typically 60+ credit hours). The UNO Graduate Council has approved the concept of providing master’s degree students with the option of attaining a double major within the same degree (e.g., Master of Arts with two different majors). For instance, a student may be permitted, with proper approvals, to pursue a Master of Arts degree in the majors of history and geography because these majors both lead to the Master of Arts degree. One cannot attain a double major in history and biology because these majors lead to the Master of Arts and the Master of Science degrees, respectively.

  • Students must submit two separate applications with one application fee. An email must then be sent to graduate@unomaha.edu, clearly specifying that the student is seeking a double major, which department/school is to consider the application first, and if support from both of the departments/schools is being sought.
  • The graduate committee of the first department/school will pass the application to the second graduate committee with the results of its decisions (recommendation for acceptance with support, recommendation for acceptance without support, refusal of admission).
  • The prospective student should be aware that a decision to recommend admission by one of the graduate committees does not affect the decision of the other. The criteria for acceptance may differ between programs; admission to one or both of the department's/school's programs does not guarantee acceptance for a double major master’s degree.
  • Final approval of all applicants rests with the Dean of Graduate Studies. If one major is approved and one denied, the student must submit another application with an additional $45 application fee to apply to another major.

Students accepted to a double major must meet, at least, the minimum requirements for each of the majors:

  • Course work of no less than 18 credit hours in each of the two disciplines
  • Courses cross-listed in both majors may only be counted once.
  • The precise number of credits may vary depending on the total required hours for a particular major.
  • For each of the two majors, students must take at least nine credits in courses open only to graduate students (8000- or 9000-level), excluding thesis hours.
  • The student is required to successfully satisfy the thesis/comprehensive examination or equivalent requirements for each major. In the event that both programs have a thesis requirement, either:
    • Two theses may be written or
    • The content of the thesis may reflect the content of both majors.
  • If a joint thesis is elected, the thesis committee shall then consist of two graduate faculty members from each of the major departments/schools and shall be co-chaired by a faculty member from each of the major departments/schools.
  • If a student is already pursuing a major in a degree program, then decides he or she would like to obtain a second major, a new application and admission fee is required. The new application must be approved by the original graduate committee prior to review by the second graduate committee. However, once the master’s degree is conferred, a second major cannot be attained. Students would then be required to apply for admission to a second master’s degree program, and upon acceptance, complete all requirements of a full, independent program.

Dual-Degree Programs

Dual-degree programs must be approved by the Graduate Council and Dean of Graduate Studies. Dual-degree programs are a specifically approved combination of two Master's degree programs as distinguished from a master's degree with a double major (e.g., Master of Arts in English and History).

Second Master's Degree

Use of graduate credit earned for the first degree will be treated in the same manner as transfer credit from another institution if applied to the requirements for the second degree. Up to one-third of the course work required for the second master's degree may consist of courses from a previous graduate degree. All other policies regarding graduate programs apply.

Doctoral Programs

Supervisory Committee

In order to assure that students are under careful advisement and mentoring throughout their careers, a Supervisory Committee must be established before a doctoral student begins the last 45 credit hours of their program of study. The supervisory committee is appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies, based upon the recommendation of the Graduate Program Committee in the student’s major prior to the approval of the program of study. The establishment of a supervisory committee is based on the student’s demonstrated ability in the fundamental subject matter of his/her major field and professional promise.

The supervisory committee consists of at least four Graduate Faculty members, one of whom must be from outside the student’s academic department/school or area in which the doctorate is to be granted. The chair of the supervisory committee must be a member of the Graduate Faculty. In addition to the minimum requirement of four Graduate Faculty members, other eligible persons may be recommended by the Graduate Program Committee for appointment by the Dean to the supervisory committee, provided at least two-thirds of the membership of each committee is Graduate Faculty.

