Graduate

Since the authorization of a Division of Graduate Studies in 1937, Prairie View A&M University has sustained its dedication to excellence in teaching, research, and service through commitment to advanced educational offerings which include multiple masters, doctoral, and certification programs. Opportunities for advanced study are provided for qualified students seeking graduate education and/or degrees. Comprehensive programs are offered under the joint supervision of the Office of Graduate Studies and the various colleges and schools. A strong partnership has been developed to assist students in realizing their educational goals.

The Office of Graduate Studies is the primary source of information about study for an advanced degree. Similarly, the Graduate Catalog is the official sourcebook to graduate programs at the University. General inquiries about graduate study should be directed to the Office of Graduate Studies. Specific questions regarding a major program should be directed to the college or school offering the program. Graduate students are held fully responsible for understanding and adhering to all policies and procedures established by the Office of Graduate Studies and the colleges and schools in which programs of study will be undertaken. Programs, regulations, and course offerings listed herein are subject to modification and/or deletion at any time by action of appropriate University authorities.

Colleges and Schools with Graduate Programs

  • School of Architecture
  • College of Agriculture and Human Sciences
  • Marvin D. and June Samuel Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • Whitlowe R. Green College of Education
  • Roy G. Perry College of Engineering
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology

Graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts degree, the Master of Science degree, the Master of Business Administration degree, the Master of Education degree, Professional Certification, Certificate Endorsements and the Doctor of Philosophy degree (Juvenile Justice, Clinical Adolescent Psychology, Electrical Engineering and Educational Leadership) are offered.

Prairie View A&M University offers all of its graduate degree programs on the main campus at Prairie View. However, it offers selected degree programs in education, business, engineering and nursing at distance sites primarily in the Houston area. Off-campus sites are located in Houston, Texas at the Prairie View A&M University Northwest Center, and the campus of the College of Nursing in downtown Houston.

Academic Advising, Registration, and Degree Plans

Graduate students are assigned to one or more faculty advisors during the first semester in which they are enrolled at the university. New students are required to meet with an advisor before enrolling in classes for the purpose of planning and obtaining approval of plans of study. Continuing students should confer with their faculty advisor at least once per semester to discuss objectives, course selection and sequencing, and other degree/program related matters. Consultation on all academic concerns should begin with the major advisor.

Class Schedule

The class schedule is available in advance of registration each semester on the website at http://panthertracks.pvamu.edu/.

An official class schedule, prepared each semester by the University, includes the registration schedule, procedures for registration, fees, classes offered by hours and instructors, and other pertinent registration information. The schedule is available several weeks in advance of registration.

Concurrent Study for Two Different Degrees

A student pursuing a graduate degree program at Prairie View A&M University may not simultaneously enroll and complete course work for the purpose of meeting requirements for any other degree offered by this institution. Each degree must be completed in its entirety before work may be taken for the purpose of meeting requirements for a new degree. Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Tentative Degree Plans and Admission to Candidacy

The student should file a degree plan within the first semester of matriculation in the university. Degree plan forms may be obtained from the major advisor. The major advisor, department head, dean of the college and graduate dean review and approve the degree plan.

Admission to Candidacy : The graduate student admitted to full degree status does not automatically become a candidate for the master’s degree. To become a candidate, the student must complete the following minimum requirements:

  1. Achieve a satisfactory score on the GRE or GMAT as stipulated by the department and college.
  2. Prepare and submit an official Application for Admission to Candidacy Form showing the applicant’s successful completion of 12 semester hours of required graduate courses with an average of “B” or better.
  3. Submit the official Application for Admission to Candidacy Form to the department head and college/school dean. The form will be submitted to the Graduate Dean for final approval.

Advancement to candidacy for doctoral programs is governed by the procedures of the program. Information for the specific program is found in this catalog under the degree description.

Time Limit on Work for Master’s Degree and Re-validation of Courses

A student must complete requirements for the degree within six consecutive years after the first date of enrollment in Graduate Studies. Credit for individual courses completed in residence between six and seven years before all requirements for the master’s degree are completed may be re- validated by special examination given by the department concerned. Courses completed in extension or at another institution beyond the time limit cannot be re-validated. A course in which a grade of “C” was earned cannot be re-validated. A re-validated course is valid as credit toward the master’s degree only during the term in which it is re-validated.

Academic Progress Standards

General Standards

In order to show satisfactory progress toward an advanced degree, a student must maintain an average grade of “B”. A course in which a grade below “C” was earned cannot be counted toward graduation requirements. A student who, in any two consecutive semesters or summer terms, has a cumulative grade point average below 3.00 is subject to academic dismissal. The work of a graduate student performed in connection with the thesis is reported as a regular grade.

