2022-23 Academic Catalog
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Graduate Information, Admission, Academic Regulations, and Degree Requirements

This section contains the following information:

www.grad.uni.edu

The University of Northern Iowa offers thirteen advanced programs leading to graduate degrees in:

  • Master of Accounting
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Masters of Athletic Training
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Music
  • Master of Public Policy
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Social Work
  • Professional Science Master’s
  • Specialist in Education
  • Doctor of Education

The University of Northern Iowa is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States and continues its endeavors to meet the needs of higher education and advanced preparation in diverse career fields with a strong and growing graduate program. Graduate degree programs were initiated at UNI in 1951 when the university was authorized by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa to offer a program of graduate work leading to the Master of Arts in Education (M.A.E.); the program began with the summer session of 1952. In 1960 the graduate program was extended with the addition of a sixth-year program leading to the Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) degree. The addition of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program, approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa in 1982, enables UNI to offer a complete course of professional preparation for the educational practitioner. Three intensive study areas are available through this Doctor of Education degree program: allied health, recreation, and community services; curriculum and instruction; and educational leadership.

In recognition of a more general need for advanced study, the university further expanded the graduate program in 1965 with the addition of the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree. This program is open to students who plan to pursue careers in fields other than education and is available, as well, to students interested in doing advanced work in teaching fields - elementary, secondary, and college level.

The addition of the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree in 1975, the Master of Music (M.M.) degree in 1976, the Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree in 1991, the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Fall 1993, the Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree and the Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree in Fall 2000, the Professional Science Master’s (P.S.M.) degree in Fall 2006, and the Masters of Athletic Training (M.ATR.) degree in Fall 2016 demonstrates the university's continued recognition of the changing needs of higher education and the institution's desire to meet those needs. The Master of Business Administration degree is open to those whose career interests include management of organizations and people, in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. It is best suited to those who have work experience after the undergraduate degree. The Master of Music is a professional degree designed for the student planning a career in college or secondary school teaching, for a performance career as a professional musician or composer, or for further study at the doctoral level. The Master of Public Policy is an interdisciplinary professional degree preparing students for careers principally in the public sector. The program is structured to accommodate both full-time students and those already in positions in public organizations. The Master of Science degree is offered in Athletic Training, Biology, and Technology and is designed to prepare students for positions in those areas. The Master of Social Work degree is designed to prepare students for the advanced practice of social work in a variety of public and non-profit settings. The Master of Accounting degree is designed for Accounting majors; however, other majors within the College of Business may be admitted to the program.  The Professional Science Master’s degree combines scientific or technical training with abbreviated business training and interdisciplinary cohort-building experiences. The Masters of Athletic Training degree is designed to prepare students to become athletic training professionals. It prepares students for the National Athletic Training Board of Certification Examination as well as eligibility for an Athletic Training License in the State of Iowa. The curriculum is based upon cognitive and psychomotor learning experiences. The athletic training education program is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

Graduate majors are available in many departments, and graduate-level courses are offered by all departments of the university.

Those who wish to continue their professional and cultural growth without fulfilling the requirements for a graduate degree may do so in non-degree status if they satisfy the requirements for admission to graduate study or seek admission to graduate certificates.

Post-Baccalaureate, Undergraduate Study

A student who has received a bachelor's degree may choose to apply for further study at the University of Northern Iowa as an undergraduate rather than a graduate student. Inquiries should be made to the Office of Admissions. Undergraduate status will be accorded students who seek:

  1. a second baccalaureate degree (designation as senior,) or
  2. teacher licensure (designation as senior) - a student who does not hold a teaching license and expects to be recommended by this university for an initial teaching license or student adding new endorsement(s) through UNI recommendation must also file an official transcript; this program requires the completion of a minimum of 12 semester hours at UNI before recommendation to the Board of Educational Examiners; or
  3. courses for undergraduate credit (designation as unclassified)

Students with baccalaureate degrees do not earn graduate credit while in Post-baccalauareate Undergraduate status only. They must be admitted either to graduate Degree or Non-Degree Status before they can receive graduate credit for their course work (courses numbered  5000 or above). A student who is working toward a second bachelor's degree or teacher licensure and is also admitted as a graduate student will pay graduate tuition for the entire enrollment if any of the enrollment is for graduate credit.  No course can apply to both a bachelor's degree and a graduate degree.  See "Students enrolled for both graduate and undergraduate credit in the same term" in this university catalog for further information. 

Retroactive granting of graduate credit for course work taken while in post-baccalaureate, undergraduate status will not be done if, when the course work was taken, the student received financial aid dependent on undergraduate status. If an undergraduate course can be taken at the 5000-level for graduate credit, extra work is required from graduate students to earn the graduate credit.  This extra work cannot be completed after the course ends to change the course to graduate credit.

Program Certificates

The University of Northern Iowa makes available, in addition to traditional programs, the opportunity for students to earn program certificates. Program certificates provide an alternative to programs leading to a degree, a major, or a minor; they certify that an individual has completed a certificate program approved by the university. For further information concerning specific requirements for these certificates see specific departmental listings, or consult with the department listed or the Office of the Registrar.

Licensure and Endorsements

Licensure

For approval in some graduate programs, a student must have earned or be eligible for teacher licensure or its equivalent endorsed in an area appropriate to the graduate major. For information on licensure, consult the Office of the Registrar. Students seeking licensure will need to consult the Registrar's Office for further guidance, and submit an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate application (see Post-baccalaureate, Undergraduate Study in this university catalog).

Teaching Licensure and Endorsements

Students interested in securing licenses to teach in another state should secure information directly from the State Department of Education in that state.

Addresses of different state departments may be obtained from Career Services or the Office of the Registrar.

Admission to Graduate Study

(This section applies to all students taking graduate courses at the University of Northern Iowa after receiving the bachelor's degree.)

The admission procedures of the Graduate College are administered separately from those of the university's undergraduate program. Prospective students may apply for graduate admission under one of two categories: Degree Status (regular admission) or Non-Degree Status. Each category carries specific regulations. Information and the online application for admission are available at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply. The completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study should be submitted online. International students should contact the Office of Admissions at intladm.uni.edu or by phone 319-273-2281 or by fax 319-273-2885.

Admission to graduate study does not guarantee admission to an advanced degree program. Responsibility for determining eligibility for admission to graduate degree programs rests primarily with the academic departments. The academic departments are responsible for evaluating degree applications for admission, but the Graduate College has final authority on the admission decision for students (with or without provisions).

A graduate of a college or university accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools or a corresponding regional agency, or a graduate of a foreign institution recognized by that country's Ministry of Education, is eligible to be considered for regular admission to graduate study. A graduate of a college or university that is not accredited may be granted regular admission with provisions at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate College.

If applicants wish to have graduate level transfer courses considered for their graduate degree at UNI, official transcripts must be submitted to the UNI Office of Admissions at the time of admission to graduate study. Courses will not be evaluated for transfer credit eligibility until the student is in attendance at UNI. For UNI policies on eligible transfer courses see Program of Study in this catalog. Transfer credit is not processed for students in non-degree status at UNI.

Note: Students with a recognized baccalaureate degree who are seeking a second baccalaureate degree, teaching endorsements or approvals through UNI recommendation, and/or miscellaneous undergraduate course work may be admitted through the undergraduate Office of Admissions. These students pay undergraduate fees and may not take graduate courses unless also admitted to graduate study. See Post-Baccalaureate, Undergraduate Study in this university catalog.

English Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit either a TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo score. English language proficiency test scores are considered valid for a period of 2 years prior to the date of submission of the admission application. The requirement to submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo score may be waived only by the Graduate College through a direct request from a graduate program (not from a prospective student). A typical circumstance in which a waiver may be granted is that the student has completed a bachelor's or graduate degree at an international accredited English-speaking institution. No waiver will be approved without evidence of English proficiency. English language proficiency is automatically waived for students who are from a native English speaking country.

A TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper) / 79 (internet) or an IELTS score of at least 6.5, or a Duolingo score of 105 is required for regular admission without provisions and eligibility to enroll in graduate courses.  Some graduate programs may require higher test scores; no program may admit a student without provisions with a lower score.  To be eligible to be considered for admission with provisions in either degree or non-degree graduate status, a TOEFL score of at least 453 (paper) / 46 (internet) or an IELTS score of at least 5.5, or a Duolingo score of at least 75 is required. TOEFL MyBest scores are accepted and must meet the above criteria.

A regularly admitted student with provisions for low TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo must meet the standards for admission without provisions within three semesters of undergraduate enrollment at UNI, and prior to the start of the graduate program. This may be done in two ways: 1) by achieving a score of at least 550 (paper/79 (internet) on the TOEFL, of at least 6.5 on the IELTS, or at least 105 on Duolingo. (The institutional TOEFL (offered 3 times per year) may be used to meet this requirement.); or, 2) by successfully completing the Culture and Intensive Program (CIEP) with at least a B (3.0) in all level 5 CIEP courses. If the admitted student fails to obtain the score, or successfully complete CIEP as necessary for admission without provisions within three semesters of undergraduate study, admission to graduate study is void.

In exceptional cases, with the approval of the Department, CIEP, and the Graduate College, an admitted graduate student with a language requirement provision may be allowed to enroll in a graduate course while completing the English language requirement at UNI (only while enrolled in Level 5 CIEP courses). In this case, the student may enroll in up to 3 credit hours per semester and not exceed 6 graduate hours in total within an academic year. Upon approval from the Department and CIEP, the student will need to submit an online graduate request "Other" to enroll in the course and obtain the approval from the Graduate College. The Graduate College will work with International Admissions and CIEP to modify the related holds in order to allow for enrollment.

If the language requirement is not met within the first academic year of graduate study, admission to graduate study is void.

Note: Students with a recognized baccalaureate degree who are seeking a second baccalaureate degree, teaching endorsements or approvals through UNI recommendation, and/or miscellaneous undergraduate course work may be admitted through the undergraduate Office of Admissions. These students pay undergraduate fees and may not take graduate courses unless also admitted to graduate study. See Post-Baccalaureate, Undergraduate Study in this university catalog.

Application Dates

Applications for Regular admission (Degree-Status) and all credentials required for admission should be on file in the Office of Admissions at least one month before departmental review. Students must contact the academic department regarding application review deadlines.

International students should note the special application deadlines at intladm.uni.edu.

Applicants for Non-Degree Status will be accepted up to five days before the start of the term.

Requirements for Admission to Degree Status

The admission process for Degree Status begins when the application for admission and all supporting documents and fees have been received in the Office of Admissions. U.S. and international students who are seeking financial assistance and wish to receive the fullest consideration must submit a completed application (please see following requirements) by February 1. Many graduate departments have earlier deadlines, which are indicated in their department materials. All departmental materials should be reviewed carefully for information about early deadlines.

U.S. students must submit the following to the Office of Admissions for the admission file to be considered complete: the Application for Admission to Graduate Study; the application fee; official transcripts from the college or university granting the baccalaureate degree and any other colleges or universities attended after earning the bachelor’s degree, if other than the University of Northern Iowa; any required test scores (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo—if the native language is not English), and any other application materials required by the graduate program (departmental application, letters of reference, goal statement, etc.). U.S. students should upload all materials (except official transcripts and official test scores) within the online application for admissions, email to AdmissionsProcessing@uni.edu or to the postal address below. Official transcripts and official test scores should be sent to

Office of Admissions-U.S. Graduate Admissions
002 Gilchrist Hall
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0018, U.S.A.

U.S. students who have already completed a masters or doctoral degree will need to submit those official transcripts, but may not be required by the Department to also submit official transcripts for their baccalaureate degree, provided that their post-baccalaureate degree(s) is from a college or university accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools or a corresponding regional agency, or a graduate of a foreign institution recognized by that country's Ministry of Education.

International students must submit the following to the Office of Admissions for the admission file to be considered complete: the Application for Admission to Graduate Study; the application fee; official transcripts from the college or university granting the baccalaureate degree and any other colleges or universities attended after earning the bachelor’s degree, if other than the University of Northern Iowa; TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores (if the native language is not English); any other required test scores (GRE, GMAT); and any other application materials required by the graduate program (departmental application, letters of reference, goal statement, etc.). International students should contact the department for information about required application materials and see also https://intladm.uni.edu/graduate-majors. International students should send all materials (except official transcripts and official test scores) to international.admissions@uni.edu or to the postal address below. Official transcripts and official test scores should be sent to

Office of Admissions-International Graduate Admissions
002 Gilchrist Hall
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0018, U.S.A.

The Office of Admissions may request additional documentation at their discretion in order to thoroughly process an international application. This may include secondary transcripts and diplomas, all post-secondary transcripts and diplomas/degrees, official certified English translations of documents from non-native English speaking countries, etc.

Applications for Degree Status are reviewed and acted upon by the appropriate academic department, the Office of Admissions, the Graduate College, and the Office of the Registrar. Responsibility for determining eligibility for admission to graduate degree programs rests primarily with the academic departments. The academic departments are responsible for evaluating degree status applications for admission, but the Graduate College has final authority on the admission decision for students (with or without provisions). A graduate of a college or university accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools or a corresponding regional agency, or a graduate of a foreign institution recognized by that country's Ministry of Education, is eligible to be considered for regular admission without provision. A graduate of a college or university that is not accredited may be granted admission with provisions at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate College. Students who expect to earn a graduate degree at this university must file an official transcript from the college or university granting the baccalaureate degree, if other than the University of Northern Iowa. Degree Status applicants who have attended other colleges or universities after earning the bachelor's degree must file an official transcript of each record. Only transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution to the UNI Office of Admissions are considered official. Students who do not have a final transcript showing the bachelor's degree on file by the end of the second week of classes may be removed from their program. Further action will be determined by Admissions and the Graduate College.

Applicants should check with the department offering the major of their choice, to determine whether/which Graduate Record Examination (GRE) tests are required prior to admission. If required, applicants must request that the scores be sent directly from the testing agency to the Office of Admissions.

Students applying for admission to a graduate degree program in the College of Business are required to submit their scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). They need not take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students must request that the testing agency forward their test results directly to the Office of Admissions.

Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required from applicants whose first language is not English. The minimum required scores for regular admission without provisions are 550(paper)/79(Internet) on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS, or 105 on Duolingo. To be eligible to be considered for admission with provisions in either degree or non-degree graduate status, a TOEFL score of at least 453(paper)/46(internet); an IELTS score of at least 5.5; or a Duolingo school of at least 95 are required. Please note that some graduate programs have higher requirements. The requirement to submit these scores may be waived only by the Graduate College through a direct request from a graduate program (not from a prospective student). A typical circumstance in which a waiver may be granted is that the student has completed a bachelor's or graduate degree at an accredited English-speaking institution.