Changes to the Supervisory Committee

Any changes to the supervisory committee after initial approval must be submitted via a new Supervisory Committee form and submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

If the chair of a supervisory committee leaves the employ of the University, or retires, the Office of Graduate Studies must be notified immediately and a change in the supervisory committee as follows:

  • If the student has already achieved Candidacy, the former chair who has left the employ of the University may be permitted to continue as co-chair of the supervisory committee, with the agreement of the departmental/school Graduate Program Committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies. A second co-chair must be appointed who is a resident Graduate Faculty member.
  • If the student has not yet achieved Candidacy, a new chair of the supervisory committee who is a resident Graduate Faculty member must be appointed immediately, with the agreement of the departmental/school Graduate Program Committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  • If a member of the supervisory committee other than the chair leaves the employ of the University, or retires, a replacement should normally be appointed who is a resident Graduate Faculty member. In certain circumstances where a special and needed continuing expertise is involved and the staff member is willing to continue serving, he/she may continue as a member of the supervisory committee, with the approval of the departmental/school Graduate Program Committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Program of Study

Within the same semester of its appointment, the supervisory committee will meet to designate and subsequently file in the Office of Graduate Studies a complete program of studies, including any language or research tool requirements (if applicable), and the reading committee. The reading committee consists of two members from the supervisory committee, excluding the chair of the committee.

Generally, courses taken before admission to the doctoral program cannot be included in the Doctoral Requirements section of the program of study form. At least 45 hours of the student’s doctoral course work is to be completed after the approval of the program of study by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Any subsequent change in the program must be approved by the supervisory committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

The minimum amount of graduate credit for the Ph.D. is 90 semester hours, including a dissertation. The Ph.D. dissertation will normally account for 20 semester hours; however, the Information Technology dissertation requires a minimum of 24 semester hours. The minimum number of graduate credit for the Ed.D. is 96 semester hours, including the dissertation, which normally accounts for 12 semester hours.

Residency

A residency requirement has been established for the purpose of ensuring that the doctoral program be reasonably compact, continuous, and coherent; and that a substantial portion be done at and under the close supervision of the university. The residency requirement is part of the student’s approved program.

In exceptional circumstances, where it is clear that the purpose of residency being fulfilled although the formal conditions is not met, the student’s supervisory committee may, with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies, designate an alternative procedure for satisfying the residency requirement.

Requirements for Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Ph.D. in Information Technology, Ph.D. in Psychology and Ph.D. in Exercise Science

  • For a student beginning a doctoral program in the University of Nebraska system with a bachelor’s degree, the residency requirement for the PhD is 27 hours of graduate work within a consecutive 18-month period or less, with the further provision that 15 of these hours must be taken after receiving the master’s degree or equivalent.
  • For a student who transfers to the University of Nebraska system with a master’s degree from another institution, or who takes a break in his/her graduate work between the time the master’s degree is awarded and the time he/she starts work on a doctoral program, the residency requirement for the Ph.D. is 27 hours of graduate work in a consecutive 18-month period or less.
  • For a member of the University staff who is engaged at least half-time in instruction or research in his/her major area, or a person employed in his/her major field, the residency requirement is 24 hours of graduate work within a consecutive two-year period with the further provision he/she take at least 12 of these hours after receiving the master’s degree or its equivalent.
  • Not more than one-third of the work for residency, or nine credit hours, may be taken during the summer sessions.

Requirements for the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Ed.D. degree

  • The residency requirement for doctoral students in Educational Administration and Public Administration is 24 hours in 24 consecutive months. The supervisory committee may determine how many of the required residency hours may be taken during the summer sessions.

Time Limit for Completion of Degree

A minimum of three full years of graduate study is normally required to complete a program for the degrees Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education. The time limit on granting the Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree is ten years from the time of filing the student’s program of study in the Office of Graduate Studies. Individual programs may have other deadlines for completion. Neither the courses taken nor the time spent in study determines the granting of the degree. It is given primarily for high attainment in some special field of scholarship and for demonstrated power of independent research in a subdivision of this field.

Leave of Absence

Doctoral students who are forced to interrupt their studies may request a leave of absence from the University for up to one year. In consultation with their department/school and their supervisory committee, students should define the program modifications the leave of absence requires. Requests should indicate a reason for leaving and the expected date of return to the University. If approval is granted, the time limits on the granting of the doctoral degree will be frozen for the time specified (up to one year). Students should file a request with their supervisory committee chair, who will forward it to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies is required prior to taking the leave of absence.

