Supervision of Advanced Degree Programs
The supervision of the general study program of each student, including compliance with all the various South Dakota Board of Regents, institutional, and Office of Graduate Education policies, is primarily the responsibility of the advisor. The graduate student advisory committee assists in this role. The graduate student advisory committee consists of a minimum of:
a major professor,
a graduate division representative, (must not be from the student’s department/program),
one additional member for master’s students,
3 additional members for doctoral students.
The major professor is primarily responsible for supervision of the graduate student’s research and thesis/dissertation preparation, as well as ensuring that academic standards and requirements are met and satisfied. The advisor and the major professor may or may not be the same person, depending on restrictions or requirements within the student’s program and/or department.
The major professor serves as chairperson of the graduate student advisory committee and assists the student in selection of other members of the committee. To be eligible to serve as a major professor on a graduate student advisory committee, the person must be a full time faculty member at SDSM&T. For supervision of a master’s program, the major professor must have a minimum of an M.S. degree. For supervison of a doctoral program, the major professor must have a minimum of a doctoral degree.
A co-major professor is not required, but may be beneficial to the student’s committee. To be eligible to serve as a co-major professor, the person must be approved by the student’s department or program. For supervision of a master’s program, the co-major professor must have a minimum of an M.S. degree. For supervison of a doctoral program, the co-major professor must have a minimum of a doctoral degree.
The graduate division representative must be chosen from outside the major department/program and approved by the dean of graduate education. To be eligible to serve as the graduate division representative on a graduate student advisory committee, the person must be a full-time faculty member at SDSM&T. The person must be from a department other than the student’s home department, and must be approved by the student’s major program. For supervision of a master’s program, the graduate division representative must have a minimum of an M.S. degree. For supervison of a doctoral program, the graduate division representative must have a minimum of a doctoral degree.
To be eligible to serve as a committee member at large on a graduate student advisory committee, the person must hold a minimum of a B.S. degree, and must be approved by the student’s major program. Students must have a minimum of one committee member with a doctoral degree.
Off-campus persons, including emeritus faculty, retired faculty, and members of industry, may serve as a co-major professor or committee member at large if they meet the requirements listed above. The committee must consist of a minimum of 3 members from the SDSM&T campus. If a committee contains more than 5 members, a majority of the committee must be members from the SDSM&T campus. A person with graduate student status cannot serve on a graduate student advisory committee.
If staff changes or other valid reasons dictate a change in major professor, such a transition can be made at the request of the student and with the consent of the student’s committee as evidenced by filing a revised program of study with the Office of Graduate Education. A change in advisor may be accomplished at the student’s request by submitting a request to change advisor form, with all appropriate approval signatures, to the dean of graduate education. Changes to committee members other than the major professor only require the signature of the major professor and the new committee member.
If a student completes the M.S. degree and wishes to continue for a Ph.D. the student must apply to the doctoral program. If a student is enrolled in an M.S. program and wishes to enter the doctoral program without completing the M.S. degree, the student must apply for a transfer of programs.
If a student is enrolled in a master’s program, the student’s department/program shall determine by qualifying examination or by review of his/her record to date whether the student shall be permitted to transfer to the doctoral degree. Upon approval of the transfer, the department head or program coordinator, after consultation with the student and the existing advisory committee, shall expand the student’s committee to a total of 5 members who will assist with the student’s doctoral program.
Program of Study
The graduate student advisory committee will assist the student in formulating a schedule of coursework leading to the advanced degree. A copy of the appropriate form and graduate student advisory committee signatures must be filed by the student and submitted to the student’s department/program and the Office of Graduate Education no later than the mid-term of the semester after which 9 credit hours have been completed or for which a grade of Incomplete has been issued. This is usually the second semester of study for full time degree seeking students. These forms can be found at the graduate education website. Revised programs of study must be filed in a timely manner by the student and with the same offices as the original schedule.
Students who have been granted a leave of absence before submission of a program of study will be required to submit a program of study by midterm of the semester after completion of 9 credit hours.
Certification of Degree Requirements
Before a diploma can be released, the dean of graduate education must certify that the student has fulfilled all degree requirements. For certification of the degree for a given semester, ALL requirements must be complete on or before the scheduled due dates published by the Office of Graduate Education. Note that all keys must be returned to the facilities office before the degree is granted.
Graduate students must meet the minimum registration requirement (currently 2 credits) during the specific semester or summer in which they complete all requirements for their degree and become eligible for graduation. There will be no grace period; hence, students who fail to complete all degree requirements prior to the official closure date for a given semester or summer will be required to register for a minimum of 2 credits during a subsequent semester or summer in order to graduate.
Students are cautioned not to make travel plans or other arrangements that will be difficult or costly to change until they are certain that all degree requirements can and will be satisfied. It is the responsibility of the student to know and comply with these degree requirements.