Regular Admission to UNI has two options:

  1. Without Provisions (Unconditional)
    The minimum undergraduate grade point average, or prior graduate grade point average on at least 8 credits, required for admission is 3.00 (B = 3.00) or its equivalent. Individual graduate programs may require a higher grade point average for admission.
    This admission is given to degree-seeking students who meet the minimum GPA requirement, met the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score if applicable, have submitted all official transcripts, and are deemed qualified by the appropriate academic department to pursue a program of study which can culminate in the earning of a graduate degree. Applicants are to specify their choice of degree program in their admission application.
  2. With Provisions (Provisional)
    At the discretion of the academic department concerned, an applicant who has an undergraduate and/or prior graduate GPA less than 3.00), or who does not meet some other criterion for acceptance without provisions, may be regularly admitted with provisions. In this case, the applicant is admitted to a graduate program, subject to certain reservations/requirements. Upon admission, the student must be notified in writing by the department of its reservations/requirements that must be satisfied before the provisional indicator may be removed from the student records.
    A student admitted with provisions who completes eight (8) or more graded hours of a degree program with a 3.00 grade point average, or better, is generally eligible to have their provision removed. The responsibility to update the admission information rests with the academic department concerned. Review of the provision should take place the semester after the student has completed eight (8) semester hours in their graduate program. The department has responsibility for notifying the Office of Admissions and the Graduate College admissions coordinator about the reclassification decision. Notification must be made using the form 'Authorization for Removal of Graduate Post-Admission To-Do Items' and contact the Graduate College to obtain the form. No student may receive a UNI graduate degree while admitted with provisions. The Department must communicate to the student in writing of the requirements necessary for the successful completion of the degree program.
    Status Acceptance and Waivers:
    Any waivers of degree requirements as established by a department must be furnished to the applicant by the department in writing (refer to waiver procedures in this University Catalog). Waiver of specific degree requirements do not generally result in a reduction in the total semester hours required for the degree.

Requirements for Admission to Non-Degree Status

Non-Degree Status has been established for the post-baccalaureate student who:

  1. wishes to take graduate courses for self-enlightenment unrelated to any graduate degree program.
  2. plans to demonstrate competence in graduate studies in support of consideration for admission to a degree program at a later time.

The admission process for Non-Degree Status applicants begins when the application for admission and all supporting documents have been received in the Office of Admissions. Requests for Non-Degree Status are reviewed and acted upon within the Office of Admissions.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools or a corresponding regional agency, or have a bachelor's degree from a foreign institution recognized by that country's Ministry of Education. All students wishing to earn non-degree graduate credit from UNI must have a verified bachelor's degree (and master's degree if the student wishes to take doctoral level courses). The student must file an official transcript or statement of degree from each college or university from which they have received a degree, unless the degree was obtained from the University of Northern Iowa. Only documents sent directly from the issuing institution to the UNI Office of Admissions are considered official. Transfer credit is not processed for students in non-degree status at UNI.

Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo are required from applicants whose first language is not English. The minimum required scores are 550(paper)/79(Internet) on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS, or 105 on Duolingo. TOEFL MyBest scores are accepted and must meet the above criteria. Please note that some graduate programs have higher requirements. English language proficiency scores are considered valid for a period of 2 years prior to the date of submission of the admission application. The requirement to submit these scores may be waived only by the Graduate College through a direct request from a graduate program (not from a prospective student). A typical circumstance in which a waiver may be granted is that the student has completed a bachelor's or graduate degree at an accredited English-speaking institution. English language proficiency is automatically waived for students who are from a native English speaking country.

Note: Academic departments are not obliged to count toward their degree programs any credit for course work undertaken in a Non-Degree Status. Contact the department of interest with any questions about course applicability.

Students Enrolled for Both Graduate and Undergraduate Credit in the Same Term (Dual Career Students)

A student may take both graduate and undergraduate credit courses in the same term in one of the circumstances below. A student must be degree-seeking in, and enrolled at least half-time in, their primary career in order to be eligible for federal financial aid. See the appropriate circumstance below for an explanation of which career is primary and for tuition billing information.

Graduate Credit as a Senior

An undergraduate student of senior standing (90 or more credits earned) at the time of registration, earning the first bachelor’s degree, and with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00, may register for a maximum of 12 total credit hours for graduate credit. Undergraduate Students may take graduate level courses only at the 5000 or 6000 level. Such registration requires approval on an online undergraduate student request (available via MyUniverse Student Request Link) by the student’s advisor, the instructor of the course, the head of the department offering the course, and the Graduate College. The combined total of course credits, both undergraduate and graduate, may not exceed 15 hours in a semester or 9 hours in a summer session. Overload requests must be approved by the student’s advisor and the Graduate College. Any waiver of these requirements must be approved by the Graduate College prior to enrollment.

No course may count toward both an undergraduate and a graduate degree (except for combined degree programs). Graduate credit earned as an undergraduate will not be counted toward the undergraduate degree and may or may not be counted toward UNI graduate degree programs at the discretion of the graduate program (except for combined degree programs). Some graduate programs have early admission procedures which the student must follow in order for the graduate credit to apply to the graduate degree. The earliest graduate course that applies to a student’s graduate program marks the beginning of the recency period for the completion of the degree.

Students earning graduate credit as a senior are classified as seniors but will pay graduate tuition for the semester hours for which they will receive graduate credit (except for combined degree programs). The maximum tuition will be the full-time graduate rate for the student's residence classification. The undergraduate career is the student’s primary career for financial aid purposes. The student must be enrolled at least half-time in undergraduate courses to be eligible for federal financial aid, which will be at the undergraduate level.

Combined Degree Programs

These are accelerated programs which allow students to complete both a bachelor's and a master's degree in five years. Programs with 30-36 hours may share 12 graduate credit hours between undergraduate and graduate degrees. Programs with more than 36 hours need approval from the Graduate Council and Dean of the Graduate College to have more than 12 graduate credit hours shared between undergraduate and graduate degrees. No program can apply more than 18 hours or 1/3 of the graduate credits to the undergraduate program (whichever is less).

Admission and acceptance:

  • Students must submit an application to the graduate college during their junior year or at the completion of 75 undergraduate hours (whichever comes first).
  • Minimum number of completed undergraduate hours to begin enrollment in graduate courses is 90 hours.
  • Completion of undergraduate degree: 12 months from first day of the semester for which the student was admitted to the combined degree program (ex. from beginning spring 2021 to the end of spring 2022).

Senior Year:

  • At the end of the senior year, students will have completed the BA/BS requirements and may participate in the graduation ceremony of their bachelor's degree.

Graduate Year:

  • During the second year of the program, students fully enroll into their graduate degree program.
  • Graduate students should complete a degree program and apply for graduation in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Graduate College.

*If a student decides to complete a bachelor's degree and not continue with a master's degree, the graduate courses already completed will be used to meet the 120 required hours for a bachelor's degree, and these courses will count only once toward degree completion. Then, the student will be discontinued from the graduate portion of the program.

Academic Regulations:

  1. Admission with provision does not apply.
  2. No transfer credit will be accepted into the graduate component of the program.
  3. Undergraduate honors thesis cannot be used to meet graduate thesis/project requirements.
  4. Guided independent studies may not be used toward graduate degree completion.
  5. Courses taken at the 4000 level cannot be retaken at the 5000 level.
  6. Maximum graduate academic load per semester: 15 hours (fall and spring).
  7. Students in combined degree programs during a transition period are also subject to graduate regulations/procedures.
  8. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  9. A student on GPRE status (transition period) who fails to maintain good academic standing will be removed from the combined degree program.
  10. Students dismissed from the combined degree program are eligible to pursue a traditional graduate degree program in accordance with the admission policies set by each program at UNI.
  11. Continuous enrollment: Students in combined degree programs must maintain continuous and consecutive enrollment at UNI. Students who miss more than two half semesters will be withdrawn from the program.

Graduate Student Taking an Undergraduate Course

Graduate students wishing to take an undergraduate course for any reason (personal interest, to satisfy provisions of admission, professional development or certification, etc.) must submit an online graduate student request "Request registration in an undergraduate course" through MyUNIverse. Once the request is approved, and assuming the requested course is open, the Registrar’s Office will enroll the student in the course. Undergraduate courses taken by graduate students in Fall 2011 and later will appear only on an undergraduate transcript and will not be included in the graduate GPA.

Graduate students taking undergraduate courses will pay graduate tuition for their entire enrollment if they are taking any courses for graduate credit in that term. The maximum tuition will be the full-time graduate rate for the student's residence classification. If the only enrollment is undergraduate courses, undergraduate tuition will be charged. However, the graduate career is the student’s primary career for financial aid, regardless of enrollment. The student must be enrolled at least half-time in graduate courses to be eligible to receive federal financial aid, which will be at the graduate level.

Graduate Student Concurrent with Second Bachelor's Degree or Teacher Licensure

A student who has received a bachelor’s degree may be simultaneously active in both an undergraduate career, to work toward a second bachelor’s degree or teacher licensure, and a graduate career, either degree-seeking or non-degree. The student who wishes to do this must submit two applications for admission—one for post-baccalaureate undergraduate admission (see Post-baccalaureate, Undergraduate Study in this university catalog) and one for admission to graduate study (see Admission to Graduate Study in this university catalog). For students pursuing teacher licensure, after submitting an undergraduate post-baccalaureate application and becoming term-activated, all student requests pertaining to licensure must be submitted at the undergraduate level. No course can apply to both a bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree. Students who are admitted in this way will have both an undergraduate and a graduate transcript.

A graduate student (degree or non-degree) who is concurrently working toward a second bachelor’s degree or teacher licensure will pay graduate tuition for the entire registration of a term if any courses are taken for graduate credit in that term. The maximum tuition will be the full-time graduate rate for the student's residence classification.

If the student is graduate degree-seeking, the graduate career is the student’s primary career for financial aid and the student must be enrolled at least half-time in graduate courses to be eligible for federal financial aid, which will be at the graduate level. However, if the only enrollment is in undergraduate courses, undergraduate tuition will be charged, and the Office of Financial Aid will regard the undergraduate career as primary for that term if the graduate career is temporarily discontinued. In that case, the student must be enrolled at least half-time in undergraduate courses to be eligible for federal financial aid, which will be at the undergraduate level. A student cannot apply for graduation with the graduate degree when the graduate career is discontinued.

If the student is graduate non-degree, the undergraduate career is the primary career for financial aid. The student must be enrolled at least half-time in undergraduate courses to be eligible for federal financial aid, which will be at the undergraduate level.

Non-degree Graduate Student and Non-Degree Undergraduate Student

A student who has received a bachelor’s degree may be simultaneously active in both a non-degree undergraduate career, to take undergraduate courses for personal interest, and a non-degree graduate career, to take graduate courses for personal interest or to demonstrate competence in graduate work prior to applying to a graduate program. The student who wishes to do this must submit two applications for admission—one for post-baccalaureate undergraduate non-degree admission (see Post-baccalaureate, Undergraduate Study in this university catalog) and one for admission to non-degree graduate study (see Admission to Graduate Study in this university catalog). Students who are admitted in this way will have both an undergraduate and a graduate transcript.

A non-degree graduate student who is also a non-degree undergraduate student will pay graduate tuition for the entire registration of a term if any courses are taken for graduate credit in that term. The maximum tuition will be the full-time graduate rate for the student's residence classification. If the only enrollment is undergraduate courses, undergraduate tuition will be charged. Students who are not degree-seeking are not eligible for federal financial aid. 

Classification of Residents and Nonresidents for Admission, Tuition, and Fee Purposes

Refer to this University Catalog at www.uni.edu/catalog/generalinformation/admissionrequirements for further details.

Enrollment and Registration Procedures

Refer to this University Catalog at www.uni.edu/catalog/generalinformation/enrollmentandregistrationprocedures for further details.

Health

All incoming students are required to submit evidence of having been adequately immunized against measles (rubeola), rubella, and mumps. Students must provide documentation of their immunization records which shows proof of TWO measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations. For more information please see our Web site at www.uni.edu/health.

Facilities and Educational Services

Refer to this University Catalog at www.uni.edu/catalog/generalinformation/universityfacilitiesandeducationalservices for further details.

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Qualified degree-seeking students may secure Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Loans are available to students enrolled at least half-time (5 semester hours in the fall or spring semesters or 4 semester hours in the summer).

Graduate assistantships may be available by applying to academic departments or applying for open GA positions in non-academic departments. 

Graduate students who wish further information about financial assistance may contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0024. 

Fine and Performing Arts at UNI

Refer to this University Catalog at www.uni.edu/catalog/generalinformation/thefineandperformingartsatuni for further details.

Schedule of Fees

Refer to this University Catalog at www.uni.edu/catalog/generalinformation/feesandfinancialaid for further details.

Student Life

Refer to this University Catalog at www.uni.edu/catalog/studentlife for further details.

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available to qualified students who are working toward a graduate degree at the University of Northern Iowa. The associated work assignment is of an academic nature and is designed to contribute to the student's graduate education.

A full assistantship for a semester carries a stipend paid in equal installments over a 5-month period. Half-assistantships may also be awarded. The associated work assignment for a full assistantship is for 20 hours per week assisting designated supervisors in certain appropriate academic functions, including teaching and research, or working in a non-academic unit. Graduate students receiving an assistantship cannot be otherwise employed on campus, except as an hourly student employee. The combination of a graduate assistantship appointment and an hourly student employment assignment is limited to 20 hours per week.

Graduate students receiving an assistantship may also apply for other forms of university-based financial aid, tuition awards, fellowships or scholarships which do not require services performed by the student, i.e., where such could be considered wages.

