Current Student Resources

Program of Study

Development of the program of study for the M.S. and M.Ed. degrees usually occurs when the student's proposal for the thesis or creative project is accepted by the supervisory committee. The Program of Study form must be presented to the committee specifying the courses to be taken and the title of the research or project to be conducted, signed by each member of the committee and the department head, and then submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for approval at least two months before the final examination. The Program of Study form becomes a contract between the candidate, his or her supervisory committee (who represent the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling), and the School of Graduate Studies. When all requirements specified on the Program of Study form and all School of Graduate Studies requirements have been satisfactorily completed, the candidate is awarded the master's degree.

Supervisory Committee

Advisor/Major Professor

The purpose of the advisor is to help a student understand program requirements, design appropriate experiences consistent with the individual's background and level of expertise, and provide supervision and feedback as the student completes the creative project or thesis.

Supervisory Committee Members

Master's degree students must have a three-member supervisory committee. This consists of the Major Professor/Advisor and two other faculty members. All three members may be from the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, but one member must be outside the student’s field of study. The “outside member” may be from another university department, but it is not required.

If a change in the membership of the committee is desired, a new Supervisory Committee Approval form is required. Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for more information. Committee members are not to be changed within six weeks of the final defense.



  1. All coursework must be preplanned in conjunction with the student's supervisory committee. Each student's program of study is first approved by the advisor, then the supervisory committee and department head, and finally by the School of Graduate Studies.
  2. A minimum of 24 Utah State University credits is required. Of these 24, no more than 8 workshop credits will be accepted.
  3. Normally, up to 12 credit hours from other accredited graduate institutions are acceptable to transfer pending approval by the student's supervisory committee (not counting the Board Certified Behavior Analysis Program). The transfer credits will need to be graduate level, a grade of B or better, taken within the past 8 years, and have not been used for a previous degree. Credits with P grades will not be accepted as transfer credits. Transfer credits cannot replace required residency credit.
  4. Work for a master's degree must be completed within 6 years. If students have not completed their degree within the 6-year limit, a letter from the student's supervisory committee to the Graduate School is required.
  5. Coursework for the master's degree is valid for 8 years. To revalidate outdated coursework, the supervisory committee and the major professor must sign a statement of procedures taken to update such credits. Procedures may be testing or requiring additional coursework. This statement must be submitted to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for approval. The 8-year time limit also applies to transfer credits and procedures for validation are the same as above.
  6. Credit earned by special examination (e.g., in challenging a course) cannot be used for satisfying the requirement for a graduate degree nor used to meet the resident requirement for graduation.
  7. No more than 12 graduate credits taken prior to matriculation will be accepted toward a master's degree. Credits cannot have been used towards another degree.
  8. Graduate students are required to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. Students whose semester GPA falls below 3.0 will be notified that the semester's grades were below the acceptable standard for a graduate degree program. Students whose accumulative GPA falls below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters will either be reduced to nonmatriculated status or terminated from the degree program. Nonmatriculation requires a special application to regain matriculation. In addition, grades below C will not be accepted. Students will be permitted to retake a maximum of one course only one time. Students receiving more than two course grades below C may be terminated from the program.
  9. Dissemination of Course Session Videos: As a general policy, videos are not available to students.  However, exceptions may be made under the following circumstances:
  • Incapacitating illness which requires medical attention for the student or a member of his or her immediate family
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Professional responsibilities related to the student's employment (e.g., required attendance at a district meeting on the same night as class).
  1. In all other cases, students will need to obtain information about the missed class from their peers. Videos will be viewed at the extension site. Students will not be allowed to take videos home.
  2. Elective Course Credit: Twelve credits associated with the Distance Masters degree program in Special Education are elective credits. Credit options within concentrations may vary. The criteria used to determine if a course qualifies for elective credit is, the course number 5000 level or above and the course is educationally relevant.
  3. Subject to the discretion of the committee, no more than six elective credits may come from nontraditional courses, (e.g., workshops, conferences, institutes, PBS, UEN, KUED). All nontraditional courses must be graded and be affiliated with a university graduate program. Finally, all nontraditional courses must be pre-approved by the student's graduate committee to determine if the course qualifies for elective credit.
  4. Thesis/Creative Project Credits: A minimum of 6 Thesis credits are required for all M.S. students. These credits will be graded as “Pass” or “Fail”. A maximum of 6 Creative Project credits are required for all M.Ed. students. These credits will also be graded as “Pass” or “Fail”.