Master's and PhD Programs at Tulane

The general characteristics of the graduate programs of study are outlined below; but as with admissions, specific requirements for all graduate degrees, including concurrent and dual or joint degrees, may be obtained from the schools in which the programs are to be carried out.  For maximum periods of time to complete requirements for these degrees, see Tenure for Degree Students.

Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
 

Students undertaking work for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) should understand that this degree is awarded not for an accumulation of course credits only, but for superior independent research and scholarship in the chosen field, as evidenced in the dissertation.

Residency Requirement

A Ph.D. student must be in residence at Tulane University for at least two semesters.

Minimum Credit Hour Requirement

The minimum credit hour requirement for the Ph.D. is 48 credit hours; however, some programs may require additional hours of coursework.

Dissertation Committee
 

A Ph.D. dissertation committee must consist of at least three faculty members, the majority of whom are Tulane University faculty. Exceptions to this requirement may be made by the school dean.

Prospectus

A Ph.D. student must write a prospectus in order to graduate. Consult with the department or the director of graduate studies for specific requirements related to when and how a prospectus should be completed.

Admission to Candidacy

Admission to a Ph.D. program does not constitute admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. To be admitted to candidacy, a student must complete certain degree requirements, as specified by each school or graduate program. Consult with the department or the director of graduate studies for specific information.

The Dissertation

The dissertation is the culmination of the Ph.D. degree. It is the necessary demonstration that the candidate is worthy of taking a place among research scholars in the discipline. It must demonstrate not only mastery of the literature of the subject, but also the ability to carry on independent research that results in a genuine contribution to knowledge or an original interpretation of existing knowledge, and it must do so in a literate and lucid fashion. The dissertation committee shall pass on the acceptability of the dissertation before it is submitted in final form. Acceptability, however, is not final approval. The candidate must defend the dissertation successfully before the degree is awarded. Consult the dean of the appropriate school or program for regulations regarding formatting of the dissertation and submission deadlines.

Students are required to submit their completed dissertations to Proquest/UMI where it can be copyrighted for a fee. Schools may require students to submit a paper copy of their dissertations. 

Additional Requirements

Schools and graduate programs may have additional requirements for completion of the Ph.D. degree. Students are advised to consult with their appropriate departmental graduate adviser or dean for this information

Master's Degree Minimum Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Hour Requirements

The minimum credit hour requirement for a non-professional Master's degree is 30 credit hours; however, some programs may require additional hours of coursework.  Those programs that require 24 credit hours of coursework and a thesis for the Master's degree are in compliance with this policy.

Continuous Registration Requirements

A student admitted in a degree program must be continuously registered in a degree-granting division of the university during the academic year (exclusive of summer session) in either full-time or part-time status from the date of first registration until the awarding of the degree, unless the registration is terminated by resignation or by dismissal for academic or disciplinary reasons.

A student who has not completed the minimum coursework requirements for the degree must enroll for a minimum of three hours per semester (exclusive of Summer Session).  Some schools may require registration for a higher number of credit hours or may charge a continuous registration fee.

Failure to be continuously registered is de facto withdrawal and the school reserves the right not to readmit. A student who is readmitted is obligated to pay any applicable fee required to maintain continuous registration. Under exceptional circumstances a student may be granted leave by the dean of the appropriate school, and during such a period of leave will be considered in continuous registration without any payment of fee.

Full-Time Status

Full-time status consists of registration for at least nine hours of graduate credit per semester, or a combination of coursework and equivalent academic activities such as teaching or research. To hold a Tulane-sponsored fellowship, scholarship, or assistantship, a student must be in full-time status. Off-campus employment may disqualify a student from receiving a Tulane-sponsored fellowship, scholarship, or assistantship.

Part-Time Status

Part-time status consists of registration for less than nine hours of graduate credit per semester.  In such cases, the department or the program committee can provide no certification that the student is engaged in a full-time academic program.

Transfer Credit

Acceptance of graduate credit for work done at other graduate institutions or in another division of Tulane must be approved by the department or program concerned, or by the dean of the appropriate school. In general, a maximum of 15 semester hours of transfer credit may be accepted toward a Master's degree. Some programs may allow fewer transfer credits and/or limit the applicability of transfer credits to degree programs.

Tenure for Degree Students

Tenure is the maximum period of time normally permitted for the completion of all requirements for a degree, and it is determined on the basis of consecutive academic years from the date of registration for graduate study at Tulane or at another institution. Tenure for the Master's degree is five years.  Tenure is not affected by residence status. Under certain circumstances, upon the recommendation of the chairperson of a student's department or program committee, the dean may extend tenure, but a student whose period of graduate study is unduly prolonged or interrupted may be required to perform additional work. Tenure regulations are applicable to all degree students, regardless of date of first registration.

Dual Degree Programs

Tulane offers a number of dual degree programs with the master's degree. In all instances, the student must fulfill the requirements for each degree in order for the dual degrees to be conferred.

Thesis Requirements

If a thesis is required for the master's degree, the subject of the thesis must be in the field of major study and must have the approval of the professor by whom the thesis is to be directed. The finished thesis must have the approval of the thesis committee.

Students are required to submit their completed theses to the University's Theses and Dissertations Archive (http://library.tulane.edu/dissertations_and_theses/). Schools may require students to submit a paper copy of their thesis.

Thesis Committees

Master's thesis committees must consist of at least three faculty members, the majority of whom are Tulane faculty. Exceptions to this stipulation may be made by the appropriate school's dean.

4+1 Master's Programs

In some programs, undergraduate students have the option of obtaining a master's degree with one additional year of study beyond the bachelor's degree (4+1). Program requirements vary, but most 4+1 degrees do not require a thesis, in which case 30 credit hours of additional coursework beyond the bachelor's level are required. Those programs that offer a thesis-based 4+1 option require 24 credit hours of coursework beyond the bachelor's level. In some cases, a modified undergraduate curriculum is required to complete the 4+1 program; e.g., enrollment during the senior year in 6000-level courses that can be applied to both the bachelor's and master's degrees. Because this may be the case, interested students are advised to consult with their program's graduate advisor prior to their junior year to obtain specific instructions for participation in the 4+1 program. Tuition for the fifth year of the 4+1 program is set by the appropriate school or program.

Additional Requirements

Schools and graduate programs may have additional requirements for completion of the master's degree. Students are advised to consult with the appropriate departmental graduate adviser or dean for this information.

Dual Degree Programs 

Tulane University offers a number of dual or joint degrees that are pursued as single coherent program of study. Up to 12 credit hours may be shared between the two degrees to meet Master's degree requirements and up to 24 credit hours may be shared to meet Ph.D. requirements. For joint Ph.D. programs, the requirements of the Ph.D. must be maintained and satisfied in order to receive the Ph.D. degree.