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.

Each program must include a minimum of 30 approved credits, at least 6 of which must be comprised of 6000-level or above coursework (some programs require more; check individual program pages for requirements).  A minimum grade point average of 3.00 must be achieved. If a student's preparation is inadequate to begin study at the graduate level, additional undergraduate courses will be required. 

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 coordinator or advisor regarding program policy.

Thesis Option

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

Research and Thesis

If a thesis is elected (Interdisciplinary and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies only), 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, and registers for a minimum of 6 credits of thesis research. At the conclusion of the research, the student must present and successfully defend a thesis which embodies the results of the work and demonstrates the capability for independent research.

Thesis Defense Forms

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 and the Graduate College by the published deadline for the cycle in which the student plans to graduate. The Defense Committee form is due as soon as the student's committee is formed, or by the published due date of the Intent to Graduate form at the latest.

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 website. A formatted copy of the thesis must be reviewed by the Graduate College at the Format/Record Check at least 3 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 2 weeks before the scheduled examination. Individual departments may require earlier deadlines.

Students must notify the Graduate College of the thesis defense at least 3 weeks prior to defending their thesis.

Thesis Defense Examination Committee

The thesis defense examination committee consists of at least 3 University of Vermont faculty members, at least 2 of whom must be members of the graduate faculty. Ordinarily, 2 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 advisor, and must be approved by the Graduate College. 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 1 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

15 credits of Education and related areas or appropriate professional experience as detailed in application. The Education courses prerequisites may not apply to the Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, or Interdisciplinary Studies programs, i.e., persons seeking positions which do not require public school certification.

Minimum Degree Requirements

A minimum of 30 credits in approved graduate courses or 6 additional credits and thesis research; successful completion of the comprehensive examination.