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

Plan of Study

At the time of admission to a degree and/or certificate 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.  Any changes must be submitted by the graduate program chair to the Office of Graduate Studies via a petition in DegreeWorks.  Upon approval, the student will be able to see the changes on their degree audit through DegreeWorks.  Alternatively, these changes can be submitted via the Change in Plan of Study form, but this form must be approved by the student's advisor, and the graduate program chair prior to being submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies. 

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 a petition through DegreeWorks for any deviations to the program. 
    • 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.
    • Foundation courses may not be used on any plan of study.
  • If completing a thesis, 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 re-registers for a course to improve his or her grade, he or she must work with the Office of Records and Registration 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.


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 recommended by the appropriate graduate program chair and approved by the Dean for Graduate Studies.

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


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 ( and a Thesis Proposal Approval form ( 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.


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

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 and on file in the Office of Graduate Studies.

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:

Submission Instructions:

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, 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 is required 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.