Student Statutory Leave

When a student receives a written notice to provide mandated community service as an election official, juror or witness, he/she must notify the course instructor of the time when the student’s service will be required, within five business days after notice of mandated service is received by the student (or at the start of the semester if notice is received prior to the semester). A copy of the notice must be provided to the instructor.

The instructor will allow the student summoned to mandatory community service an excused absence from the course on the day(s) required for Statutory Leave.

Upon request of the student taking leave, the instructor will ask the class for another student class member to take notes during the period of Statutory Leave.

If Statutory Leave occurs during a critical period in the course (e.g. an exam, in-class graded assignment, group project, participation-required day), the instructor will work with the summoned student to determine if the missed day(s) will likely have a negative impact on the student’s grade and whether the assignment or exam can be accommodated at a later time.

If Statutory Leave causes an extensive loss of class time for the student or will likely negatively impact the student’s grade or learning experience, the instructor and student will determine whether it is best for the student to receive a grade of “Incomplete” or “Withdrawal” for the course.

If a grade of “Incomplete” is chosen, the instructor and student will formally document the procedure required to complete the course.

If a grade of “Withdrawal” is chosen, the student should receive a prorated refund of tuition and fees paid for the course.

Comprehensive Examination

Ph.D.

When a student has substantially completed studies in the program, he/she must pass a written comprehensive examination. The written comprehensive examination is not a repetition of course examinations; rather, it is an investigation of the student’s breadth of understanding of the field of knowledge of which his/her special subject is a part. The student will also be required to pass an oral comprehensive examination.

The supervisory committee arranges for written or oral examinations. As soon as possible after passing those examinations, the committee convenes and reports to the Office of Graduate Studies the results of those examinations and the specific area of research for the dissertation and progress to date by submitting the Application for Candidacy. Should the student fail the comprehensive examination or a part thereof, he or she may be allowed to re-take it during the following academic term upon specific recommendation by the supervisory committee.

Ed.D.

When the applicant’s program of coursework is substantially completed, comprehensive examinations that cover the appropriate field of study and related subjects will be administered. These examinations will thoroughly test for an understanding of the field of knowledge designated by the student. If an applicant fails the comprehensive examination, another attempt to pass such examination may not be made in the same academic term.

Admission to Candidacy

When the doctoral student has passed the comprehensive examination, the supervisory committee will recommend to the Office of Graduate Studies his/her admission to Candidacy for the doctoral degree, noting in that recommendation the dates upon which the comprehensive examination was completed. This report must be filed at least seven months prior to the final oral examination. If the term of Candidacy is extended beyond three years (excluding summer terms), the Candidate must pass another comprehensive examination. Following admission to Candidacy, the student must register during each academic year semester until he/she receives the Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree. Students not in residence may register for a minimum of one semester credit in dissertation. Failure to register during each academic year semester will result in termination of Candidacy.

Final Examination

The final examination is oral. It is given by the supervisory committee after the Candidate’s studies have been completed and the dissertation has been accepted for examination. The committee also determines its character and length. The examination may be devoted to the special field of the dissertation or to the Candidate’s general knowledge, or it may be designed to test judgment and critical powers.

The final oral examination will not be scheduled unless the chair of the supervisory committee and at least two other members of the committee are available for the examination. Exceptions may be made only by permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies. In any event, the supervisor and readers of the dissertation must have seen and approved the completed dissertation before the final oral examination will be scheduled.

The final oral examination over the dissertation may be waived only with the unanimous consent of the supervisory committee and only in extremely unusual circumstances. The committee reports the results of the final oral examination or the reason for its waiver to the Office of Graduate Studies by using the Report on Completion of Degree form.