To be eligible for an assistantship all of the following conditions need to be met:

  • Students must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution prior to the start of the assistantship appointment (except for dual-combined career programs. Departments who wish to allow a student in a dual career program must notify the Graduate College and obtain approval prior to the start of the assistantship).
  • A student whose bachelor's degree will be completed prior to the start of the UNI graduate program but will not have an official transcript on file may be eligible for an assistantship at the discretion of the Graduate College.
  • The student must have been admitted to graduate study at the University of Northern Iowa on a degree-track basis, either as regular admission or as admitted with provisions for non-GPA reasons.
  • A newly admitted graduate student must have at least a 3.0 grade point average for undergraduate or previous graduate work of at least 8 graded credit hours. For students enrolled in dual-combined programs, the qualifying graduate hours might be lowered at the discretion of the Graduate College. The student must maintain a minimum UNI cumulative GPA of 3.00 in order to be eligible for continued or further appointment. 
  • The student must be enrolled full-time and carry a minimum of 9 qualifying graduate-level credit hours for each semester during the award. It is expected that all courses applying to the degree meet the minimum hour requirements for program completion established by the Graduate College. Workshops, off-campus courses, audit courses, courses taken as credit/no-credit, (except for courses required by accrediting bodies) CIEP, guided independent study and repeated courses cannot be used as part of the minimum load. Courses taken for the completion of certificates must be complementary to the degree program.

Once students have begun studies at the University of Northern Iowa, all graduate courses will be used as a basis of computation for GPA eligibility. 

The assistantship application form may be obtained on the Graduate College website. Students should submit their application by February to the hiring unit.

Recommendations for awarding assistantships are made by the department or hiring unit who submits electronic forms to the Graduate College. All graduate assistantships must be offered through the Graduate College.

Graduate Tuition Scholarships

A limited number of Graduate College tuition scholarships are awarded through the Graduate College upon recommendation of the academic department. Full or half tuition scholarships are available. To be eligible for a Graduate College Tuition Scholarship all of the following criteria must be met:

  • Students must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution prior to the start of the scholarship appointment. Departments who wish to allow a student in a dual-combined career program must notify the Graduate College and obtain approval prior to the start of the scholarship.
  • A student whose bachelor's degree will be completed prior to the start of the UNI graduate program but will not have an official transcript on file may be eligible for a scholarship at the discretion of the Graduate College.
  • The student must have been admitted to graduate study at the University of Northern Iowa on a degree-track basis, either as regular admission or as admitted with provisions for non-GPA reasons.
  • A newly admitted graduate student must have at least a 3.0. grade point average for undergraduate or previous graduate work of at least 8 graded credit hours. For students enrolled in dual-combined programs, the qualifying graduate hours might be lowered at the discretion of the Graduate College. The student must maintain a minimum UNI cumulative GPA of 3.00 in order to be eligible for continued or further appointment. 
  • The student must be enrolled full-time and carry a minimum of 9 qualifying graduate-level credit hours for each semester during the award. It is expected that all courses applying to the degree meet the minimum hour requirements for program completion established by the Graduate College. Workshops, off-campus courses, courses taken as credit/no-credit, audit courses, CIEP, guided independent study and courses through Continuing Education and Special Programs cannot be used as part of the minimum load (except for courses required by accrediting bodies). Courses taken for the completion of certificates must be complementary to the degree program.

Once students have begun studies at the University of Northern Iowa, all graduate courses will be used as a basis of computation for GPA eligibility. Graduate students receiving a tuition scholarship must be enrolled full-time (9+ graduate hours).

The Graduate College Tuition Scholarship application form may be obtained on the Graduate College website. Students should submit their application by February to their academic department.

Some university units may offer scholarships for graduate study. Students should obtain information about these awards from the units in which they intend to do graduate work.

Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs

Departments must provide information to students which outlines: required courses applicable to the various departmental programs of study, examination procedures and other formal evaluations, departmental policies with regard to awarding and renewing assistantships, time limits on degree completion (if less than seven years), registration policies, grade point requirements, requirements for changing from one degree program to another within the department, and other matters as are appropriate. The nature of the departmental advisory system should also be explained to incoming students.

Filing Graduate Student Requests

Student requests are used by students to seek appropriate approval(s) for a variety of requests. Graduate students submit student requests online through MyUNIverse. For graduate students, the link to the student request system is located on the MyUNIverse My Page tab. Graduate students click on the "Student Request" link, and follow instructions to write, submit, and review the approval status of their student requests.

Regulations Affecting Registration

Each student admitted to a degree program is assigned an advisor. The advisor will assist the student in the registration process involving the selection of courses and other matters such as:

  1. Maximum academic load

    The maximum graduate student load during each semester of the academic year is 15 hours.

    The maximum graduate student load during the eight-week summer session is 9 semester hours of eight-week courses. The maximum load for shorter sessions is one (1) credit hour per session week (i.e., a 4 hour load in a four-week session; a 6 hour load in a six-week session). The maximum load during a two-week post-session is 2 semester hours.

    Requests for exceptions to these load regulations must be submitted on-line through MyUNIverse, (see Filing Graduate Student Requests). Exceptions may be granted only by the Graduate College.

  2. Level of courses

    Graduate students normally take courses only in the 5000, 6000 or 7000 (for doctoral students) series. A graduate student may request to take courses numbered 0000-4999 for undergraduate credit. Such courses do not carry graduate credit and may not be used on a graduate degree under any circumstances. Undergraduate courses taken Fall 2011 and later will be on an undergraduate transcript. See the section "Students enrolled for both graduate and undergraduate credit in the same term" in this university catalog.

  3. Continuous registration

    Graduate students who have completed all of their program courses but have not completed all of their graduation requirements, e.g. comprehensive exams, thesis, paper/project, recitals, etc., must be continuously registered until the degree is completed. Registration for every fall semester and spring semester is required. Summer registration is required for students taking examinations, completing cultimating experiences, defending theses or dissertations, or graduating from the degree program during the summer term. Students reaching this stage must be registered by their department in the course xxxx 629C Continuous Registration or xxxx 7300 Postcomprehensive Registration (xxxx refers to the student’s major department), and assessed a fee (see semester Schedule of Classes for appropriate course fee). Continuous enrollment ensures that students and their advisors can access their university records, that students receive important emails from university offices, and that students can utilize the library and its services through graduation.

Program of Study (Academic Requirements/Advisement Report)

When a student’s admission file is complete, a standard advisement report is released online for view by the student and the advisor in MyUNIverse. (For students, the advisement report is found in MyUNIverse Student Center as Academic Requirements. For advisors, the student’s advisement report is found in MyUNIverse Advisor Center.) Usually during the first semester of coursework, a departmental advisor will meet with students to inform them of program requirements and expectations. A default thesis or non-thesis option, if applicable, is included in the advisement report, the tracking document of graduate degree requirements. If the student wishes to change to the other option, if available, a student request must be submitted via the request system: Submit Change to Thesis or Non-Thesis option (Masters or Specialist Degree). If the student or advisor chooses to make any changes in the degree requirements, a student request must be made online through MyUNIverse (see Filing Graduate Student Requests). The Associate Dean of the Graduate College (or designee) is the final person to approve or reject any changes to the degree requirements. The Dean of the Graduate College is in general charge of each graduate student's program. It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with all degree requirements and take the initiative in meeting these requirements and established policies and procedures.

Program of Study Regulations

  1. Scholarship

    A UNI cumulative grade index of 3.00 (B average) must be earned in all graduate courses on the advisement report. No more than six (6) semester hours of C credit (C+, C, C-) may be applied toward credit for graduation. When C-range grades on the advisement report exceed the six hour limit, one or more of such courses must be repeated. Individual departments may identify specific courses within the degree for which a minimum grade of B is required. A course taken to satisfy degree requirements in which a student receives a D+, D, D- F or NC grade will not be considered satisfactory and must be repeated. Students who repeat a course, get credit only once for non-repeatable courses. A student may attempt a course twice. The original course grade will remain on the student record, and the grade of the second course attempt will be used in the computation of the GPA.

  2. Time Limitation (Recency of Credit)

    Time limits on the completion of degrees have been established to ensure that a student who earns a UNI graduate degree is current in the discipline at the time of graduation. The allotted time to a Master’s and Specialist is seven years from the earliest course applied to the degree. The allotted time for doctoral degrees is ten years. Courses taken more than seven years (ten years for doctoral programs) prior to the granting of the degree cannot be used to meet degree requirements. If the student’s original time limit expired over five years ago, the student must reapply for admission to the graduate program. If the student is accepted, only coursework that is within the recency period when the degree is granted may be used to satisfy degree requirements.

    A graduate student who is unable to complete the degree within the time limits described above may request the program and the Graduate College one extension of up to 24 months. The form “Preliminary Request to Extend Time to Complete Graduate Program” must be completed by the student and approved by the program (see https://grad.uni.edu/current-students). If the extension requires the completion of a thesis or dissertation, the committee chair must also sign. After departmental approval, the form must be sent to the Graduate College for final review. Upon notification of its approval, the student must submit an online request: Exception to Policy: Extension of 7/10 year limit for degree completion. All extensions must be approved prior to resuming work toward the degree and are subject to the following requirements:

    1. A completed form: Preliminary Request to Extend Time to Complete Graduate Program.
    2. A justifiable reason (with documentation) for the delay in degree completion must be provided.
    3. Evidence of currency in the discipline must be provided for each course that would be out of recency.
    4. A clear timetable for the completion of requirements, with proposed committee members.
    5. Submission of Student Request: Exception to Policy: Extension of 7-10 year limit for degree completion.
    6. If an extension of time to complete the degree is granted, it will be the only extension the student receives Students may request one extension for a total of up to 24 months during their studies, but time limits may be extended for active military service or other extenuating circumstances, at the recommendation of the program and the approval of the Dean of the Graduate College or designee.
  3. Residence

    At least two-thirds of the minimum hours required for a particular Master or Specialist degree program must be taken with members of the UNI graduate and associate graduate faculty and must be taken only for that degree. The doctoral degree programs have different residence requirements. As soon as possible, a student in a degree program should discuss her/his residence credit plan with her/his program advisor in the degree department. The combination of transfer credit, guided independent study credit, and credit applied to another graduate degree cannot exceed one-third of the minimum degree hours, even if some are UNI courses.

    After students have been admitted for a graduate degree, and provided that prior arrangements have been made with the Dean of the Graduate College, they may take work at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University or the Quad-Cities Graduate Study Center. UNI may grant residence credit for this. 

  4. Nongraded credit

    Up to 3 credit hours of graduate non-graded (credit/no-credit) course work may be applied to the degree with the approval of the program and the Graduate College. Exceptions are courses offered only on a non-graded basis and 6299, which must be graded credit. A grade of C- or better is required to earn credit. Credit/no-credit will not be used to circumvent the maximum 6 hours of C grades applied to the degree.

  5. Credit from Other Institutions (Transfer Credit)

    Graduate credit earned at other regionally accredited colleges and universities may be accepted to a maximum of one-third of the minimum number of hours required by a particular UNI graduate degree program, but specialist and doctoral programs may allow a smaller fraction of transfer hours. Credits earned from other institutions will not satisfy the minimum required number of credits at 6000-level course requirement (or 6000-7000–level requirement for doctoral degrees). The minimum credit hour requirement at 6000 level must be met with UNI classes. Credits not needed to meet degree requirements will not be transferred. Transfer credit is not processed for students in non-degree status at UNI.

    A student pursuing a graduate degree program should discuss plans to transfer credits with the program advisor as soon as possible. Academic departments are not obliged to count toward their degree programs any credit for course work undertaken without specific advice provided by the department. All transfer courses must meet the following criteria.

    1. Course must be a regular graduate course with a graduate course number (not professional development or college credit through an Educational Agency or conference).

    2. Course must be taken by the student in graduate status, and the official transcript must show a grade of B or better earned.

    3. Course must meet the UNI seven-year recency requirement, and ten-year for doctoral programs.

The official transcript and any other documents required upon request are used by the Office of Admissions After a completed course has been ruled eligible, the student may submit an online request: Graduate transfer course credit approval to transfer the course and use it on the graduate degree. Application of eligible transfer courses to the UNI degree program requires approval by the department/graduate program on the student request.

Current students considering taking a course at another institution to use on the UNI degree should seek approval from the department prior to enrolling for the course. Transfer courses taken after degree admission will not be processed or approved for the degree until official transcripts for these courses are filed with the Office of Admissions.

Graduate programs or the Graduate College may request additional materials such as course outline, syllabus or accreditation information to evaluate course eligibility for transfer to UNI or application to a plan of study at UNI.  Approval to apply any transferred credits toward a degree program must be granted by the student's academic advisor, and the program head or graduate coordinator.

    6. Guided Independent Study Courses

Guided Independent Study courses may not ordinarily be applied toward a graduate degree program. In unusual circumstances a student may request that a maximum of 3 semester hours of 5000-level Guided Independent Study credit be applied to a graduate degree program. An online student request must be submitted and approved prior to registering for the course (submit request "Other").

    7. Workshop credit

No more than 6 credit hours earned in workshop courses, at the University of Northern Iowa or another institution, will be applied toward a graduate degree.

    8. Camp Adventure (currently suspended)

Graduate students participating in the Camp Adventure Child and Youth Services program may apply up to 2 credits of LYHS 5621 Camp Staff Development taken on the UNI Campus and up to 2 credits of RTNL 6295 taken through Camp Adventure to each graduate degree, with approval of the graduate program. No other courses taken through Camp Adventure may be used on a graduate degree.

    9. Courses Applying to Two Graduate Degrees 

At least two-thirds (2/3) of the minimum hours required for a graduate degree must be UNI courses taken only for that degree. Any combination of transfer hours, guided independent study, and hours applied to another degree may make up no more than one-third (1/3) of the minimum hours required for a graduate degree. Some programs may impose more restrictive limits.

No course may be applied to more than two degrees. No course may apply to both the first Master's degree and a doctoral degree.

A maximum of 9 semester hours may be common to two Master's degrees, whether the degrees are concurrent or sequential.

A maximum of 6 semester hours may be common to both a doctoral degree and another graduate degree beyond the first Master's degree (e.q., second Master's, Specialist).

    10. Policies Regarding Course Grades of Incomplete (Graduate Courses)

Work reported as Incomplete (I) in the fall session must be completed by June 1 of the next calendar year. Work reported Incomplete in the spring and summer sessions must be completed by January 1 the next calendar year. The exact length of time to remove the Incomplete within the above timelines is set by agreement between the instructor and the student. If the work reported as Incomplete is not made up by the deadline noted above, it is automatically entered as an F (Failure) on the student's record.

Any requests for an exception to the above timelines must be submitted online through MyUNIverse (see Student Requests). Only under the most unusual circumstances would requests for additional time be approved.

Some courses continue beyond the normal ending date of the semester or session. In such cases the initial grade reported will be an RC which means Research or Course Continued. Once the extended instructional period is finished, the RC grade will be replaced with the appropriate grade assigned by the instructor. If the RC grade is not replaced with an appropriate grade within an instructional period, the RC will be automatically entered as an F on the student record after 48 months. For non-degree seeking students, RC grades must be replaced by an appropriate grade within a calendar year.

