May 22, 2024  
2009-2010 Springfield College Graduate Catalog 
2009-2010 Springfield College Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The Master’s Degree

Upon the recommendation of the Department Chair, School Dean, and certified by the Registrar, the College authorizes the awarding of the Masters degree to a student who has completed an approved program of studies with a B average or better (3.000).

At the start of the final term during which a student expects to complete requirements for the degree, he or she is required to file an application for degree in the Office of the Registrar.

The College grants the following masters degrees: master of education (M.Ed.), master of science (M.S.), master of physical education (M.P.E.), and master of social work (M.S.W). Students in all major fields completing graduate requirements are eligible for the master of science or the master of education degree. Students in physical education may elect the master of physical education degree if they so desire. Students in the social work program receive the master of social work degree.

The development of research skills and knowledge and engagement in research activities are an important component of the graduate experience at Springfield College. A student pursuing a masters degree must successfully complete Foundations and Methods of Research (RSCH 610) or its equivalent and a program-specific research endeavor that demonstrates the students understanding of the research process. Additional requirements for earning a masters degree are outlined below.

The following pages contain information about these topics:


Degrees Granted at Springfield College

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I. The Master of Education degree

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Plan A requires successful completion of a minimum of thirty-two hours of graduate work and successful completion of a program-specific comprehensive culminating experience (exam, portfolio, presentation, etc.).

The research requirement under this plan, which is determined by the students specific program, consists of either an independent study (RSCH 618 or department-specific 692) research project (RSCH 626 or department-specific 626), research completed within a specific course or portfolio, or a combination of research project and a related course. Students in physical education may elect to receive either the master of education or the master of physical education degree.

II. The Master of Science degree

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This degree requires students to engage in a research process, as determined by their academic program, which includes a clearly defined problem statement and hypothesis or research question, and specific and systematic procedures for data collection and analysis, resulting in a verifiable conclusion. The MS may be earned under one of the three plans:

Plan B requires successful completion of all graduate work required by the students specific program, and a masters research thesis which culminates in an oral defense. The program requirements include a statistics course and six semester hours of credit for RSCH 612: Proposal Design (2 s.h.) and RSCH 635: Thesis (4 s.h.). The student is eligible to receive the master of science degree, or may choose to receive the master of education or master of physical education degree.

*Plan C requires successful completion of all graduate work required by the student’s specific program, and a minimum of eleven semester hours of graduate work in the research area, which includes the following courses:

  1. Foundations and methods of research (RSCH 610)
  2. Educational and psychological statistics I (RSCH 620) or Qualitative Research Methodolgy (RSCH 615)
  3. Proposal design (RSCH 612)
  4. Research project (RSCH 626 or DEPT 626)

The student is eligible to receive the master of science degree, or may choose to receive the master of education.

* Not available to all programs.

Plan D is available only to students in the School of Human Services.The thirty-six semester hour curriculum includes a twelve semester hour sequence of research project courses with a particular concentration. Students are required to study research methodology and demonstrate competencies related to the design, implementation, and evaluation of an action research project. The required research project culminates in a written research report, oral presentation and defense.

III. The Master of Social Work degree

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Plan E is available only to students in the School of Social Work. The sixty semester hour curriculum includes an eight semester hour sequence of courses in social work research:

MSSW 621, Social Work Research 1, Credits: 3; and
MSSW 622, Social Work Research 2, Single System Design, Credits: 2;
MSSW 625, Social Work Research 2, Program Evaluation, Credits: 2 and
MSSW 623, Social Work Research 3, Credits: 3

Advanced standing students are required to have completed the equivalent of MSSW 621 and MSSW 622 as a part of their previous study in an accredited Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program. These students are required to complete MSSW 623 (Qualitative Research).

MSW/JD Combined Degree students must enter the program having completed the equivalent of MSSW 621 (Introduction to Research). Students in this program must take either Social Work Practice 3, with Advanced Research in the Law as one of the electives in the law, or Social Work Research 3, with Law and Social Sciences as one of the electives in law.