In the event that members of an oral examining committee are not unanimous regarding the passing of a Candidate, the student is to be approved for the degree only if one examiner dissents. However, in each case, the dissenting member of the committee will be expected to file a letter of explanation to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Dissertation

The Doctoral Dissertation should make a creative contribution to knowledge in your field while also demonstrating mastery of relevant resources and methods. It is expected the dissertation will have a single topic, however broadly defined, and all parts of the dissertation will be interrelated. This, however, does not prevent sections of the dissertations from being discrete units.

The dissertation also should demonstrate your potential to make future, original contributions to knowledge, understanding, or methodologies in your discipline. For example, the originality of a dissertation may involve the discovery of significant new information or principles of organization, the achievement of a new synthesis, the development of new methods or theories, or the application of established methods to new materials or procedures.

Given the diverse nature of the fields in which dissertations are written and the wide variety of topics that are explored, it is impossible to designate an ideal length for the dissertation. A long dissertation is not necessarily better than a shorter one since the value and scale of the dissertation topic ultimately depends on the quality of its thought and the clarity of its exposition. Your dissertation supervisory committee will determine the appropriateness of these and other issues.

Grades for a doctoral dissertation are recorded on the permanent record after completion and approval by the department / school and the Office of Graduate Studies. Grades will be either "S" for satisfactory or "U" for unsatisfactory.

The dissertation is not considered to be a publication thus it may be published, in whole or in part, and either quoted or paraphrased, by giving appropriate credit to the relevant Department/School, the Graduate College, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

NOTE: The doctoral supervisory committee guides your progress toward the completion of the dissertation, but it is your responsibility to follow instructions on the preparation of the document and to observe filing deadlines.

Dissertation Submission Procedures:

The Doctoral Supervisory Committee guides the student in the conduct and development of the dissertation and approves the final product. Typically, final recommendations from the supervisory committee, or Supervisory Committee Chair, are provided to the student at the time of the final oral examination, although details vary among department/schools and individual faculty. Final approval of the dissertation is contingent upon approval by the supervisory committee and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Procedures:

At least three weeks prior to the last published date for holding oral exams, bring the following to the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • Application for Final Oral Examination or Waiver
  • One copy of each of the Abstract and the Title Page of the dissertation. If the Final Oral Examination is waived, these documents must be presented to the Office of Graduate Studies at least three weeks prior to the last published date for holding oral examinations.

When the final dissertation has been approved by the supervisory committee, the student must submit hardcopies of the following to the Office of Graduate Studies for the final, administrative step in the approval process:

  • One paper copy of the final Abstract and Title Page
  • Report on Completion of Degree form, signed by supervisory committee
  • Completed Survey of Earned Doctorates form.
  • NOTE:- Mac users should open the form in Adobe Acrobat and use the “save via email” link at the bottom.

NOTE: If the dissertation is to be held pending patent issuance, etc., the student must specify this at the time the PDF file is submitted to ProQuest.

After the documents are submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies, the student must upload their dissertation to ProQuest. Instructions for the upload at http://dissertations2.umi.com/unomaha/

Be certain the electronic version, in PDF format is exactly as was approved by the Supervisory Committee. ETDs are to be checked for formatting, pagination, spelling, grammar, and typos by the student and the student's Supervisory Committee.

For help with conversion of files from word processing to PDF, see the Library staff (presently, Matt Fenner, mfenner@mail.unomaha.edu) whom is available to assist you.

Since errors may occur when converting from a word processor file to a PDF file, it is essential the student review the final version of the PDF file.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a fee to submit the dissertation through ProQuest. The amounts are noted on their website.

After successfully uploading the dissertation, The Office of Graduate Studies will be notified electronically by ProQuest of the submission and asked to provide final approval. Final approval of the dissertation will not be granted if steps 1-4 above are not completed.

Note: these steps must be completed prior to the end of the day of the Graduate Studies deadline which is 12 working days prior to the commencement ceremony.

Formatting Instructions: http://www.unomaha.edu/graduate/thesis_format.php

Submission Instructions: http://www.unomaha.edu/graduate/thesis_submit.php

Policies Governing Graduate Student Responsibilities

Appeals

Appeal of Grades in Graduate-Level Courses

An appeal of grades in graduate-level courses shall be made through the graduate student grade appeal procedures for the campus through which the grade was awarded. Students who believe their evaluation in a course has been prejudiced or capricious must first attempt to resolve the matter with the course instructor and then the department through which the course was offered.