Exceptions to Regulations

Exceptions to Graduate College regulations and Graduate Council policies may be granted only by the Dean of the Graduate College (or designee). Requests for exceptions must be submitted online through MyUNIverse (see Student Requests).

Graduate Probation and Suspension - Degree Status Students

Graduate students in degree programs are expected to maintain high academic standards. Probation or suspension status might be required for students who fail to meet expectations either in their coursework or in educational requirements outside of regular courses such as comprehensive exams, thesis/dissertation work, field experiences, practicum, or internships. At the end of each term and when incomplete grades revert to F (Failure) graduate student records are reviewed. Students with unsatisfactory performance are placed on probation or are suspended from graduate degree programs and any graduate enrollment at UNI. Students are evaluated for probation and suspension based on attempted degree hours. Attempted degree hours are any credit hours on the advisement report for which the student receives a mark (A through F, W, I, RC, CR, NC) or for which the term and dates of the course have passed, even if there is no mark.

A student who has attempted at least six (6) semester hours on the advisement report and attained a UNI cumulative GPA less than 3.00 will be placed on probation. If the student attempts eight (8) or more hours while on probation without qualifying as a degree candidate (GPA of 3.00), the student is reviewed for suspension from graduate degree programs. If the GPA is so low as to make it impossible to raise it to 3.0, the student may be suspended even if fewer than 8 hours were attempted while on probation.

Students on academic probation will not be permitted to graduate even if all the coursework has been completed. A UNI cumulative GPA of 3.0. will not be waived for students on probation/suspension status.

Students placed on academic suspension cannot enroll in non-degree graduate status or take courses at another institution to transfer to the student's degree, or advance in their program during the semester of academic suspension. It may be permitted for the student to register in undergraduate courses during the semester of suspension.

Reinstatement

When a student is suspended, at least one semester must elapse before a request for readmission to a graduate degree program may be made. After one full semester on suspension, a suspended student who wishes to enroll in classes must submit an online student request "Readmission after Suspension" and receive approval from the graduate program/department and the Graduate College for reinstatement and removal from suspension.

A student reinstated after suspension who fails to attain a UNI cumulative GPA, Total, of 3.00 with the first 8 credits after reinstatement will be terminated from the graduate program. If the GPA is so low as to make it impossible to raise it to 3.0, the student may be terminated even if fewer than 8 hours were attempted during the reinstatement.

In determining a graduate student's GPA, all graded coursework attempted will be used as a basis for computation. If a graduate student repeats a course, both grades will be used in computation of the GPA index.

If a student feels there has been some procedural irregularity concerning her/his suspension from the university, the student may request a review by the Graduate College. This review may be conducted by the Dean of the Graduate College (or designee).

Graduate Probation and Suspension - Non Degree Status Students

0-6 credits taken - no action

7-9 credits taken - GPA 2.6 – 2.99 - Probation; GPA less than 2.59 - Suspension

10 or more credits taken - GPA less than 3.00 - Suspension

If a student is put on probation, the student must bring the cumulative GPA to 3.00 or better in the next term of enrollment or the student will be suspended. 

Suspension is for a minimum of one semester.  Non-degree students who have been placed on academic suspension cannot enroll in graduate courses during the time they are suspended. After one full semester, students who wish to enroll in graduate classes must submit an online request for "Readmission after Suspension" and receive approvals from the Graduate College (and the department, if applicable).

If a student feels there has been some procedural irregularity concerning her/his suspension from the university, the student may request a review by the Graduate College. This review may be conducted by the Dean of the Graduate College (or designee).

Graduate Academic Renewal

The purpose of Academic Renewal is to allow a fresh start in pursuing a new graduate degree option at UNI. Academic Renewal allows graduate students to have all the grades they previously earned at UNI for a specific period excluded from their grade-point-average (GPA). This process enables students to have up to 4 academic semesters (completed within consecutive 24 months) excluded from the calculation of their UNI Cumulative GPA. This procedure is not available for degrees already granted.

Eligibility and Requirements:

  • Graduate student standing
  • Be within recency status
  • Have applied to a different graduate program at UNI and in the process of being admitted
  • Free from university holds including financial holds
  • Semester(s) with academic violation level 3 or higher is not eligible to be excluded from the calculation. Record is maintained.
  • Probation and suspension (academic standing) will not be removed from records
  • Programmatic probation/suspension will not be removed from records
  • Excluded coursework cannot be reinstated
  • Tuition cannot be refunded for past coursework
  • Procedure can be applied only once

Procedure: When a graduate student decides to apply to a different degree program, the student must submit a new online graduate admission application and complete a graduate student request form for "Academic Renewal". The request is available in the Graduate College, Graduate Admissions Coordinator. If the Graduate College approves the student's request for Academic Renewal, the Office of the Registrar will annotate the permanent record indicated work taken during the disregarded semesters, even if satisfactory, may not apply toward graduation. However, all coursework and grades will remain on the students' record to ensure an accurate and complete academic history. Processed Academic Renewal forms are stored permanently in Onbase.

Programmatic Probation and Dismissal

Departmental Probation and Dismissal Policy Procedures For Programmatic Requirements Other Than GPA*

In addition to the university-wide requirements for academic standing, academic departments may establish additional requirements (e.g., ethical/professional standards), violation of which might determine an individual graduate student’s standing with regard to probation and dismissal from a graduate program.

To this end, departments with such requirements must put these in writing and place them on file in the departmental office, the office of the department's college, and the Graduate College. All departmental policies/procedures for programmatic probation and dismissal must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate College or designee.

Departments must make all reasonable efforts to inform graduate students of the existence of such policies/standards and disseminate them to students upon their admission to graduate study in the program/area. Policies/procedures for programmatic probation and dismissal must provide clear guidelines regarding grounds for a student to be placed on probation or dismissed. Policies must allow for a fair and expeditious review and provide clear guidance on how the department proceeds and recourse for students.

Subsequent changes in policies/standards must be communicated by the department to each student in the program, the Dean of the College, and to the Dean of the Graduate College or designee. The new regulations will not apply retroactively to the disadvantage of students already in the program.

I. Departmental Programmatic Probation

If a student is failing to meet departmental programmatic standards and probation or suspension is being considered, the department must adhere to the following minimum procedures:

  1. warn the student of this in writing and specify in what way(s) the student is failing to meet the departmental standard(s);

  2. advise the student (in writing) of the consequence(s) of failure to address the problem(s) cited, satisfactorily;

  3. provide the student with a reasonable amount of time (e.g., a minimum of 10 business days) within which to respond to the notification (e.g., the right to review) and indicate to the person(s) to whom a response should be made;

  4. provide the student with a reasonable amount of time to meet the standards or remediate prior to being placed on departmental probation and suspension.

If a student is to be placed on departmental probation, the department must:

  1. provide, at the time of its imposition, a written explanation of this status, and its time limits;

  2. indicate the impact of departmental probation on the pursuit of future graduate course work in the program of study;

  3. give the student a reasonable amount of time within which to respond to the notification of probation (e.g., right to review) and indicate to whom a response should be made;

  4. provide an explanation of the departmental reinstatement procedure(s);

  5. establish departmental procedures for handling reviews.

The department should also notify the Dean of the College, Dean of the Graduate College or designee and the Registrar in writing and indicate the impact of the student’s programmatic  probationary status on the pursuit of future graduate course work in the program of study. The Dean of the College, Dean of the Graduate College or designee and the Registrar should be notified when the student has been removed from probation.

II. Departmental Programmatic Dismissal

A student may be dismissed for her/his failure to meet: the conditions of admission, conditions of departmental probation, pre-announced departmental grade point requirements or other standards related to professional behavior or ability. Any requirements or expectations of students beyond classroom performance must be made clear to students in departmental documents and provided to students upon entry to the program. If a student is dismissed from a graduate program, the department must, at minimum:

  1. notify the student of this in writing, specify what the student has done to merit departmental dismissal and its time limits;

  2. indicate the impact of departmental dismissal on the pursuit of future course work in the program of study;

  3. give student a reasonable amount of time (e.g., a minimum of 10 business days) to respond to the notification of dismissal (e.g., right to review) and indicate to the person(s) to whom a response should be made;

  4. provide an explanation of departmental reinstatement procedures (as appropriate).

The department should notify the Dean of the College, Dean of the Graduate College or designee and the Registrar in writing and indicate the impact of the student’s programmatic dismissal on the pursuit of graduate course work in the program of study. The Dean of the College, Dean of the Graduate College or designee and the Registrar should be notified when the student’s dismissal has been removed.

Departmental policies/procedures for programmatic probation and dismissal must be approved by the Graduate Dean and offered a fair and expeditious review.

III. Graduate College Review of Departmental Programmatic Dismissal

Questions involving judgment of performance will not be reviewed beyond the departmental level. If a student feels there has been unfairness or some procedural irregularity concerning probation/dismissal, the student may choose to pursue academic grievance procedures as outlined in 12.01 Policies and Procedures (see https://policies.uni.edu/1201)

Grievances involving alleged acts of discrimination or harassment of students based on age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal and/or Iowa law, should be reported to the Office of Compliance and Equity Management/Title IX Officer (https://equity.uni.edu/).

Master's Degree Programs

Graduation Requirements

Thesis Plan

  1. The number of hours of graduate credit required varies with the major, but no fewer than 30 semester hours of graduate credit is required for all majors. For the Master of Arts (M.A.) thesis plan, the Master of Arts in Education (M.A.E.) thesis plan, and the Master of Music (M.M.) thesis/recital plan, a minimum of 24 semester hours must be in course work other than xxx:6299 Research and xxx:629R Directed Research. For the Master of Science (M.S.) degree with thesis, a minimum of 21 semester hours must be in course work other than xxx:6299 Research and xxx:629R Directed Research. The remainder of the 30 semester hours will be xxx:6299 thesis research credit. See departmental listings for program descriptions.

  2. 6000-level credits: A minimum of 9 semester hours of 6000-level credit, other than xxx:6299 Research and xxx:629R Directed Research, taken at the University of Northern Iowa is required. A minimum of 6 semester hours of xxx:6299 and a maximum of 12 semester hours of xxx:629R taken at the University of Northern Iowa can be applied to the requirements for the degree. Following enrollment in all required semester hours of xxx:6299, a thesis major can register for 1-12 hours of xxx:629R and apply it to the degree as additional credits required, as long as no more than 6 semester hours are taken per semester. xxx:629R cannot be applied to the required minimum hours for the degree or the required minimum hours of 6000-level for the degree program.

  3. Complete the course requirements for a specific major and any additional courses designated by the departmental committee.

  4. Meet the seven-year recency of credit requirement.

  5. Complete a thesis or creative thesis (or thesis abstract if the creative thesis is not in written form) or recital with recital abstract, as required by the student's graduate program, and meet Graduate College submission deadlines.

  6. Meet the residence credit requirement.

  7. Application for graduation

    It is the student’s responsibility to make a timely application to graduate during the term the final degree requirements are completed. Application for graduation must be completed online through MyUNIverse Student Center. Application to graduate must be submitted by November 10 for Fall terms, April 1 for Spring terms, or July 1 for Summer terms.  During the semesters, these dates ensure that students’ names can be included in the commencement publication. If the department or Graduate College does not approve a post-term applicant, the student will need to apply for graduation the next term. Late fees apply.

    Graduate Student Eligibility to Participate in Commencement Ceremony 

    Graduate students may participate in commencement at the end of the Fall or Spring term that their final degree requirements are completed, or the next later term. There is no summer commencement ceremony. Summer degree candidates may participate in Spring or Fall commencement as indicated below.

    Although Application for Degree Conferral may be submitted until the end of the term, in order to ensure inclusion in the commencement program and to avoid a late application fee, Applications for Graduation must be submitted by the following deadlines:

    1. Spring graduate degree candidates must submit their application by April 1.

    2. Fall graduate degree candidates must submit their application by November 10.

    3. Summer graduate degree candidates: The application deadline to avoid the late application fee is July 1. For deadlines for commencement participation, see the appropriate paragraph immediately below:

      Summer Graduation - Master's and Specialist Degree Students: Students who will complete their degree requirements in summer, and who apply by April 1 for summer graduation (degree conferral), are eligible to participate in Spring commencement. Students who will complete their degree requirements in summer and who apply after April 1 for summer graduation (degree conferral) are only eligible to participate in fall commencement.

Non-Thesis Plan

  1. The number of hours of graduate credit required varies with the major,  but no fewer than 30 semester hours of graduate credit is required for all majors. For the Master of Accounting (MAcc), the Master of Arts (M.A.) non-thesis plan, the Master of Arts in Education (M.A.E.) non-thesis plan, the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), the Master of Music (M.M.) non-thesis/half recital plan, the Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.), the Master of Science (M.S.) non-thesis plan, the Master of Social Work (M.S.W.), and the Professional Science Master’s (P.S.M.), a minimum of 27 semester hours must be in course work other than xxx:6299 Research and xxx:629R Directed Research. See departmental listings for program descriptions.

  2. 6000-level credits: A minimum of 12 semester hours of 6000-level credit, taken at the University of Northern Iowa is required. No more than 3 semester hours of xxx:6299 can be applied to the requirements for the degree. Following enrollment in 3 semester hours of xxx:6299, a non-thesis major can register for 1-12 hours of xxx:629R and apply it to the degree as additional credits required, as long as no more than 6 semester hours are taken per semester. xxx:629R cannot be applied to the required minimum hours for the degree or the required minimum hours of 6000-level for the degree program.

  3. Complete the course requirements for a specific major and any additional courses designated by the departmental committee.

  4. Meet the seven-year recency of credit requirement.

  5. Complete at least one substantial written report documenting research, a project or an internship, as specified by the student's graduate program. This document must be supervised by at least one regular member of the graduate faculty, approved by the department and permanently  filed with the departmental office. This requirement is reported to the Graduate College upon completion by the student's department via electronic form found at grad.uni.edu.

  6. Meet the residence credit requirement.

  7. Application for graduation

    It is the student’s responsibility to make a timely application to graduate during the term the final degree requirements are completed. Application for graduation must be completed online through MyUNIverse Student Center. Application to graduate must be submitted by November 10 for Fall terms, April 1 for Spring terms, or July 1 for Summer terms.  During the semesters, these dates ensure that students’ names can be included in the commencement publication. If the department or Graduate College does not approve a post-term applicant, the student will need to apply for graduation the next term. Late fees apply.

