Master's, EdS, Certificates, Dual Degrees, and Second Master's Degree Programs

Plan of Study

At the time of admission to a degree and/or certificate program, an individual plan of study, also called a degree audit, will be sent to the student with their official letter of admission from the dean for Graduate Studies. This individual plan of study will list all requirements for the completion of the degree program. These requirements may include deficiency courses and other provisions of admission, as well as exit requirements.

Any deviations to this plan of study, including transfer credit, must be approved by the student's advisor, graduate program committee chair, and dean for Graduate Studies. Any changes must be submitted by the graduate program chair to the Office of Graduate Studies only via a petition in DegreeWorks. Upon approval, the student will be able to see the changes on their degree audit through DegreeWorks in MavLINK

Policies Applicable to the Plan of Study

  • Grade point average: Students must maintain an overall GPA of "B" (3.0) in all graduate coursework taken as part of their degree.  Some departments/schools have higher grade requirements as noted in this catalog and DegreeWorks.  Grades of "C-" or below result in dismissal from Graduate Studies and may not be used on a graduate plan of study.  If a student re-registers for a course to improve their grade they must work with the Office of the University Registrar to note this on their transcript. 
  • Graduate course requirement: At least one-half of the graduate coursework required for the degree program must be restricted to graduate students only (8--0 or 9--0). No more than two 8--5 courses are allowed on a plan of study. 
  • Time Limit: The degree program must be completed within 10 consecutive calendar years. Coursework that is over ten years old (30 consecutive terms) at the completion of the degree program (as defined by the plan of study and including any exit requirements) cannot be used toward the degree. 

Credit Hour Minimum

A master’s degree requires a minimum of 30 semester hours, however, additional credits may be required dependent on your degree program and exit requirement.

Transfer of Graduate Credit

Approval of the transfer of graduate credit for coursework taken at another regionally-accredited university (including extension credit but not including correspondence courses) must be recommended by the appropriate advisor and graduate program chair, and submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies only via petition through DegreeWorks for final approval by the dean for Graduate Studies. In order for transfer credits to be applied, an official transcript showing completion of the course(s) must be on file with the Office of Graduate Studies. Grades received in courses for transfer of credit must be the equivalent of "B" (3.0 on a scale of 4.0) or higher. Transfer of graduate credits from a course taken with a pass/fail option must be recommended by the relevant graduate program committee, supported by a written evaluation from the instructor and approved by the dean for Graduate Studies. All work accepted for transfer of credit must have been taken within the prescribed time limits for graduate degrees and is subject to restriction if previously used to satisfy requirements for another graduate degree.

The only coursework from other institutions posted on the UNO transcript will be those recommended by the appropriate graduate program chair and approved by the dean for Graduate Studies.

Transfer of Credits Taken Outside the University of Nebraska

Up to one-third of the coursework required for a graduate degree program may be accepted from an accredited institution other than a unit of the University of Nebraska when the transfer is supported by the student's advisor and the appropriate graduate program committee. Final approval will be made by the UNO dean for Graduate Studies. All other policies regarding graduate programs will apply.

Transfer of Credits Taken at the University of Nebraska

There are no a priori limits on the transfer and applicability of credits earned in one program of the University of Nebraska toward meeting degree requirements in another such program, except as they are used to earn distinct degrees. However, such credits must be individually evaluated and approved by the appropriate graduate program committee and campus dean for Graduate Studies before they can actually be transferred. UNO students who wish to take courses at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, or the University of Nebraska at Kearney for transfer of credit should complete the online intercampus application.

Minor Field

A student is not required by the graduate faculty to have a minor. However, a student may elect to complete a minor with the permission of both the major department/school and the minor department/school. In order to add a minor, the Change in Plan of Study form must be completed.  This form must include the coursework applicable to the minor.

The minor must consist of no fewer than nine (9) graduate hours. The minor will be reflected on the student's transcript at the time of graduation.

Students who elect to complete a minor may be required to take a comprehensive examination over the minor field. This requirement will be at the discretion of the minor advisor. If such an examination is given, it should be given at a date arranged at the convenience of both the student and the minor advisor, but falling within the limits established for all comprehensive examinations.

Second Master's Degree

Use of graduate credit earned for the first degree will be treated in the same manner as transfer credit from another institution if applied to the requirements for the second degree. Up to one-third of the coursework required for the second master's degree may consist of courses from a previous graduate degree. All other policies regarding graduate programs apply.