The initiation of the appeal in writing by the student must be filed within six weeks following receipt of the grade from the Office of the Registrar.

In cases where a grade lower than a "C" will result in dismissal from the graduate student's program, the Dean of Graduate Studies will notify the Graduate Program Committee Chair and student that the student will be automatically dismissed from his/her graduate program. The student will have a two-week grace period from the date of the dismissal notification to the date of the request to the Registrar for disenrollment in all graduate coursework. This two-week period allows the student an opportunity to present his/her case informally to the course instructor and, if necessary, to the chair of the graduate program committee before being terminated from the program and dis-enrolled from courses. A student who has been dismissed from a graduate program and dis-enrolled from coursework may still file a formal appeal to the campus Dean of Graduate Studies, but is no longer a student in good standing and is prohibited from taking graduate courses until the formal appeal has been resolved.

If the matter is not resolved, the student may file an appeal in writing to the campus Dean of Graduate Studies, who shall inform the student of the grade appeal procedures approved by the Graduate Faculty or by their duly elected representative Graduate Council for that campus, and shall forward the appeal to the student-faculty committee or council that has been designated to hear graduate-level course grade appeals on that campus. Since awarding grades in courses occurs at the individual campus level, the decision of the campus committee or council designated to hear the case on behalf of the campus Graduate Faculty shall be final and is not subject to further appeal.

Appeal of General Academic Matters Related to Student Programs

  1. Graduate students holding admission with Unclassified status in the Graduate College, admission with a master's objective or admission with a doctoral objective (but prior to the appointment of a doctoral supervisory committee) should appeal as follows:

    Initially, the appeal may be submitted to the student's adviser.

    If denied, the appeal may be submitted to the department/area Graduate Program Committee administratively responsible for the student's graduate program.

    If denied, an appeal may be made to the Graduate Council for the campus administratively responsible for the student's graduate program. Normally, this is the final appeals body (for exceptions, see the last part of this section).

  2. Graduate students holding admission with a doctoral objective in the Graduate College and for whom a doctoral supervisory committee has been appointed should appeal as follows:

    Initially, the appeal should be submitted to the student's adviser.

    If denied, the appeal may be submitted to the student's supervisory committee.

    If denied, the appeal may be submitted to the department/area Graduate Program Committee administratively responsible for the student's graduate program.

    If denied, an appeal may be made to the Graduate Council for the campus administratively responsible for the student's graduate program. Normally, this is the final appeals body (for exceptions, see the last part of this section).

  3. When a student's graduate program consists of registrations essentially or entirely on one campus, the Graduate Council of the campus administratively responsible for the program will constitute the appeal board. When a student's graduate program includes substantial registrations on a campus other than the one administratively responsible for the program, three members of the Graduate Council for the other campus will be designated by the Dean of Graduate Studies on that campus to augment the Graduate Council on the campus administratively responsible for the program. In this case, the augmented Council will constitute the appeal board. The decision concerning augmentation of a campus Graduate Council for a specific appeal involving registrations on a campus other than the one administratively responsible for the student's program will be made by the Deans on Graduate Studies on the campuses involved.
  4. In all cases, appeals should be made in writing to the appropriate adviser, committee or council. In those cases where the appeal concerns graduate-level qualifying exams, comprehensive exams or final oral exams, the following deadlines must be observed. It is the responsibility of the student to make reasonable efforts to ascertain the results of the examination within 30 days after its completion.

    The initiation of the appeal, in writing, by the student must be filed within 30 days following the student's receipt of notification of the evaluation.

    In those cases involving an appeal of termination of program, initiation of the appeal, in writing, by the student must be filed within 30 days following the student's receipt of the official written notification by the Office of Graduate Studies.