    Graduate Student Eligibility to Participate in Commencement Ceremony 

    Graduate students may participate in commencement at the end of the Fall or Spring term that their final degree requirements are completed, or the next later term. There is no summer commencement ceremony. Summer degree candidates may participate in Spring or Fall commencement as indicated below.

    Although Application for Degree Conferral may be submitted until the end of the term, in order to ensure inclusion in the commencement program and to avoid a late application fee, Applications for Graduation must be submitted by the following deadlines:

    1. Spring graduate degree candidates must submit their application by April 1.

    2. Fall graduate degree candidates must submit their application by November 10.

    3. Summer graduate degree candidates: The application deadline to avoid the late application fee is July 1. For deadlines for commencement participation, see the appropriate paragraph immediately below:

      Summer Graduation -Master's and Specialist Degree Students: Students who will complete their degree requirements in summer, and who apply by April 1 for summer graduation (degree conferral), are eligible to participate in Spring commencement. Students who will complete their degree requirements in summer and who apply after April 1 for summer graduation (degree conferral) are only eligible to participate in fall commencement.

Other Requirements and Criteria for Master’s Degree Students

  1. Examinations

    Master's degree students on either the thesis or non-thesis plan may be required to pass a comprehensive examination. These examinations are reported to the Graduate College by the student's department via electronic form found at grad.uni.edu.

  2. Research credit

    Registration for xxxx 6299 Research (where xxxx is the department subject area) will not be accepted until the student has submitted a statement or outline of the proposed research project and has secured the approval of the person directing the research project and the head of the appropriate department. A copy of the completed research report, approved by the director of the research project and the department head, should be filed with the departmental office.

    Research carries residence credit and may be pursued either on or off campus. 

    1. Thesis Plan - Credit Hours

      The total number of credit hours of research permitted for thesis work will vary with the program. Master's theses (M.A., M.A.E.) include a 6-9 hour research credit requirement. The M.S. thesis option requires a maximum of 9 credit hours of research. However, in all cases, to earn research credit the student registers for the appropriate numbered course (xxx:6299), not more than 6 hours in any semester. The instructor may assign an RC for Research Continued, if the instructor feels the work has not reached the stage where it can be evaluated.

      In conjunction with the Graduate College, the Registrar may authorize an extension of time for the completion of Research Continued (RC) in research up to one additional calendar year with the consent of the instructor (beyond the 48 month duration). If at the end of that time the work has not been completed, the grade of RC will be changed to an F (Failure). Once the extended instructional period is finished, the RC grade will be replaced with the appropriate grade assigned by the instructor. If the RC grade is not replaced with an appropriate grade within an instructional period, the RC will be automatically entered as an F on the student record after 48 months.

  3. Thesis

    A thesis is required of all students who choose the thesis option. Because the thesis is considered to serve a functional need, no attempt is made to limit the topics considered acceptable. The thesis is to be prepared and submitted in accordance with the most current edition of the Graduate College Thesis and Dissertation Manual at https://guides.lib.uni.edu/thesis-and-dissertation-formatting/. This manual should be consulted prior to writing the thesis.

    The thesis may take the form of studies, experiments, surveys, compositions, creative work and projects, and may concern itself with such matters as methodology, understanding children, and materials of instruction, or may delve rather deeply into some aspect of a specialized academic field. Whatever the nature of the subject, its development into an acceptable thesis is considered to contribute to the growth of such attributes as maturity of judgment, initiative, writing ability, and organizational ability. The thesis should make a contribution to the world's knowledge. Its preparation should develop in the writer a broader understanding of the world's knowledge and a more genuine appreciation of the research efforts of others.
     
    1. Selection of Thesis Topic

      Students following the thesis plan of study are urged to make at least a tentative selection of a topic by the end of their first semester.

    2. Thesis Committee

      Students on the thesis option must select a thesis committee in consultation with their academic advisors (usually within the first 9-18 credit hours of course work). They must file a Committee Appointment Form (available at https://grad.uni.edu/current-students) for Graduate College approval. The committee consists of a faculty chairperson, who must hold regular graduate faculty status, and two committee members, one of whom must hold regular graduate faculty status and the other may have either regular graduate faculty status or associate status. The student can add additional persons beyond the core composition of three members. The committee assists students to further define course work, supervises thesis research and writing, proposal requirements, and eventually accepts or rejects the thesis. Further committee responsibilities are outlined in the Thesis and Dissertation Manual.

    3. Thesis Proposal

      The student, in conjunction with the committee chair, should make arrangements to present the thesis proposal to the committee. Formal work on the thesis may not proceed without approval from the committee. Specifications of what fulfills the proposal requirements are determined by the program and department in conjunction with the Graduate College. Students should consult with the chair and program for details on fulfilling the thesis proposal.

    4. Formatting Assistance and Preliminary Checks

      Students may elect to attend a formatting workshop to guide them towards meeting the document formatting requirements for the thesis. Workshops are provided during Fall and Spring semesters and benefit students who have a proposal draft, or equivalent to three chapters. 

      Students may also choose to send a copy to the Reviewer for a preliminary check. This should occur as early as the semester in which the proposal is approved. This check will be an abridged session which will cover all components of the final review. 

      Students may also schedule appointments with the Reviewer for further assistance.

    5. Graduate College Review Deadline and Oral Defense to Committee

      The Graduate College Review and Oral Defense may occur in any order so long as the work is submitted to the Graduate College by the review deadline for the semester of completion. These processes may be occurring simultaneously. Because of this, the sections below include information on both processes.

      1. Graduate College Review - In the semester of intended completion, the student must submit an electronic copy of the thesis to the Graduate College for review. This does not need to be a final copy of the document, but should be close to the end product.

        This review will point out errors of style and provide a citation review. Common errors will not be identified throughout the whole document; rather, students will be guided to understand the common error with the expectation they will apply it throughout the document. All corrections requested at the time of review must be completed prior to submission. 

        Appointments with the Reviewer may help direct the student’s understanding of the corrections and the student should work with the committee to ensure these corrections properly reflect the expectation of their field. 

        The review deadline for Fall and Spring semesters is six weeks prior to commencement. For summer deadlines, see the section on summer term and deadlines.

      2. Oral Defense to Committee All students must have a formal oral defense of their thesis before a committee, which must meet the composition noted in the section above. Upon successful completion of the defense, the student is required to submit the electronic Thesis Approval Form (available at https://grad.uni.edu/current-students). Note: this form will go to the chair for approval before being sent to the Graduate College. This form will not be approved by the Graduate College until final approval is granted (see section on final approval below) so the student should not wait for a notification and should continue the process of submitting their work. 

        The student may choose to bring print copies of the approval page (located within the formatted thesis document, page ii) to the defense to be signed by the committee for personal use (e.g. use in binding a print copy for their personal libraries). The Graduate College does not require this and does not facilitate the binding of personal copies. The student should obtain committee members’ signatures and then submit the page(s) to the Graduate College office, for the dean’s signature, along with a mailing address for them to be returned to upon final approval. This should be printed on white, acid free, 25% or 100% cotton paper. 

        While there is no official deadline for oral defenses at the Graduate College level (students should contact their departments for any internal deadlines), students should aim to complete this defense with enough time to make any final changes prior to the semester submission deadline.

    6. Submission Deadline and Process - Submission of the thesis may occur once the committee’s approval of the content and the oral defense is granted and all requirements at the departmental level have been satisfied. The student must have met all of the expectations outlined at the time of the review. Submission of a thesis includes: (1) sending an electronic copy of the final thesis to the Graduate College for a final check and (2) submission of the electronic Thesis Approval Form (available at https://grad.uni.edu/current-students). Note: Submission does not guarantee final approval. 

      The submission deadline for Fall and Spring semesters is two weeks prior to commencement. For summer deadlines, see the section on summer term and deadlines.
       
      1. ​​Final Check - Once the final copy has been submitted to the Graduate College, the final check process will begin. This check will ensure that any minor revisions necessary to meet requirements are clarified to the student and made in a timely manner. Matters of citation management and proper use, as well as document formatting, will be checked at this time. If a submitted thesis requires more substantial corrections at the time of the final check, the student will receive direction on what corrections and edits they must make to be approved and given a new timeline to re-submit. Substantial corrections and/or missing the deadlines outlined in the updated timeline may delay approval to a future semester.
      2. Final Approval - Students will be granted final approval upon fulfilling any final corrections requested during the final check. Students need to submit the Library Permission to Preserve Form, sent to them at the time of approval, for Rod Library’s ScholarWorks unit. This form dictates the approved levels of access to the electronic thesis through UNI’s digital repository. Chairs should discuss any needs for embargo periods, to allow for publication, or restrictions to the student’s work that the student should consider. It ultimately is up to the student, as the scholar, to determine which levels of access best suit their needs. Upon receipt of the Library Permission to Preserve Form, the thesis approval process is finalized and a notification is sent to the Office of the Registrar to record the completion of the requirement. If a student sent paper copies of their approval page to the Graduate College, they receive the dean’s signature at this time.
         
      3. Thesis Fee All thesis students are billed a one-time, nonrefundable thesis fee for the support, processing, and retention of the work. Information about fees is maintained by the Registrar’s Office at https://registrar.uni.edu/tuition-and-fees. This fee will be applied to the U-Bill at the time of final approval.
    7. Summer Term and Deadlines - Due to the nature of summer term, the deadline for review and submission of the thesis follows a different timeline. There are two options for summer completion; both of these options grant approval of the thesis requirement in time for summer degree conferral. They are outlined, with corresponding requirements and deadlines, below. Students completing over summer should note that they may need to be enrolled in Continuous Registration. For full details, consult the Continuous Registration section. 
       
      1. May Term - Students completing during May Term will follow the process outlined above with the following deadlines: 
        1. The student must submit for review by the first Friday of the university May session.
        2. The deadline for submission is the Monday of the final week of the university May session
          Dates for upcoming semesters will be posted on the Graduate College website (at grad.uni.edu/current-students)  and students can refer to the academic calendar for future terms. The requirements for May Term follow what is outlined in the above sections with the applicable deadlines presented in this section. Students should consult with their committee if aiming to complete during the May term.
      2. ​​​​Extended Summer (June) Term This extended term is an exception to the summer deadlines outlined in the May Term section above. Students must consult with their committee and program to ensure availability of faculty and resources to assist with summer completion. The committee must submit their agreement to serve on the committee over the Extended Summer (June) Term through final approval to the Graduate College. The Graduate College must receive the confirmation from committee members by the first day of the university June session. Students are not eligible for completion in the summer term without this agreement. The deadlines for the summer term are as follows:
        1. Students must send in a copy for review by the Friday of the first week of the university June session.
        2. Submission must be completed by July 1, no matter what day of the week this falls on. This deadline mirrors the final day students can apply for summer degree conferral. 
          Dates for upcoming semesters will be posted on the Graduate College website (at grad.uni.edu/current-students)  and students can refer to the academic calendar for future terms. The requirements for the Extended Summer (June) Term follow what is outlined in the above sections, with the additional agreement, and must follow the applicable deadlines presented in this section.

Summary of Hour Requirements and Limits

A summary of the hour requirements and limits for both the thesis and the non-thesis plans is listed below. Some degrees have higher minimum hour requirements. Additional hours may be required by departments for individuals on specific programs or special objectives. There are no exceptions to the maximum hour limits.

Thesis

Minimum graduate hours required *30
Minimum hours of credit at UNI unique to the particular degree (two-thirds of minimum hours for degree)20
Minimum hours required in courses numbered 6000 and above at UNI 15
Maximum usable hours in transfer, guided independent study and credit applied to other degrees combined **10
Maximum usable hours of guided independent study credit (requires Graduate College preapproval)3
Maximum usable hours of workshop credit6
Maximum usable hours of opted non-graded credit (requires Graduate College preapproval)3
Maximum usable hours of credit in C range (C-, C, C+)6

Non-thesis

Minimum graduate hours required *30
Minimum hours of credit at UNI unique to the particular degree (two-thirds of minimum hours for degree)20
Minimum hours required in courses numbered 6000 and above at UNI 12
Maximum usable hours in transfer, guided independent study and credit applied to other degrees combined **10
Maximum usable hours of guided independent study credit (requires Graduate College preapproval)3
Maximum usable hours of workshop credit6
Maximum usable hours of opted non-graded credit (requires Graduate college preapproval)3
Maximum usable hours of credit in C range (C-, C, C+)6

Second Master's Degree

Students may pursue a second master's degree at the University of Northern Iowa upon completion of the first master’s degree or may pursue two separate master's degrees concurrently by meeting all requirements for the second degree. Only 9 semester hours of work may be common to two Master's degrees, whether concurrent or sequential. All university graduation requirements including completion of 200/6000-level course work, separate master's project/thesis, comprehensives, and all other specific requirements shall be met for the second degree in addition to the first degree.

Interdisciplinary Master's Degree

A student may pursue a master's degree with two majors or two emphasis areas by meeting all the requirements for the second major; 9 semester hours of work from the first major may be used for the second. The requirements for work at the University of Northern Iowa, 6000-level work, and all other specific requirements shall be met for the second major, in addition to work completed for the first major. Common research project/thesis and comprehensives are permissible. For students completing one thesis for two majors, course work common to both majors would include 6 hours of xxx:6299 Research and 2 additional hours. This would constitute the 8 semester hours of course work that may be common to both majors.

Master's Degree Concurrent With or After a Doctoral Degree

A maximum of six hours of graduate credit applied to meet the requirements of a doctoral degree may be applied to both the doctoral degree and an additional graduate degree beyond the first Master's degree. No course may apply to both the first Master's degree and a doctoral degree.

Master of Accounting Degree

Students interested in the Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the Department of Accounting for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply.

Students who plan to receive the degree Master of Accounting (MAcc) must meet the common regulations and requirements for all graduate programs, as well as the specific regulations and requirements for the master’s program as described in this University Catalog and the specific major requirements.

Refer to Department of Accounting in this University Catalog for program requirements.

Master of Arts Degree

Students interested in the Master of Arts degree program must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the appropriate department for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply.

The Master of Arts degree encompasses various types of programs. Some programs lead to licensing as a professional, while many are focused on research and/or preparation for doctoral programs. Several programs develop the content knowledge of practicing teachers; some prepare students for other career areas. The common thread in all Master of Arts programs is the focus on building the student's expertise in the subject and development of the student as a professional in the broadest sense of the word.

