Students must maintain a B average for all graduate courses taken at the University of South Carolina. Grades below B are generally unacceptable in graduate school. After completing 12 hours of graduate credit at the University, students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.00 are dropped from the program without further review. Also, students receiving a second grade of C+ or below are dropped from the program without further review.
For transfer students who do not hold a master’s degree, some program requirements may be waived if the student has taken a course or its equivalent in graduate work elsewhere and earned a grade of A (excluding A-). However, such waivers may not exceed 6 credit hours to be applied toward the 30-hour requirement for the master’s degree. Students requesting a waiver must inform the Graduate Program Committee in writing. The Graduate Program Committee evaluates the files of students to determine whether a waiver is warranted.
As students near the end of their course work, they select a thesis committee composed of at least three member’s of the department’s faculty. Faculty members have the right of refusal. The student chooses one faculty member to serve as director. The director of the Thesis Committee notifies the director of the Graduate Program Committee in writing of the composition of the Thesis Committee. The director of the Graduate Program Committee informs the chair of the department and the dean of The Graduate School of the composition of the Thesis Committee. Pursuant to the rules of The Graduate School, the department and The Graduate School must approve the Thesis Committee. Working with the Thesis Committee, the student prepares a thesis proposal. The Thesis Committee has the right to approve, request revisions, or reject the proposal. The committee also conducts an oral comprehensive examination to determine if the student has acquired the theoretical and methodological background required to complete the proposed research. For full-time students, this examination usually occurs late in the first semester of the second year of study. Students who fail the M.A. comprehensive examination twice are removed from the program without further review.
If the Thesis Committee approves the proposal and the oral examination, all members sign a letter stating that the student has passed the comprehensive examination. The director of the Thesis Committee provides a copy of this letter to the chair of the department and gives the original letter to the director of the Graduate Program Committee. The original letter is placed in the student’s file. The director of the Graduate Program Committee notifies the dean of The Graduate School that the student has passed the comprehensive examination.
After the student submits the thesis for evaluation, the Thesis Committee conducts an oral examination to determine if the proposed work has been successfully completed. The committee members have the right to approve, request revisions and further analysis to, or reject the thesis. The M.A. degree is granted only after the Thesis Committee approves the thesis, all members sign the title page, The Graduate School accepts the approved thesis, and all other requirements are met.