Transfer Credit

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Normally, all work for a masters degree is done at Springfield College. No more than six semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred from one or more other institutions toward the masters degree in programs requiring less than forty-eight semester hours of credit. However, students who are enrolled in a masters degree program requiring a minimum of forty-eight semester hours of graduate credit may transfer nine semester hours of graduate credit toward the masters degree. Courses accepted for transfer credit must be completed during the five-year period of candidacy, have a grade of B or better, and be applicable to the individuals program of study pursued at Springfield College. Additionally, such courses must carry graduate credit at an accredited institution with a notation to that effect on the official transcript. In exceptional cases, the time limit (the five year period of candidacy) may be extended by the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs following a petition by the graduate student and with the recommendation of the dean of the student’s program, prior to the end of the five year period.

Extension credit from another accredited institution will be acceptable for transfer only where such extension work is accepted toward a masters degree at that other institution.

Correspondence courses will not be accepted for graduate credit.

For transfer credit policies in the School of Social Work, see the Social Work program section of the catalog.

Course Loads - Masters Level

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While graduate students register for varying numbers of academic credit depending upon circumstances, the majority of students register for ten to fourteen credit hours per semester. A student may carry no more than thirty-six semester hours of graduate credit during one year. However, if a program includes undergraduate prerequisites, the total number of semester hours during the year may reach forty. Credit for all skills and techniques courses will be included in the determination of this total number of semester hours. Where the course load for a semester exceeds eighteen semester hours, students are obliged to complete a form, available at the Registrar’s Office; obtain the recommendation of their major advisor, and department chair; and receive authorization from the their school dean prior to registration.

Thesis Regulations

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It is the responsibility of graduate students to identify the subject for the thesis and to prepare, in proposal form, the plan with which they expect to investigate the problem. All students are expected to write their research in the field of their graduate major. All students who do a thesis are required to satisfactorily complete a statistics course (RSCH 620). The Department Chair or Program Coordinator appoints a thesis committee to guide the student and to pass judgement on the merits of the thesis. A students thesis proposal will not be accepted nor will a committee be appointed if the students academic index is below 3.000.

The following schedule is to be followed by graduate students completing theses:

  1. The first complete draft of the thesis must be submitted to the students committee no later than eight weeks before graduation. Three copies must be provided, one for each member of the committee.
  2. The final draft of the thesis must be completed, approved, typed in final form, and received by the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs ready for binding no later than six weeks before graduation.
  3. Students who do not meet this time schedule will not receive their diplomas until a later graduation date.

Oral Examination

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(for Plan B students)

The oral examination is administered to graduate students who have completed the thesis requirements. It cannot be taken any later than five weeks prior to graduation. The examination focuses on a critical review of the students research and includes any aspect of the students major field (and related fields) about which the examiners wish to raise questions. The examining committee consists of the students thesis committee plus one other faculty member appointed by the Department Chair or Program Coordinator. The graduate student must provide the fourth member with either a copy or an abstract of the thesis at least one week before the scheduled date of the oral examination.

Comprehensive Examination

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(for Plan A students)

For those students completing the requirements for the Plan A masters degree, a written examination of a minimum of three hours on the major field is required, unless other evaluative procedures have been approved. Students will not be permitted to register for and take the comprehensive examination unless their cumulative index is 3.000 or higher at the beginning of the semester in which the comprehensive examination occurs. All students who intend to take the Comprehensive Examination must notify their departmental office at least four weeks prior to the examination, indicating their area of concentration.

A student who fails the comprehensive examination may request to take it a second time, subject to approval by the major advisor. Any student failing the masters comprehensive examination twice will no longer be considered a degree student. These students may not select an alternate plan leading to the masters degree.


Time Limits

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The length of time needed to complete requirements for the masters degree depends on several factors: the nature of the undergraduate preparation, the quality of achievement in graduate courses, the professional purposes of the student, and the amount of fieldwork or part-time employment carried. The minimum time for graduate students who have a good background in undergraduate preparation is one academic year, with at least thirty-two semester hours of credit. If a candidate lacks certain prerequisites in his or her undergraduate background, the candidate must complete those specified prerequisites according to prescription (with or without graduate credit). This may result in an extension of the time necessary for completion of the program.

Work for the degree must be completed within five years from the time of initial registration for graduate courses at Springfield College. In exceptional cases, the time limit may be extended by the Office of Academic Affairs following a petition by the graduate student and with recommendation of the dean of the students program, prior to the end of the five-year period. In such instances, the students original program is subject to reexamination and additional requirements may be imposed. For additional information regardng time limits, refer to the Transfer Credit policy.

All masters programs must contain a minimum of fifteen semester hours of 600-level courses. Additional hours at this level are required in some major fields.