Students who plan to receive the degree Master of Arts (M.A.) must meet the common regulations and requirements for all graduate programs, as well as the specific regulations and requirements for the master’s program as described in this University Catalog and the specific major requirements. See individual department sections as noted below for specific major requirements. In most majors both the thesis and the non-thesis plans are available. For an accurate listing of programs, visit the Graduate College website: https://grad.uni.edu/degree/master-arts-ma

A number of curricula lead to the degree of Master of Arts. The following majors are offered:

Master of Arts in Education Degree

Students interested in the Master of Arts in Education degree must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the appropriate department for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply.

This degree is designed for students whose work is primarily in professional education. Both the thesis and non-thesis plans are available.

Many programs at this level carry with them the requirements for teacher licensure. In some cases, students may be building up competency in a field in which they have had little or no preparation at the bachelor's level. For these reasons some of the programs must carry with them a substantial number of specific requirements. Whenever possible, however, an effort is made to keep the specific course requirements for each major at a minimum, so students, with the help of their advisor and the departmental committee, may plan the graduate program which will best meet the students’ individual needs.

Students who plan to receive the degree Master of Arts in Education (M.A.E.) must meet the common regulations and requirements for all graduate programs, as well as the specific regulations and requirements for the master’s program as described in this University Catalog and the specific major requirements. See individual department sections as noted below or contact the head of the department offering the major for specific major requirements.

The following majors are offered:

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

  • Early Childhood Education

  • Elementary Education

  • Literacy Education

Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies

  • Educational Psychology: Context and Techniques of Assessment

  • Principalship

Department of Special Education

  • Special Education

Masters of Athletic Training Degree

Students interested in pursuing this major must apply and be formally admitted to this program. Students should apply for the Masters of Athletic Training program through the Graduate College and Admissions. Program admission is based on undergraduate GPA, completion of prerequisite courses, program application materials, and admission to the Graduate College. Students interested in the program must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the Division of Athletic Training (within the Department of Health, Recreation and Community Services) for program application materials or for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply. Applications will be due by February 1 of each year. Decisions and admittance into the program will be announced by mid-March.

The Masters of Athletic Training major is designed to prepare students to become athletic training professionals. It prepares students for the National Athletic Training Board of Certification Examination as well as eligibility for an Athletic Training License in the State of Iowa. The curriculum is based upon cognitive and psychomotor learning experiences. The athletic training education program is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

Students who plan to receive the degree Masters of Athletic Training (MATR) must meet the common regulations and requirements for all graduate programs, as well as the specific regulations and requirements for the master’s program as described in this University Catalog and the specific major requirements. .

Refer to Department of Health, Recreation and Community Services in this University Catalog for major program requirements.

Master of Business Administration Degree

Students interested in the Master of Business Administration degree must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the College of Business for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply.

Graduate study in business at UNI provides a broad-based, integrated program which emphasizes the functional areas of business in order to provide the graduate with a balance between theoretical knowledge and practical business operations. The M.B.A. curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students with undergraduate backgrounds in the liberal arts, sciences, and engineering, as well as those with degrees in business. The M.B.A. program is accredited by AACSB International, the primary accrediting organization for management education.

The plan of study prescribed for the degree is structured to develop graduates who will have acquired:

  1. an understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of the process of policy formulation and implementation;

  2. a comprehension of environmental factors-economic, legal, social, and political-which affect the individual in the performance of managerial responsibilities;

  3. an understanding of analytical techniques and the use of quantitative data in the administration of business controls;

  4. the ability to communicate ideas effectively in oral and written form; and

  5. a basic knowledge of selected functional areas of business administration.

Admission to the Master of Business Administration program is dependent upon the quality of the applicant's undergraduate record, the score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and writing skills demonstrated on the addendum to the application. The GMAT must be taken prior to acceptance into the program.

Students who plan to receive the degree Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) must meet the common regulations and requirements for all graduate programs, as well as the specific regulations and requirements for the master’s program as described in this University Catalog and the specific major requirements.

Refer to Master of Business Administration in this University Catalog for program requirements - to view on website go to www.uni.edu/catalog/collegeofbusinessadministration; to view PDF version go to "Interdisciplinary" section of the catalog.

Master of Music Degree

Students interested in the Master of Music degree must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the School of Music for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply.

Students wishing to take a course for graduate credit in the School of Music or wishing to pursue a degree program in this department must consult with the Associate Director for Graduate Studies in Music prior to registration for the course. Detailed information concerning requirements and procedures will be provided, and specific evidence of previous accomplishments will be reviewed.

The Master of Music degree is a professional degree designed to prepare the graduate for:

  1. enhanced opportunity in public and private school music teaching,

  2. a college teaching career,

  3. a performance career as a professional musician or composer, or

  4. further graduate work at the doctoral level.

The following majors are offered:

  • Composition

  • Conducting

  • Jazz Pedagogy

  • Music Education

  • Music History

  • Performance

  • Piano Performance and Pedagogy

Applicants for a graduate degree program in the School of Music should possess the baccalaureate degree in music or a demonstrated equivalent. Students should have attained a high degree of proficiency in one or more of the following areas:

  • performance

  • theory-composition

  • conducting

  • music education

  • music history

Students who plan to receive the degree Master of Music (M.M.) must meet the common regulations and requirements for all graduate programs, as well as the specific regulations and requirements for the master’s program as described in this University Catalog and the specific major requirements.

Refer to School of Music in this University Catalog for specific admission and major program requirements (website www.uni.edu/catalog/collegeofhumanitiesartsandsciences/schoolofmusic)

Master of Public Policy

Students interested in the Master of Public Policy degree must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the Department of Political Science for other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply.

The Master of Public Policy is a professional interdisciplinary degree program providing specialized and advanced training for students wishing to assume roles as policy analysts, principally in the governmental and nonprofit sectors of society.

Core courses in the program provide thorough coverage of the contributions of political science and other disciplines to the analysis of public policy. The core also includes methods courses that provide training in the rigorous methods of policy analysis and evaluation required of professionals in the field. Topical courses allow students to develop an understanding of substantive areas of policy analysis. Research requirements allow students to apply theory and methods to actual policy problems.

Students who plan to receive the degree Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) must meet the common regulations and requirements for all graduate programs, as well as the specific regulations and requirements for the master’s program as described in this University Catalog and the specific major requirements.

Refer to Department of Political Science in this University Catalog for program requirements.

Master of Science Degree

Students interested in the Master of Science degree must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the appropriate department for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply.

Students who plan to receive the degree Master of Science (M.S.) must meet the common regulations and requirements for all graduate programs, as well as the specific regulations and requirements for the master’s program as described in this University Catalog and the specific major requirements.

See individual department sections as noted below for specific major program requirements.

The following majors are offered:

Master of Social Work Degree

Students interested in the program must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the Department of Social Work for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply.

The Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

The mission of the University of Northern Iowa’s Master of Social Work degree program is to prepare students for trauma informed practice or social administration. There is commitment to serve the community and to contribute new knowledge to the field. Students and faculty are also committed to creating environments that enhance optimal human potential and growth. Theoretical underpinnings and learning environment are based on systems and strengths perspectives. Advocacy and promotion of cultural sensitivity, human rights, and social and economic justice are central to the program.

Students who plan to receive the degree Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) must meet the common regulations and requirements for all graduate programs, as well as the specific regulations and requirements for the master’s program as described in this University Catalog and the specific major requirements. .

Refer to Master of Social Work in this University Catalog for major program requirements.

Professional Science Master’s Degree (suspended)

Students interested in the Professional Science Master’s degree must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the appropriate department for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply.

The Professional Science Master’s degree combines scientific or technical training with abbreviated business training and interdisciplinary cohort-building experiences.

Students who plan to receive the Professional Science Master’s degree (P.S.M.) must meet the common regulations and requirements for all graduate programs, as well as the specific regulations and requirements for the master’s program as described in this University Catalog and the specific major requirements.

See individual department sections as noted below for specific major program requirements.

The following majors are offered:

Specialist in Education Degree

Students interested in the Specialist in Education degree must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/apply.

The following major is offered in the Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies:

  • School Psychology

Refer to Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies in this University Catalog for program requirements.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Students shall complete the general requirements for the Specialist in Education degree and shall meet the requirements as specified by the departmental committee using a combination of graduate courses taken for the master's degree and beyond.

  2. Hours of credit

    A student must earn a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the master's degree. Credit earned in excess of that required for the master's degree may be applied toward the 36-hour requirement if that credit is earned during the final semester. Certain limitations on the amount and kinds of credit must be observed. See also the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs:

    1. 6000-level credit

      A student must earn at least 15 semester hours of credit in courses numbered 6000 or above.

    2. Research credit

      For the thesis option, not more than 6 hours of research credit (xxx:6299) can be included in the 36 (or more) hours of post-master's credit. For the non-thesis option, not more than 3 hours of research credit (xxx:6299) can be included in the 36 (or more) hours of post-master’s credit.

      1. Thesis Credit Hours

        The work on a thesis will involve 6 hours of research credit (xxx:6299). To earn this credit, a student registers for Research and usually not in one block. The instructor may assign a grade for a semester's registration in research based upon the progress made, or may assign a Research Continued (RC) if the instructor feels the work has not reached the place where it can be evaluated. In conjunction with the Graduate College, the Registrar may authorize an extension of time for the completion of Research Continued (RC) in research up to one additional calendar year with the consent of the instructor (beyond the 48 month duration). Once the instructional period is finished, the RC grade will be replaced with the appropriate grade assigned by the instructor. If the RC grade is not replaced with an appropriate grade within an instructional period, the RC will be automatically entered as an F (Failure) on the student record after 48 months.
    3. Time Limitation (Recency of credit)

      See the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs.

    4. Transfer credit

      In addition to the transfer credit permitted on the master's degree (see the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs), 8 semester hours of transfer credit for post-master's work may be applied toward the degree of Specialist in Education.

    5. Guided Independent Study credit

      See the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs.

    6. Workshop credit

      See the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs.

  3. Scholarship

    A cumulative grade index of 3.00 (B average) must be earned as graduate students in all courses on the advisement report. No credit toward graduation is allowed for a course in which a grade below C- is earned. See also the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs.

  4. Residence requirement

    See the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs.

  5. Examinations

    Students must pass a comprehensive written and oral examination. These examinations are reported to the Graduate College by the student's department via electronic form found at grad.uni.edu.

  6. Thesis

    A thesis is required of all students who choose the thesis option. Because the thesis is considered to serve a functional need, no attempt is made to limit the topics considered acceptable. The thesis is to be prepared and submitted in accordance with the most current edition of the Graduate College Thesis and Dissertation Manual at https://guides.lib.uni.edu/thesis-and-dissertation-formatting/. This manual should be consulted prior to writing the thesis.

    The thesis may take the form of studies, experiments, surveys, compositions, creative work and projects, and may concern itself with such matters as methodology, understanding children, and materials of instruction, or may delve rather deeply into some aspect of a specialized academic field. Whatever the nature of the subject, its development into an acceptable thesis is considered to contribute to the growth of such attributes as maturity of judgment, initiative, writing ability, and organizational ability. The thesis should make a contribution to the world's knowledge. Its preparation should develop in the writer a broader understanding of the world's knowledge and a more genuine appreciation of the research efforts of others.
     
    1. Selection of Thesis Topic

      Students following the thesis plan of study are urged to make at least a tentative selection of a topic by the end of their first semester.

    2. Thesis Committee

      Students on the thesis option must select a thesis committee in consultation with their academic advisors (usually within the first 9-18 credit hours of course work). They must file a Committee Appointment Form (available at https://grad.uni.edu/current-students) for Graduate College approval. The committee consists of a faculty chairperson, who must hold regular graduate faculty status, and two committee members, one of whom must hold regular graduate faculty status and the other may have either regular graduate faculty status or associate status. The student can add additional persons beyond the core composition of three members. The committee assists students to further define course work, supervises thesis research and writing, proposal requirements, and eventually accepts or rejects the thesis. Further committee responsibilities are outlined in the Thesis and Dissertation Manual.

    3. Thesis Proposal

      The student, in conjunction with the committee chair, should make arrangements to present the thesis proposal to the committee. Formal work on the thesis may not proceed without approval from the committee. Specifications of what fulfills the proposal requirements are determined by the program and department in conjunction with the Graduate College. Students should consult with the chair and program for details on fulfilling the thesis proposal.

    4. Formatting Assistance and Preliminary Checks

      Students may elect to attend a formatting workshop to guide them towards meeting the document formatting requirements for the thesis. Workshops are provided during Fall and Spring semesters and benefit students who have a proposal draft, or equivalent to three chapters. 

      Students may also choose to send a copy to the Reviewer for a preliminary check. This should occur as early as the semester in which the proposal is approved. This check will be an abridged session which will cover all components of the final review. 

      Students may also schedule appointments with the Reviewer for further assistance.

    5. Graduate College Review Deadline and Oral Defense to Committee

      The Graduate College Review and Oral Defense may occur in any order so long as the work is submitted to the Graduate College by the review deadline for the semester of completion. These processes may be occurring simultaneously. Because of this, the sections below include information on both processes.

      1. Graduate College Review - In the semester of intended completion, the student must submit an electronic copy of the thesis to the Graduate College for review. This does not need to be a final copy of the document, but should be close to the end product.

        This review will point out errors of style and provide a citation review. Common errors will not be identified throughout the whole document; rather, students will be guided to understand the common error with the expectation they will apply it throughout the document. All corrections requested at the time of review must be completed prior to submission. 

        Appointments with the Reviewer may help direct the student’s understanding of the corrections and the student should work with the committee to ensure these corrections properly reflect the expectation of their field. 

        The review deadline for Fall and Spring semesters is six weeks prior to commencement. For summer deadlines, see the section on summer term and deadlines.

      2. Oral Defense to Committee All students must have a formal oral defense of their thesis before a committee, which must meet the composition noted in the section above. Upon successful completion of the defense, the student is required to submit the electronic Thesis Approval Form (available at https://grad.uni.edu/current-students). Note: this form will go to the chair for approval before being sent to the Graduate College. This form will not be approved by the Graduate College until final approval is granted (see section on final approval below) so the student should not wait for a notification and should continue the process of submitting their work. 

        The student may choose to bring print copies of the approval page (located within the formatted thesis document, page ii) to the defense to be signed by the committee for personal use (e.g. use in binding a print copy for their personal libraries). The Graduate College does not require this and does not facilitate the binding of personal copies. The student should obtain committee members’ signatures and then submit the page(s) to the Graduate College office, for the dean’s signature, along with a mailing address for them to be returned to upon final approval. This should be printed on white, acid free, 25% or 100% cotton paper. 