    There is no absolute right of appeal to the Executive Graduate Council. The Executive Graduate Council will accept appeals only in those cases where, in the exercise of its sole discretion, it shall first find that one or more of the following grounds for accepting the appeal exist:

    That the campus Graduate Council has violated some element of fair procedure (example: has failed to allow the parties concerned to present their cases fully to their campus Graduate Council);

    That the campus Graduate Council has failed to examine or give adequate weight to important evidence relevant to one party's position;

    That the campus Graduate Council has given undue weight to evidence not pertinent to the case; or

    That some gross miscarriage of justice would be perpetrated if the decision of the campus Graduate Council is allowed to stand. A decision by the Executive Graduate Council not to accept jurisdiction of an appeal shall be final and is not subject to further appeal.

    Appeals to the Executive Graduate Council must be made in writing and must specifically outline the grounds for appeal. Such appeals must be made within 20 working days of the day on which the decision of the campus council is received (working days shall not include those days the University is not in session).

    The Executive Graduate Council must make a decision to hear the appeal or not to hear the appeal within 30 working days after receipt of the appeal. Acceptance or denial of jurisdiction over the appeal will be made in writing.

    The decision of the Executive Graduate Council on the merits of the case will be made and transmitted to the concerned parties within 40 working days after the decision to hear the appeal.

    No person who was a member of the department or campus graduate council involved in the case will be eligible to participate in the decisions of the Executive Graduate Council, either to decide whether the case should be heard or to decide the merits of the case. However, the Dean of Graduate Studies may replace members of the Executive Graduate Council not eligible for participation in the decision to hear the appeal or in the appeal itself.

Graduate Student Academic Appeal Policy

Introduction

This document outlines the UNO Graduate Council policies and procedures for student academic appeals in situations such as comprehensive exams, plagiarism, and reinstatements. For grade appeals, see the “Grade Appeal Policy at the Graduate College Level for Graduate-Level Courses.”

This document is divided into three sections: 1) Documentation from Student and Faculty Representative (or Department) 2) a description of the initial review of the appeal case by the Graduate Student Academic Appeals Committee; and 3) details of the operating guidelines for the UNO Graduate Council to follow in conducting a full appeal.

1.0 Documentation from Student and from Faculty Representative

1.1 Student Documentation

The student shall provide documentation that proves the student's appeal. In addition to the documentation deemed relevant by the student to prove the student's appeal and provided by the student, the student shall complete a single-page cover sheet for the appeal. That cover sheet shall be designed by the Graduate Dean and provided to the student. On that cover sheet, in less than 2,000 characters (i.e., including spaces), the student shall specifically identify in three separate paragraphs:

  1. the procedural error(s) being appealed;
  2. the substantive error(s) being appealed; and
  3. the remedy requested.

The student's appeal is not submitted until the Graduate Dean determines that the student's cover sheet has been completed as required.

1.2 Faculty Representative Documentation

The Graduate Dean shall deliver the student's section 1.1 cover sheet, along with other notice of the student's appeal, to the decision maker whose decision is being appealed. The decision maker shall promptly notify the Graduate Dean of the decision maker's appointment of a Faculty Representative.

Ordinarily the student's appeal is necessarily limited to an appeal of the decision of a single decision maker (e.g., graduate program committee). However, if the student is appealing decisions of more than one decision maker, then there might be more than one Faculty Representative. The Faculty Representative of a committee may be, but is not necessarily, a member of that committee. If no such notice of appointment is delivered to the Graduate Dean, then the Faculty Representative of an individual decision maker shall be that individual, and for a committee the current chair of that committee.

The Faculty Representative shall provide documentation relevant to the student's appeal as defined in the student's section 1.1 cover sheet in a timely manner. After the student has submitted an appeal, and after the Faculty Representative has replied by providing relevant documentation, the Graduate Dean shall review that documentation for completeness. Prior to the Graduate Dean delivering that documentation to the Graduate Student Academic Appeals Committee, the Graduate Dean, in the interest of completeness, may request the Faculty Representative(s) to provide specific additional documentation that the Graduate Dean reasonably believes is readily available to the decision maker whose decision is being appealed.

