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Southern Oregon University

Student Responsibility
Graduate students are expected to know the requirements for the programs they undertake. While the University assists each student as much as possible, the responsibility for any error in enrollment or misinterpretation of rules rests with the student.

Student Conduct
Graduate students are expected to honor standards of ethical practice appropriate to academic life. Candidacy for the graduate degree may be denied, suspended, or revoked should it be established that an individual has become a discredit to his or her peers by dishonoring the profession through any flagrant violation of the ethics of scholarship and higher learning. The Graduate Council considers the following to be examples of flagrant violations: cheating, plagiarism, forgery, physical abuse or threat of physical abuse against University personnel, theft of University property, and unauthorized entry into or use of SOU-controlled property. Students may exercise their right of appeal for charges of violations through procedures outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.

The professional degree programs may have additional ethical guidelines. It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with and abide by such guidelines. When a department’s faculty decide a student has failed to meet professional standards, they are responsible for identifying, remediating, or dismissing the student. Each program has an established procedure for handling such issues. In the case of a professional breach of ethics, an appeal is handled within the program according to established procedures.

Academic Restrictions
Only 500-level courses count towards a master’s degree.

The maximum load for graduate students is 16 credits during a regular term and 15 credits during an eight-week summer session. Overload petitions must be approved by the student’s advisor and the school graduate coordinator. The form is filed with the school graduate coordinator and the Registrar (in the Enrollment Services Center). There is a surcharge for each credit taken in excess of academic load regulations.

Students must earn at least 30 quarter credits towards a master’s degree in residence at SOU. The last 9 credits of the program must be in residence unless a waiver is approved by the graduate coordinator and the division director. These policies do not apply to persons completing the master’s degree portion of the Teacher Education Fifth Year Licensure program. Graduate credit for a course taught by an instructor in Continuing Education who has been approved in advance by the division director is accepted as residence credit.

No more than 21 credits of open-numbered courses may be included in a 45-credit program. Open-numbered courses do not have a catalog description; they include the following: 501, 504, 505, 506, 507, 508, 509 and 510 Special Topics. Thesis (503) is not considered an open-numbered course.

Course Exclusions
A maximum of 9 hours of workshop or practicum credit may be included in a graduate program with advisor consent.

Extension credit and other forms of nontraditional coursework (e.g., online courses and two-way television) may be included in a graduate program only with advisor consent. Correspondence study may not be used in a master’s degree program.

Graduate credit by examination, in-service, professional growth courses, and continuing professional education courses are not acceptable in school area programs.

Prior and Transfer Credit Limitations
A student may include only 15 quarter credits of approved graduate coursework taken prior to regular admission to a master’s degree program at the University. This limitation applies to coursework taken at Southern Oregon University and coursework transferred from other institutions. Such courses must be appropriate for the master’s degree program to which the student is admitted and must be approved by the major advisor, the school graduate coordinator, and the school dean. No more than 6 quarter credits of prior or transfer credit may be from a previous master’s program. All transfer credit must be supported by official transcripts sent directly from the school of origin to the Office of Admissions. Acceptance of any transfer credit is the prerogative of the degree-granting institution.

Time Limitation
All courses included in the SOU program for a master’s degree must be seven years old or less at the time the degree is completed. However, with the approval of the Office of Graduate Studies, up to 12 credits of courses over seven years old but less than ten years old at degree completion may be included if they have been updated and validated by the academic department and approved by the division director. Upon program completion, courses taken ten years ago or longer must be replaced even if they have previously been updated. Forms for course updates are available from the graduate coordinator or division director's office.

Master of Arts vs. Master of Science
The Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees differ only in the foreign language requirement. To receive an MA degree, students must demonstrate fluency in a second language. U.S. students who have completed two years of study in one foreign language at an accredited college or university automatically meet the second language requirement for the MA degree.

Graduate Assistantships
Graduate assistantships are available in some academic programs and administrative units. To hold a graduate assistantship, students must gain regular admission to a master’s degree program. They must also have an approved master’s degree program on file no later than the first week of the initial term of appointment as a graduate assistant and must successfully pursue the program at a rate defined in the General Regulations for Appointment of Graduate Assistants.

Graduate Program Handbooks

Click here for the Graduate Handbook

Contact the academic program offering your specific degree area to receive a Master’s Program Handbook with more complete and current information about the program you wish to pursue.

Note: While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the above information, Southern Oregon University and the Oregon State Board of Higher Education have the right to make changes at any time without prior notice. The information on this website is not a contract between Southern Oregon University and current or prospective students.