Master’s Degree with a Double Major

Students accepted to a double major must meet the minimum requirements for each of the majors:

  • Coursework of no less than 18 credit hours is required in each of the two disciplines.
  • Courses cross-listed in both majors may only be counted once.
  • The precise number of credits may vary depending on the total required hours for a particular major.
  • For each of the two majors, students must take at least nine credits in courses open only to graduate students (8--0 or 9--0 level), excluding thesis hours.
  • The student is required to successfully satisfy the thesis/comprehensive examination or equivalent exit requirements for each major. In the event that both programs have a thesis requirement, either:
    • Two theses may be written
    • The content of the thesis may reflect the content of both majors.
  • If a joint thesis is elected, the thesis committee shall consist of two graduate faculty members from each major department/school and shall be co-chaired by a faculty member from each of the major departments/schools.
  • If a student is already pursuing a major in a degree program, then decides they would like to obtain a second major, a new application and admission fee is required. The new application must be approved by the original graduate committee prior to review by the second graduate committee. However, once the master’s degree is conferred, a second major cannot be attained. Students would then be required to apply for admission to a second master’s degree program, and upon acceptance, complete all requirements of a full, independent program.

Dual-Degree Programs

Dual-degree programs are a specifically approved combination of two master's degree programs as distinguished from a master's degree with a double major (e.g., Master of Arts in English and History).

Thesis, Thesis-Equivalent Project and EdS Field Project

Students must file a Proposed Supervisory Committee form and a Thesis Proposal Approval form with the Office of Graduate Studies before initiating the thesis, thesis-equivalent project, or EdS field project. This paperwork must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies at least one semester prior to the student’s anticipated graduation date.

The supervisory committee consists of at least three graduate faculty members, one of whom must be from outside the student’s academic department/school or area in which the master's degree is to be granted. The chair of the supervisory committee must be a member of the graduate faculty. In addition to the minimum requirement of three graduate faculty members, other eligible persons may be recommended by the graduate program committee for appointment by the dean to the supervisory committee, provided at least two-thirds of the membership of each committee is graduate faculty.

Changes to the Supervisory Committee

Any changes to the supervisory committee after initial approval must be submitted via a new supervisory committee form to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval by the dean for Graduate Studies.

A master’s thesis, thesis-equivalent project, or EdS field project provides the opportunity for students to acquire first-hand experience in research or creative activities with the supervision of experienced faculty. A thesis or thesis-equivalent project is equivalent to six (6) semester hours of credit. The Educational Specialist (EdS) field project is equivalent to six (6) semester hours of credit. Required course hours must be indicated on each student’s plan of study.

Grades for a thesis, thesis-equivalent project, or EdS field project are recorded on the permanent record after completion and approval by the department/school and the Office of Graduate Studies. For a thesis or thesis-equivalent project, grades will be either “S” for “Satisfactory” or “U” for “Unsatisfactory.” A letter grade will be recorded for the EdS field project.

The thesis, thesis-equivalent project, or EdS field project is not considered to be a publication; thus, it may be published, in whole or in part, and either quoted or paraphrased by giving appropriate credit to the relevant department/school, the Graduate College, and UNO.

Thesis, Thesis-Equivalent Project, and EdS Field Project (ETD) Submission Procedures

The Supervisory Committee guides the student in the conduct and development of the thesis, thesis-equivalent project, or EdS field project and approves the final product. Typically, final recommendations from the supervisory committee or the supervisory committee chair are provided to the student at the time of the final oral examination, although details vary among departments/schools and individual faculty. Final approval of the ETD, in PDF format, is contingent upon approval by the supervisory committee and Graduate Studies.


When the final version of the thesis/project has been approved by the supervisory committee, the student must submit the following to the Office of Graduate Studies for the final administrative step in the approval process:

  • One paper copy of the Title Page
  • One paper copy of the Abstract
  • Report on Completion of Degree form, signed by the supervisory committee
  • Upload your document to ProQuest

NOTE: If the thesis/project is to be held pending patent issuance, etc., the student must specify this at the time the PDF file is submitted to ProQuest (UMI).

An electronic version of the thesis, thesis-equivalent project, or EdS field project (collectively referred to as ETDs) is required. An ETD is a document expressed in a format simultaneously suitable for machine archives and worldwide retrieval. Preparation of the ETD may be done using most word processor or document preparation systems that incorporate relevant multimedia objects.

As part of the ETD submission, students’ abstracts are published in UMI’s Master’s Theses or Dissertations Abstracts publications. Upon submission, the student authorizes ProQuest to produce copies of his or her work on demand for a fee. However, the student may request that UMI not distribute (or embargo) his or her ETD until further notice (up to two years). Some reasons for this include if there is a patent pending, the student’s employer requires a review of the work, or a publishing agreement requires initial publication. 

NOTE: There may be a fee to submit the ETD through ProQuest. The amount is noted on the website.

After successfully uploading the thesis/project, the Office of Graduate Studies will be notified electronically by ProQuest of the submission and asked to provide final approval. Final approval of the thesis/project will not be granted if the Report on Completion of Degree form is not completed and on file in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Formatting Instructions

Submission Instructions