2.0 Graduate Student Academic Appeals Committee

2.1 Function of the Committee

The Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies shall appoint a committee which will review student academic appeals that are filed in the Office of Graduate Studies. The task of the Graduate Student Academic Appeals Committee will be to determine whether the appeal merits a hearing by the Graduate Council.

2.2 Composition of the Committee

The Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies shall appoint two faculty members from each of the two standing committees of the Graduate Council, and one of the student representatives on the Graduate Council, to serve on the committee. The duration of appointment to the committee shall be for one year. (In cases where a student from the home department of one of the members of the committee has initiated an appeal, the Dean shall appoint a replacement for that committee member from the Graduate Council to hear that specific appeal. All other cases of potential conflict of interest shall be treated in a similar fashion).

2.3 Procedures for the Committee

The committee is charged with the responsibility of determining the merits of the student academic appeal, based on the letter of appeal and any other documentation requested and received by either the Dean of Graduate Studies or the Graduate Student Academic Appeals Committee. The committee shall vote on whether the appeal merits a hearing by the Graduate Council. Affirmative vote of the majority of the members is required to bring the appeal before the Graduate Council for a full hearing. The decision of the committee will be communicated to the Office of Graduate Studies for appropriate action.

3.0 UNO Graduate Council and Graduate Student Academic Appeals

3.1 Purpose and Limitation of Scope

The Graduate Council will hear only those appeals forwarded by the Graduate Student Academic Appeals Committee. The purpose of the hearing shall be to decide the merit of a student's request for redress of the academic issue being appealed. The appealing student bears the burden of proof to prove: (1) by clear and convincing evidence that the faculty member's decision being appealed was prejudicial or capricious; and 2) by the preponderance of the evidence that the Graduate Program Committee's decision being appealed was prejudicial or capricious.

3.2 Composition of the Council for Hearing Student Appeals

The full membership of the Graduate Council (quorum required) shall hear academic appeals of graduate students.

3.3 Possible Conflicts of Interest by Graduate Council Members

Graduate Council members who feel a conflict of interest might result from their participation in an academic appeal hearing shall exercise the necessary professional steps to avoid influencing the vote of the Council.

3.4 Timeliness of Council Decision

The Graduate Council shall hear appeals forwarded by the Graduate Student Academic Appeals Committee at its next scheduled meeting unless a delay is approved.

3.5 Student and Faculty Freedom to Present Arguments

The student and the faculty representative shall have freedom to present their viewpoints, limited only to the requirement that facts and opinions presented shall pertain to the academic issue being appealed.

3.6 Guidelines for Hearing Procedures

The following shall be made known to persons present at the hearing:

The time: _________ The date: _________ The place: _________.

This hearing will be conducted in compliance with the UNO Graduate Student Academic Appeal Policy. The student, ________, has filed an appeal in conformity with the policies of the Graduate Council pertaining to the findings of a Graduate Program Committee. The Graduate Program Committee or other designated committee consisted of Professor _______, Chair; and Professors ___________ and ___________ as members. That committee heard the appeal on __________ and denied the appeal. The student disagreed with the decision of the departmental appeals committee and continued the appeal process by submitting a letter detailing supporting reasons to the Dean for later consideration by the Graduate Student Academic Appeals Committee. That committee reviewed the student's request on ________ and, under conformity with its guidelines, has forwarded the student's appeal to the Graduate Council for action. The Graduate Council members present at this hearing have had an opportunity to review the documents provided by the person(s) involved. The agenda for the UNO Graduate Student Academic Appeal is:

Student's presentation: 10 minutes

Faculty Representative’s presentation: 10 minutes

Council Members' questions to Student and Faculty Representative: up to 20 minutes

Student's concluding remarks: 5 minutes

Faculty Member's concluding remarks: 5 minutes

The participants of this appeal shall leave following the above hearing and the Council will deliberate the issue(s) involved. The Council's decision will be determined by secret ballot of those members who were present and voted. As soon as the votes are counted by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies, the ballots shall be destroyed and the final decision announced to the Council by the Dean. In no case shall the number of votes cast on either side of the issue be disclosed.