        While there is no official deadline for oral defenses at the Graduate College level (students should contact their departments for any internal deadlines), students should aim to complete this defense with enough time to make any final changes prior to the semester submission deadline.

    6. Submission Deadline and Process - Submission of the thesis may occur once the committee’s approval of the content and the oral defense is granted and all requirements at the departmental level have been satisfied. The student must have met all of the expectations outlined at the time of the review. Submission of a thesis includes: (1) sending an electronic copy of the final thesis to the Graduate College for a final check and (2) submission of the electronic Thesis Approval Form (available at https://grad.uni.edu/current-students). Note: Submission does not guarantee final approval. 

      The submission deadline for Fall and Spring semesters is two weeks prior to commencement. For summer deadlines, see the section on summer term and deadlines.
       
      1. ​​Final Check - Once the final copy has been submitted to the Graduate College, the final check process will begin. This check will ensure that any minor revisions necessary to meet requirements are clarified to the student and made in a timely manner. Matters of citation management and proper use, as well as document formatting, will be checked at this time. If a submitted thesis requires more substantial corrections at the time of the final check, the student will receive direction on what corrections and edits they must make to be approved and given a new timeline to re-submit. Substantial corrections and/or missing the deadlines outlined in the updated timeline may delay approval to a future semester.
      2. Final Approval - Students will be granted final approval upon fulfilling any final corrections requested during the final check. Students need to submit the Library Permission to Preserve Form, sent to them at the time of approval, for Rod Library’s ScholarWorks unit. This form dictates the approved levels of access to the electronic thesis through UNI’s digital repository. Chairs should discuss any needs for embargo periods, to allow for publication, or restrictions to the student’s work that the student should consider. It ultimately is up to the student, as the scholar, to determine which levels of access best suit their needs. Upon receipt of the Library Permission to Preserve Form, the thesis approval process is finalized and a notification is sent to the Office of the Registrar to record the completion of the requirement. If a student sent paper copies of their approval page to the Graduate College, they receive the dean’s signature at this time.
         
      3. Thesis Fee All thesis students are billed a one-time, nonrefundable thesis fee for the support, processing, and retention of the work. Information about fees is maintained by the Registrar’s Office at https://registrar.uni.edu/tuition-and-fees. This fee will be applied to the U-Bill at the time of final approval.
    7. Summer Term and Deadlines - Due to the nature of summer term, the deadline for review and submission of the thesis follows a different timeline. There are two options for summer completion; both of these options grant approval of the thesis requirement in time for summer degree conferral. They are outlined, with corresponding requirements and deadlines, below. Students completing over summer should note that they may need to be enrolled in Continuous Registration. For full details, consult the Continuous Registration section. 
       
      1. ​​May Term - Students completing during May Term will follow the process outlined above with the following deadlines: 
        1. The student must submit for review by the first Friday of the university May session.
        2. The deadline for submission is the Monday of the final week of the university May session

          Dates for upcoming semesters will be posted on the Graduate College website (at grad.uni.edu/current-students)  and students can refer to the academic calendar for future terms. The requirements for May Term follow what is outlined in the above sections with the applicable deadlines presented in this section. Students should consult with their committee if aiming to complete during the May term.
      2. ​​​​Extended Summer (June) Term This extended term is an exception to the summer deadlines outlined in the May Term section above. Students must consult with their committee and program to ensure availability of faculty and resources to assist with summer completion. The committee must submit their agreement to serve on the committee over the Extended Summer (June) Term through final approval to the Graduate College. The Graduate College must receive the confirmation from committee members by the first day of the university June session. Students are not eligible for completion in the summer term without this agreement. The deadlines for the summer term are as follows:
        1. Students must send in a copy for review by the Friday of the first week of the university June session.
        2. Submission must be completed by July 1, no matter what day of the week this falls on. This deadline mirrors the final day students can apply for summer degree conferral. 

          Dates for upcoming semesters will be posted on the Graduate College website (at grad.uni.edu/current-students)  and students can refer to the academic calendar for future terms. The requirements for the Extended Summer (June) Term follow what is outlined in the above sections, with the additional agreement, and must follow the applicable deadlines presented in this section.
  7. Non-Thesis Option

    Complete at least one substantial written report documenting research, a project or an internship, as specified by the student's graduate program. This document must be supervised by at least one regular member of the graduate faculty, approved by the department and permanently filed with the departmental office. This requirement is reported to the Graduate College upon completion by the student's department via electronic form found at grad.uni.edu.

  8. Licensure

    In some cases, appropriate teaching endorsement will be recommended for those who meet the standards set by the university in conjunction with the appropriate licensure agency. Receipt of the degree is not a necessary prerequisite to recommendation for the appropriate endorsement(s) unless state standards require such. A UNI cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or better will be required prior to recommendation for endorsement(s). Students seeking licensure will need to consult the Registrar's Office for further guidance, and submit an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate application (see Post-baccalaureate, Undergraduate Study in this university catalog).

  9. Exit Requirement

    Before graduating with the Specialist in Education degree, the student must take the Praxis II test in School Psychology (number 0400) and submit a copy of the complete Examinee Score Report to the program coordinator.

  10. Application for Graduation

    It is the student’s responsibility to make a timely application to graduate during the term the final degree requirements are completed. Application for graduation must be completed online through MyUNIverse Student Center. Application to graduate must be submitted by November 10 for Fall terms, April 1 for Spring terms, or July 1 for Summer terms. During the semesters, these dates ensure that students’ names can be included in the commencement publication. If the department or Graduate College does not approve a post-term applicant, the student will need to apply for graduation the next term. Late fees apply.

    Graduate Student Eligibility to Participate in Commencement Ceremony 

    Graduate students may participate in commencement at the end of the Fall or Spring term that their final degree requirements are completed, or the next later term. There is no summer commencement ceremony. Summer degree candidates may participate in Spring or Fall commencement as indicated below.

    Although Application for Degree Conferral may be submitted until the end of the term, in order to ensure inclusion in the commencement program and to avoid a late application fee, Applications for Graduation must be submitted by the following deadlines:

    1. Spring graduate degree candidates must submit their application by April 1.

    2. Fall graduate degree candidates must submit their application by November 10.

    3. Summer graduate degree candidates: The application deadline to avoid the late application fee is July 1. For deadlines for commencement participation, see the appropriate paragraph immediately below:

      Summer Graduation -Master's and Specialist Degree Students: Students who will complete their degree requirements in summer, and who apply by April 1 for summer graduation (degree conferral), are eligible to participate in Spring commencement. Students who will complete their degree requirements in summer and who apply after April 1 for summer graduation (degree conferral) are only eligible to participate in fall commencement.

Doctor of Education Degree

The Doctor of Education Degree is one degree supervised through the College of Education. It can be completed with one of the following Intensive Study Area concentrations:

  • Allied Health, Recreation, and Community Services
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership
  • Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs

(See website www.uni.edu/catalog/collegeofeducation - for PDF version see listing for "College of Education" under the "Interdisciplinary" section of this university catalog.)

Students interested in the interdisciplinary Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/application.

This program is intended to provide practicing educators, informal and nonformal settings, the opportunity to continue their study and earn the terminal professional degree in their field. The Ed.D. degree requires a minimum of 48 semester hours of credit beyond the master's degree. There are three components to the program:

Professional Common Core (work in educational foundations, fundamentals, and research)24
Advanced Professional Study (in one of three areas of intensive study)15
Dissertation9
Total Hours48

By design, all students are required to study in basic areas that undergird and define educational practice and develop skills of problem definition, data collection and analysis, and interpretation. The four areas of intensive study provide for a specialized focus on practice.

Note: Students interested in special education within the Curriculum and Instruction ISA or the Educational Leadership ISA should consult the respective ISA descriptions for further information.

In some areas, it is possible to combine doctoral degree study with work toward an endorsement to perform a particular role in K-12 education.

Brief definitions of the four ISAs follows:

Allied Health, Recreation, and Community Services

This area of intensive study is designed to provide students with advanced planning, management, supervision and evaluation of programs in the community and its institutions. The combined areas of allied health, recreation and community services are diverse professional areas knitted together by a unified commitment to enhancing, enriching and sustaining the individual and collective well-being of people, communities and society as a whole. Graduates are prepared for careers as applied scholars, evaluators, or practitioners in public and environmental health departments, recreation and tourism industry; allied health and social services agencies; the military, government, and non-governmental agencies; religious organizations; libraries and museums; and civic and professional associations. The program of study will be based upon students' needs, interests, and upon approval by an academic advisor and program of study committee. (For more information, contact the Head of the Department of Health, Recreation and community Services.)

Curriculum and Instruction

This area of intensive study is designed to prepare scholar practitioners to plan, implement, evaluate, and supervise educational programs for children, from infancy through adolescence, and adult learners, inclusive of a wide variety of diversity. Faculty in this intensive study area come from many departments and disciplines including, but not limited to, prekindergarten through tertiary curriculum and pedagogy; foundations of education in psychology, philosophy, social sciences; disability studies in education, gifted and talented, and multicultural education; literacy education; instructional technology, school library studies; and P-12 content areas such as mathematics, physical education, science, social studies, and language arts. Students interested in becoming special education scholar-practitioners to plan, implement, evaluate, and supervise educational programs for children and adult learners with an emphasis on inclusion and diversity will apply for admission through the Curriculum and Instruction Intensive Study Area. For more information see www.uni.edu/coe/departments/curriculum-instruction/graduate-study/doctoral-study.

Educational Leadership

This area of intensive study in education administration prepares personnel for leadership positions in PK-12 schools, post-secondary institutions, and other educational services or settings. Typical positions held by educators with the terminal degree focused on educational leadership include: principals, superintendents, school district central office administrators, professors of educational leadership, special education directors at the Area Education Agency level or Department of Education administrators and consultants. Students interested in special education administration will apply for admission through Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies. (For more information, contact the Head, Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies, or please see the catalog at www.uni.edu/catalog/collegeofeducation/edpsychfoundleadershipstudies or visit the Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies website at https://coe.uni.edu/epfls.

Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs

This area of intensive study in postsecondary education prepares personnel for leadership positions in colleges and universities. Typical positions held by educators with the terminal degree focused on postsecondary education include: department heads, directors, vice presidents, professors, and consultants.  (For more information, contact the Head, Department of  Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies, or please see the catalog at www.uni.edu/catalog/collegeofeducation/edpsychfoundleadershipstudies or visit the Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies website at https://coe.uni.edu/epfls.

Admission to Doctoral Study

Initial Admission

Application for graduate admission can be found at https://admissions.uni.edu/application.

Admission to the program will be granted to those applicants who provide evidence of prior academic success; successful and appropriate professional experience; effective oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills; and professional and academic goals that may be effectively served by the degree program offered. Additional criteria may be established by an area of intensive study since some previous specialization work is presumed.

  1. The applicant must hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

  2. Each applicant must submit official transcripts from all degree-granting universities, and from any colleges or institutions attended after earning their bachelor's degree.

  3. Applicants may choose to submit one of the following required components, to be submitted to the Admissions Office.

    1. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for admission - including the verbal, analytical, writing, and qualitative scores; OR

    2. A writing sample (electronic) that reflects the applicant's writing ability from previous academic work. This professional writing sample may consist of a master's research paper or thesis, published article in an academic venue, or a paper presented at a professional conference.

  4. The applicant must have a minimum of three years of professional experience.

  5. Three letters of recommendation must be submitted from individuals familiar with the applicant's potential for advanced professional study, at least one from a professor familiar with the applicant as a student and at least one from an employer/supervisor in the applicant's profession.

  6. Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required from applicants whose first language is not English. The minimum required scores for regular admission without provision and eligibility to enroll in graduate courses is 550 (paper) / 79 (Internet) on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS. The requirement to submit these scores may be waived only by the Graduate College through a direct request from a graduate program (not from a prospective student). A typical circumstance in which a waiver may be granted is that the student has completed a bachelor's or graduate degree at an accredited English-speaking institution. 

  7.  The UNI Ed.D. program requires a written statement from each applicant as part of the total application packet. The written statement should articulate the applicant’s professional background, reason for seeking the doctoral degree within the specific ISA, research interests, and a statement of career goals.

  8. Applicants must have master’s level introduction to statistics coursework prior to beginning this program: KAHHS 6210 or equivalent.
    For applicants who do not have this requirement fulfilled, applicants should enroll in the online introduction to statistics course which will be available during the summer session prior to the fall start of the cohort for the Ed.D. program.

    Regular admission with provisions may be recommended for an applicant who does not meet all of the requirements or for whom it is felt that further graduate course work or professional experience would be useful in making the admission decision. Admission with provisions will not be considered for applicants whose admission files are incomplete. A student admitted with provisions must be formally reclassified as an unconditional admit and course work completed during that time must be subsequently approved by an appropriate faculty committee before it may be applied to a degree.

    Soon after admission, an advisor will be appointed for each student. In most instances, the advisor will be from the student's area of intensive study. The student should meet with the advisor to discuss the coursework to be submitted for approval for application to their 15-hour intensive study area.

General Regulations

See also the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs.

  1. Maximum academic load

    See the Common Regulations and Requirements for all Graduate Programs.

  2. Credit from Other Institutions

    All transfer credit, including work taken prior to formal admission, is subject to review by the Office of Admissions, Dean of the Graduate College or designee, Dean or Associate Dean of the College of Education, and the College Committee for Doctoral Study. The student's doctoral advisor and program coordinator will make recommendations regarding the applicability of transfer credit. Hours that have been applied to the first master’s degree cannot be transferred.

    Credit from other InstitutionsIf applicants wish to have graduate level transfer courses considered for their graduate degree at UNI, official transcripts must be submitted to the UNI Office of Admissions at the time of admission to graduate study. Courses will not be evaluated for transfer credit eligibility until the student is in attendance at UNI. See https://admissions.uni.edu/apply for further information.

    A maximum of 6 credits can be applied to both a doctoral degree and a second or third Master’s degree or a Specialist degree.

    A student must complete at least 36 hours of credit, including the Professional Common Core, with members of the UNI Graduate Faculty.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Scholarship

    A cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above (on a 4.00 scale) must be maintained for all course work taken toward the Doctor of Education degree at the University of Northern Iowa. No more than 6 semester hours of C credit (C-, C, C+) may be applied toward credit for graduation. A course with a grade lower than C- cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements. See also the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs. 

