Program Structure

Students are required to complete a program of study with the aid of their advisor. The contents of a student's program of study are documented in the student's CAPP report, which can be accessed in myBanner. Details concerning the CAPP report/program of study are included at the university's course catalog website.

The student and his/her major advisor may use the following forms to design a program of study, that will then be keyed in the student's CAPP report.

A Ph.D. student must complete the degree program within five years after passing written and oral preliminary exams. NO TECH 9000 hours can be taken before passing preliminary exams. To learn more about preliminary exams visit our departmental website.

For the program of study:

  • At least 2/3 of the hours on the graduate program (courses taken after admission to the Ph.D. degree), exclusive of dissertation credit, must be 8000 level or above.
  • No more than 6 semester hours of graduate credit earned in Directed Individual Studies (7000) courses or 6 semester hours of Special Topics (6990, 8990) courses may be included on the student's approved degree program. No more than 9 semester hours of a combination of Directed Individual Studies and Special Topic courses may be included on the student's approved degree program.

Transfer credit hours from other domestic universities, international universities, or military educational programs may be used to fulfill requirements for graduate degrees at MSU provided they meet the following criteria:

  • Transfer credit hours have to be approved first before completing the CAPP.
  • Where appropriate, credit hours were earned in programs fully accredited by the appropriate regional and national accrediting bodies.
  • Credit hours contribute to the current program of graduate study.
  • Credit hours were taken within the appropriate time limit for the current program at completion of the degree.

Only courses in which grades of B or higher were earned are accepted for transfer. Courses with grades of Pass/Fail or S/U are not eligible for transfer. Transfer credit cannot exceed one-half of the coursework requirement.

In all cases, the decision to accept and designate transfer work begins with the student’s graduate advisor or committee. Once it is determined that the course meets the required criteria, the student must submit a Transfer Approval Form containing required committee signatures and an official transcript to the Office of the Graduate School (see Transfer Approval Form on the Office of the Graduate School Website).