3.7 Administration of the Council’s Decision:

The Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies shall provide the parties of an appeal a written statement of the Graduate Council's decision within three working days.

Grade Appeal Policy for UNO Graduate College Courses

I. Overview

  1. Purpose. A grade appeal policy seeks to articulate and protect both the rights of students to fair and impartial evaluation of their academic performance and the responsibilities of faculty members as those who determine student grades. A course grade assigned in a manner consistent with University policy can be changed only by the instructor. University administrators can direct a grade to be changed only when it is determined through the procedure established by this policy that the faculty member assigned the course grade in an arbitrary or capricious manner. An “arbitrary and capricious action” is an action taken without regard for the facts or circumstances of the appeal, without some basis which would lead a reasonable, informed, and honest person to the same conclusion.

    Allegations that sexual harassment was the reason a final course grade was arbitrarily or capriciously assigned by the instructor must be addressed according to procedures set forth in the UNO Prohibited Discrimination policy [www.unomaha.edu/discrimination.php] rather than from the following procedures.

  2. Faculty Responsibility. It is a fundamental principle of higher education that faculty members are expected to:

    Exercise their professional judgment in evaluating student performance.

    Specify in each of their courses at the beginning of the academic term:

    Course requirements and expectations for academic performance; and

    Procedures for evaluating performance (method(s) of evaluation and grading scales).

    Communicate clearly to all students in the course any subsequent additions to or changes in these requirements, standards, and procedures.

    Apply the specified grading criteria equitably to the academic performance of all students in the course regardless of their age, color, creed, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics.

    Departing faculty must document their last semester’s grades and leave a copy with their Graduate Program Chair. Documentation should include course syllabi and any other information distributed to their students concerning grading policies.

  3. Student Responsibility. Students have the responsibility to know and adhere to the University policies and standards pertaining to them. As students willingly accept the benefits of membership in the University of Nebraska at Omaha academic community, they are obligated to uphold and observe the principles and standards articulated in the UNO student code of conduct (www.unomaha.edu/academicaffairs/documents/scc.pdf).

II. Course Grades that Are Eligible for Appeal

  1. A grade appeal policy applies to final course grades. Course grades which result from alleged violations of the Code of Student Academic Integrity may also be appealed under this policy.
  2. A course grade is deemed to have been assigned in an arbitrary or capricious manner if, by a preponderance of the evidence, a student establishes that:
  3. The course grade was based upon the student's age, color, creed, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, other personal characteristic, or for some other arbitrary or personal reason unrelated to the instructor's exercise of his or her professional academic judgment in the evaluation of the academic performance of the student; or
  4. The course grade was assigned in a manner not consistent with the standards and procedures for evaluation established by the instructor, usually at the beginning of the course in the course outline, commonly called the course syllabus (a course outline is primarily the information provided by the instructor at the beginning of the course, and not necessarily the master syllabus generated by the department which may be applied to multiple offerings of a course in time or place), but supplemented on occasion during the semester in other written or oral communications directed to the class as a whole; or
  5. The course grade assigned by the instructor was the result of a clear and material mistake in calculating or recording grades. Individual elements (e.g., assignments, tests, activities, projects) which contribute to a course grade are generally NOT subject to appeal or subsequent review during a grade appeals procedure. However, individual elements may be appealed under these procedures providing the following conditions are met:
    1. The student presents compelling evidence that one or more individual elements were graded on arbitrary or capricious grounds (defined above);
    2. Grounds can be established for determining a professionally sound grade for the appealed element(s); and
    3. The ensuing grade for each appealed element would have resulted in a different course grade than that assigned by the faculty member.

III. Grade Appeal Procedures

Each department or program will establish its own grade appeal procedures. These procedures must:

  1. Articulate and protect both the rights of students for fair and impartial evaluation of their academic performance and the responsibilities of faculty members as those who determine student grades.
  2. Include timelines.
  3. Be made readily available to all students.
  4. Be documented in the Office of Graduate Studies.