Requirements for the Master of Education Degree

The graduate program of each student admitted to candidacy for the degree of Master of Education is planned and supervised by an advisor in the respective program area. Program planning is based upon the student's undergraduate curriculum, professional experience, and aims and purposes in pursuing the master's degree. Before the degree is awarded, the candidate must have completed one year of successful teaching experience or other educational service. This requirement may be fulfilled by satisfactory completion of student teaching, an internship, or a practicum.

Each program must include a minimum of thirty approved credits (Higher Education and Student Affairs, forty; Interdisciplinary Studies, thirty-six).  A minimum grade point average of 3.00 must be achieved. Contingent on a candidate's background and interests and on program specification, additional credits may be required. If a student's preparation is inadequate to begin study at the graduate level, additional undergraduate courses will be required. Normally, each Master of Education degree program must include a minimum of three to six semester hours of graduate work in the foundations of education unless this requirement or its equivalent has been met previously.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination is required. It may be written, oral, or both. The choice of the examination format will be made by faculty members in the area of specialization after consultation with the advisor and the candidate.

  1. The written comprehensive examination will cover the field of education with emphasis on the area of specialization.
  2. The oral comprehensive examination will emphasize the area of specialization.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to schedule the required examination with the College of Education and Social Services. Since each program has different options for meeting the oral and written comprehensive requirements, candidates must contact the respective program chair or advisor regarding program policy.

Thesis Option

If the thesis option is elected (Interdisciplinary only), the oral or written comprehensive examination must be successfully completed prior to the thesis defense.

Research and Thesis

If a thesis is required, the candidate for the master's degree undertakes a problem of original research under the supervision of a faculty member in the department of specialization. At the conclusion of the research, the student must present and defend successfully a thesis which embodies the results of the work and demonstrates the capability for independent research.

Thesis Defense Forms

Defense Committee Membership and Defense Notice forms must be submitted to the Graduate College by the designated deadlines. A Public Notice of the defense is required in order to defend. The Intent to Graduate form must be submitted to the candidate's department before the List of Potential Graduates is due.

Thesis Format

Students are required by the Graduate College to use a computer software program appropriate to the discipline to create the Table of Contents and the Lists of Tables and Figures from the thesis text headings.

The thesis must be prepared and submitted in compliance with the "Guidelines for Writing a Thesis or Dissertation" available from the Graduate College office. A formatted copy of the thesis must be submitted to the Graduate College for a Format/Record Check at least three weeks prior to the scheduled defense. Students must also provide defendable copies of the thesis to members of their thesis defense examination committee at least two weeks before the scheduled examination. Individual departments may require earlier deadlines.

Students must notify the Graduate College of the thesis defense at least three weeks prior to defending their thesis.

The oral defense of a thesis may be scheduled only after successful completion of the comprehensive examination and the submission of an original copy of the thesis to the Graduate College for a Format/Record Check.

Thesis Defense Examination Committee

The thesis defense examination committee consists of at least three University of Vermont faculty members, at least two of whom must be regular members of the graduate faculty. Ordinarily, two committee members will be from the candidate's program, including the thesis advisor. The third member, who acts as chair of the committee, must be a member of the graduate faculty, must be from a different program and department (including any secondary or adjunct appointments) than the candidate, and must be approved by the Graduate College dean upon nomination by the thesis advisor. For University-wide interdisciplinary programs, the chair must be outside the department of the candidate's advisor.  The thesis defense examination committee and the graduate studies committee do not have to be the same.

The chair of the thesis defense examination committee has the responsibility for ensuring proper conduct of the examination, appropriate documentation of the results, and that the signatures of endorsement are added to the Defense Examination Record following a successful defense.

The acceptability of the thesis is determined by the thesis defense examination committee. The result and date of the examination is recorded as a notation on the academic transcript. If a student's defense examination performance is not satisfactory, then only one re-examination is permitted.

After a successful thesis defense, candidates must electronically upload the corrected thesis to for approval by the Graduate College within the time period specified by the thesis defense examination committee, and/or the Graduate College.

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Education

Eighteen credits of Education and related areas or appropriate professional certification. The Education courses prerequisites may not apply to the Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration, Educational Leadership, or Interdisciplinary Major Program in the Department of Leadership and Developmental Sciences, i.e., persons seeking positions which do not require public school certification.

Minimum Degree Requirements

Eighteen graduate credits in courses in Education, including a minimum of six in the foundations of education;1 twelve additional credits in approved graduate courses or six additional credits and thesis research; a year of successful experience in teaching or in a related educational activity.