  2. Hours of Credit

    A minimum of 48 semester hours of credit beyond the master’s degree is required. Students must complete the 24-credit Professional Common Core, the 15-credit Advanced Professional Study in one of four intensive study areas, and 9 credits of Dissertation Research. 

    1. Level of courses

      Credit earned as part of the candidate's degree will be earned in courses which are at the graduate level (5000-level, 6000-level, or 7000-level). A minimum of 36 hours of course work at the 6000-level or 7000-level must be completed. No more than 12 hours of credit at the 5000-level may apply toward the minimum hours. 

    2. Research credit

      9 hours of  INTDEPED 7399 is required for the degree. No more than 9 hours of research may be taken. Departmental 7399 courses will not be used to add additional research hours to the degree and should not be taken. Master’s-level Research courses 6299 cannot be applied to a doctoral degree. Directed Research 629R may be taken after all hours of have been registered for, but for no more than 12 hours total and for no more than 6 hours in a given term. 629R cannot be applied to the required minimum hours for the degree or the required minimum hours of 6000-level or 7000-level for the degree. 

    3. Dissertation Research Hours

      The dissertation will involve 9 hours of credit. The instructor may assign an RC for Research Continued, if they feel the work has not reached the stage where it can be evaluated. 

      In conjunction with the Graduate College, the Registrar may authorize an extension of time for the completion of Research Continued (RC) in research up to one additional calendar year with the consent of the instructor (beyond the 48 month duration). If at the end of that time the work has not been completed, the grade of RC will be changed to an F (Failure). Once the extended instructional period is finished, the RC grade will be replaced with the appropriate grade assigned by the instructor. If the RC grade is not replaced with an appropriate grade within an instructional period, the RC will be automatically entered as an F on the student record after 48 months.
  3. Time Limitation (Recency of credit)

    Courses taken more than ten (10) years prior to the granting of the degree cannot be used to meet degree requirements. See the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs for information on extensions for military active duty or FMLA-type circumstances.

  4. Guided Independent Study

    See the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs.

  5. Workshop credit

    See the Common Regulations and Requirements for All Graduate Programs.

  6. Residence requirement

    A student must complete 36 hours of credit, including the Professional Common Core, with members of the UNI Graduate Faculty.

  7. Assessments

    The following examinations are required of all students enrolled in the Doctor of Education program:

    1. Doctoral comprehensive requirement

      The comprehensive requirement is aligned with the dissertation proposal presentation. Successful defense of the doctoral dissertation proposal will satisfy the comprehensive requirement of the program. Upon successful completion of the comprehensive requirement, the degree candidate achieves the status of an active candidate. Completion of the comprehensive requirement is reported to the Graduate College by the student's department via an electronic form. The doctoral comprehensive requirement is governed by the following conditions: 

      1. The candidate will have completed a minimum of 30 hours of the program of study for a comprehensive examination.

      2. The candidate will have satisfied the research proficiency requirement.

      3. A candidate may be permitted to take the doctoral comprehensive examination a second time.

        Post-comprehensive registration

        Doctoral students who have completed all of their program but the dissertation, and who have passed their comprehensive examination, must be continuously registered until the degree is completed. Students reaching this stage will be automatically registered and assessed a fee for , the post-comprehensive registration number. Students who have completed their coursework, but have not yet passed the INTDEPED 7300 Post Comprehensive Examination, will be automatically registered and assessed a fee for INTDEPED:629C Continuous Registration until they have met the eligibility criteria for INTDEPED 7300.

    2. Doctoral dissertation examination

      Upon completion of their doctoral dissertation, the active candidate will request and submit to a public examination over the content, methodology, and results of the dissertation research. An announcement of this examination (defense) should be disseminated by the COE Dean's Office no less than 2 weeks prior to the defense date.

  8. Dissertation

    A dissertation is required of all candidates for the Doctor of Education degree. Because the dissertation is considered to serve a functional need, no attempt is made to limit the topics considered applicable. The dissertation is to be prepared and submitted in accordance with the most current edition of the Graduate College Thesis and Dissertation Manual at https://guides.lib.uni.edu/thesis-and-dissertation-formatting/. This manual should be consulted prior to writing the dissertation.

    The dissertation may take the form of studies, experiments, surveys, compositions, creative work and projects, and may concern itself with such matters as methodology, understanding children, and materials of instruction, or may delve rather deeply into some aspect of a specialized academic field. Whatever the nature of the subject, its development into an acceptable dissertation is considered to contribute to the growth of such attributes as maturity of judgment, initiative, writing ability, and organizational ability. The dissertation should make a contribution to the world's knowledge. Its preparation should develop in the writer a broader understanding of the world's knowledge and a more genuine appreciation of the research efforts of others.
     
    1. Selection of Dissertation Topic

      Students following the dissertation plan of study are urged to make at least a tentative selection of a topic early in their program.

    2. Dissertation Committee

      Doctoral candidates must form a committee consisting of a minimum of three core members. Two committee members, including the chair, must be current UNI graduate faculty and a third committee member may be a current UNI graduate faculty or outside member/practitioner holding associate graduate faculty status. The basic core composition will consist of a chair and two regular members. All members will be approved by the Graduate College in conjunction with the College of Education, to serve on the committee. The College of Education may elect to designate a member in a specific role at the discretion of COE's academic dean or representative. 

      Up to two additional committee members (readers or contributors) may be added at the discretion of the committee chair and the College of Education. These additional personnel may participate in all committee responsibilities except for signature decisions.

      The committee assists students to further define course work, supervises dissertation research and writing, and eventually accepts or rejects the dissertation. Further committee responsibilities are outlined in the Thesis and Dissertation Manual. Candidates must file a Committee Appointment Form (available at https://grad.uni.edu/current-students) for Graduate College approval.

    3. Doctoral dissertation proposal

      The student, in conjunction with their advisor, should make arrangements to present the dissertation proposal to the doctoral committee as a group. Formal work on the dissertation may not proceed without approval from the committee. An announcement of proposed defense should be disseminated following the College of Education’s internal rules.

    4. Formatting Assistance and Preliminary Checks

      Students may elect to attend a formatting workshop to guide them towards meeting the document formatting requirements for their dissertation. Workshops are provided during Fall and Spring semesters and benefit students who have a proposal draft, or equivalent to three chapters.

      Students may also choose to send a copy to the Reviewer for a preliminary check. This should occur as early as the semester in which the proposal is approved. This check will be an abridged session which will cover all components of the final review.

      Students may also schedule appointments with the Reviewer for further assistance.

    5. Graduate College Review Deadline and Oral Defense to Committee

      The Graduate College Review and Oral Defense may occur in any order so long as the work is submitted to the Graduate College by the review deadline for the semester of completion. These processes may be occurring simultaneously. Because of this, the section includes information on both processes.

      1. Graduate College Review - In the semester of intended completion, the student must submit an electronic copy of the dissertation to the Graduate College for review. This does not need to be a final copy of the document, but should be close to the end product.

        This review will point out errors of style and provide a citation review. Common errors will not be identified throughout the whole document; rather students will be guided to understand the common error with the expectation they will apply it throughout the document. All corrections requested at the time of review must be completed prior to submission.

        Appointments with the Reviewer may help direct the student’s understanding of the corrections and the student should work with their committee to ensure these corrections properly reflect the expectation of their field.

        The review deadline for Fall and Spring semesters is six weeks prior to commencement. For summer deadlines, see the section on summer term and deadlines

      2. Oral Defense to Committee - All students must have a formal oral defense of their dissertation before a committee, which must meet the composition noted in the section above. Further information relevant to doctoral candidates is outlined in the Examinations section above. Upon successful completion of the defense, the student is required to submit the electronic EdD Dissertation Approval Form (available at https://grad.uni.edu/current-students). Note: this form will go to the chair for approval, as well as College of Education approvers, before being sent to the Graduate College. This form will not be approved by the Graduate College until final approval is granted (below) so the student should not wait for a notification and should continue the process of submitting their work.

        The student may choose to bring print copies of the approval pages (the two title pages with signature lines, located within the formatted dissertation document) to the defense to be signed by the committee for personal use (e.g. use in binding a print copy for their personal libraries). The Graduate College does not require this and does not facilitate the binding of personal copies. The student should obtain committee members’ signatures and then submit the page(s) to the Grad College office, for the dean’s signature, along with a mailing address for them to be returned to upon final approval. This should be printed on white, acid free, 25% or 100% cotton paper.

        While there is no official deadline for oral defenses at the Graduate College level (students should contact their departments for any internal deadlines), students should aim to complete this defense with enough time to make any final changes prior to the submission deadline. Announcement of the defense should follow the College of Education’s guidelines.

    6. Submission Deadline and Process

      Submission of the dissertation may occur once the committee’s approval of the content and the oral defense is granted and all requirements at the departmental level have been satisfied. The student must have met all of the expectations outlined at the time of the review. Submission for a doctoral dissertation includes: (1) sending an electronic copy of the final dissertation to the Graduate College for a final check, (2) submission of the electronic EdD Dissertation Approval Form (available at https://grad.uni.edu/current-students), and (3) submission of the Survey of Earned Doctorates which can be found at https://sed-ncses.org/login.aspx. Note: Submission does not guarantee final approval. The submission deadline for Fall and Spring semesters is two weeks prior to commencement. For summer deadlines, see the section on summer term and deadlines.

      1. Final Check Once the final copy has been submitted to the Graduate College, the final check process will begin. This check will ensure that any minor revisions necessary to meet requirements are clarified to the student and made in a timely manner. Matters of citation management and proper use, as well as document formatting, will be checked at this time.

        If a submitted dissertation requires more substantial corrections at the time of the final check, the student will receive direction on what corrections and edits they must make to be approved and given a new timeline to re-submit. Substantial corrections and/or missing the deadlines outlined in the updated timeline may delay approval to a future semester.
      2. Final Approval - Students will be granted final approval upon fulfilling any final corrections requested during the final check. Students need to submit the Library Permission to Preserve Form, sent to them at the time of approval, for Rod Library’s ScholarWorks unit. This form dictates the approved levels of access to the electronic dissertation through UNI’s digital repository. Chairs should discuss any needs for embargo periods, to allow for publication, or restrictions to the student’s work that the student should consider. It ultimately is up to the student, as the scholar, to determine which levels of access best suit their needs.

        Upon receipt of the Library Permission to Preserve Form, the dissertation approval process is finalized and a notification is sent to the Office of the Registrar to record the completion of the requirement.

        If a student sent paper copies of their approval page to the Graduate College, they receive the dean’s signature at this time.

      3. Dissertation Fee All doctoral students are billed a one-time, nonrefundable dissertation fee for the support, processing, and retention of the work. This fee will be applied to the U-Bill at the time of final approval.

    7. Summer Term and Deadlines
       

      Due to the nature of summer term, the deadline for review and submission of the dissertation follows a different timeline. There are two options for summer completion; both of these options grant approval of the dissertation requirement in time for summer degree conferral. They are outlined, with corresponding requirements and deadlines, below.

      Students completing over summer should note that they may need to be enrolled in Continuous Registration or Post-Comprehensive Registration. For full details, consult the Post-Comprehensive Registration section.

      1. May Term - Students completing during May Term will follow the process outlined above with the following deadlines:

        1. ​The student must submit for review by the first Friday of the university May session.

        2. The deadline for submission is the Monday of the final week of the university May session.

          Dates for upcoming semesters will be posted on the Graduate College website (at grad.uni.edu/current-students) and students can refer to the academic calendar for future terms.

          The requirements for May Term follow what is outlined in the above sections with the applicable deadlines presented in this section. Students should consult with their committee if aiming to complete during the May term.

      2. ​​​Extended Summer (June) Term - This extended term is an exception to the summer deadlines outlined in the May Term section above. Students must consult with their committee and program to ensure availability of faculty and resources to assist with summer completion.
         

        The committee must submit their agreement to serve on the committee over the Extended Summer (June) Term through final approval to the Graduate College. The Graduate College must receive the confirmation from committee members by the first day of the university June session. Students are not eligible for completion in the summer term without this agreement.

        The deadlines for the summer term are as follows:

        1. Students must send in a copy for review by the Friday of the first week of the university June session.

        2. Submission must be completed by July 1, no matter what day of the week this falls on. This deadline mirrors the final day students can apply for summer degree conferral.

          Dates for upcoming semesters will be posted on the Graduate College website (at grad.uni.edu/current-students)  and students can refer to the academic calendar for future terms. The requirements for the Extended Summer (June) Term follow what is outlined in the above sections, with the additional agreement, and must follow the applicable deadlines presented in this section.

  9. Application for Graduation
     

    It is the student’s responsibility to make a timely application to graduate during the term the final degree requirements are completed.

    Application for graduation must be completed online through MyUNIverse Student Center. A non-refundable graduation fee is charged each term a student applies to graduate. To avoid paying a late application fee, an application to graduate must be submitted by November 10 for Fall terms, April 1 for Spring terms, or July 1 for Summer terms. During the semesters, these dates ensure that students’ names are eligible for inclusion in the commencement publication. Note that inclusion in the commencement publication is dependent upon meeting all requirements and receiving Graduate College approval. After the deadline, but before the end of the term, students may still apply for degree conferral that term, but a late application fee will be charged in addition to the normal graduation fee, and their names might not be included in the commencement publication. Applications submitted after the end of the term will generally not be processed for degree conferral for the term just past. If the department or Graduate College does not approve a post-term applicant, the student will need to apply for graduation the next term. Late fees apply.
     

    Graduate Student Eligibility to Participate in Commencement Ceremony

    Graduate students may participate in commencement at the end of the Fall or Spring term that their final degree requirements are completed, or the next later term. There is no summer commencement ceremony. Summer degree candidates may participate in Fall commencement or thereafter as indicated below:

    Although Application for Degree Conferral may be submitted until the end of the term, in order to ensure inclusion in the commencement program and to avoid a late application fee, Applications for Graduation must be submitted by the following deadlines:

    1. Spring graduate degree candidates must submit their application by April 1.

    2. Fall graduate degree candidates must submit their application by November 10.

    3. Summer graduate degree candidates: The application deadline to avoid the late application fee is July 1. For deadlines for commencement participation, see the paragraph immediately below:

    4. Summer Graduation - Doctoral Degree Students: All summer doctoral candidates may only participate in fall commencement or thereafter.

Attendance at commencement

The candidate for the Doctor of Education degree is expected to secure the appropriate academic regalia and appear at commencement for the awarding of the degree. The candidate is not eligible to participate in commencement before the dissertation is submitted to the Graduate College and all degree requirements are met.