Doctoral Program Standards

Ph.D. students remain in good standing when they maintain a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 for coursework. Only grades of “B” or better count toward required coursework (i.e., all but the elective courses) and dissertation hours. Any grade lower than “B” in a required area course will necessitate that the course be retaken and passed with a grade of “B” or higher. While one grade of “C” in an elective course may be counted toward the Ph.D., only grades of “B” or better indicate satisfactory completion of courses required for the Ph.D. If a student receives a “C” for a class grade, there will be an automatic review of that student’s progress within one semester of when the grade is received. The Doctoral Committee will meet with the student to develop an appropriate response. If a second such grade is earned, the student will be dismissed from the program, but may petition the Doctoral Committee for readmission. After reviewing the petition, the committee may allow readmission under such conditions as it deems appropriate. A third grade lower than “B” will result in permanent dismissal from the program with no recourse to petition.

In the Spring semester of each academic year, a formal evaluation will be made of the progress of each doctoral student by the Doctoral Committee. This evaluation will focus on the student’s progress toward the Ph.D. degree. Students, attending full time and taking 12 units each semester, should be able to complete formal doctoral coursework within two full years. However, this constitutes a heavy course load and student progress in the program will be measured against the more reasonable average of 9-12 credit hours per a semester. Where needed, the Committee will provide recommendations and guidance to students. The Graduate Program Coordinator will provide evaluation forms the Committee is currently using. Committee decisions related to student progress will be one of the following:

  1. Progress is satisfactory, student is encouraged to continue in the program;
  2. Progress is potentially unsatisfactory, remediation work is suggested, student is encouraged to continue in the program, or
  3. Progress is unsatisfactory, student should be terminated from the program.

Students receiving an unsatisfactory evaluation may petition the Dean to remain in the program. A copy of the petition form may be obtained in the Doctoral Program office. One petition is allowed.

Change of Major/Program

Under certain circumstances, it is possible for a student to change the graduate major/program. ONLY students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all course work taken in post-baccalaureate standing at Prairie View A&M University are eligible to begin the process to change from one degree major/program to another. A complete application packet and application fee must be submitted to the Graduate School. The change must be completed during the regular registration period for a particular semester or term. (Note: A graduate student on academic probation cannot change major/program during this period; however, after successfully completing the probation period with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, he/she may reapply to the Office of Graduate Studies through the accepting Graduate Advisor, Department Head, and Academic Dean). The application will be subject to the approval of the Graduate Dean.

The Course Numbering System

Beginning with the 1984-85 academic year, Prairie View A&M University moved from a three-digit to a four-digit course numbering system. Under the new system, the first digit represents the course level (i.e., below college level/developmental 0, freshman 1, sophomore 2, junior 3, senior 4, and masters 5, doctoral 7). The fourth digit indicates the credit-hour value of the course.

Unit of Credit

The unit of credit used at Prairie View A&M University is the semester hour. A semester hour is the equivalent of one lecture contact hour per week for one semester. Time requirements for the semester credit hour in activities other than lecture vary according to the nature and objectives of the activities.

The federal definition of the credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency. 

Course Load

The following limitations on course loads are in effect:

  1. This University defines full-time enrollment for a graduate student as a minimum of 9 semester credit hours during the regular fall and spring semesters and 6 semester credit hours for the summer semester.
  2. During a regular session, a graduate student may not enroll in more than 12 semester credit hours without permission from the advisor, Department Head, and Dean. Approval from the respective college/school dean is required for 15 semester credit hours and approval from the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs is required for any semester credit hours over 15.
  3. During a five-week summer session, a graduate student may not enroll in more than six semester hours. The total credit hours earned for the two summer sessions may not exceed twelve.
  4. A graduate student may not enroll in more than three semester credit hours during a three-week summer session.
  5. A graduate student enrolled in a three-week session may not enroll in more than one three-hour course in the five-week session being conducted concurrently.

Repeated Course Grade

If a course is repeated, the official grade is the last grade earned. This is especially important for determining current GPA and could affect financial aid status, honor roll, candidacy for a student organization position, membership in an organization, graduation, or other opportunity, NOTE: Courses taken more than twice will be charged at a higher rate. See the section on Tuition and Fees.

Grade Reports

Students may acquire their mid-term and final grades via the WEB through http://panthertracks.pvamu.edu. Midterm grades are progress reports and are not recorded on the student’s permanent record. Final grades are recorded on the student’s permanent record at the close of each semester and summer term. If an error in the recording of grades is suspected, the student should report this immediately to the instructor, department head, or college dean for verification or correction.

Grading System

Course work for graduate students is reported as: “A” (95-100); “B” (85-94); “C” (75-84); “D” (65-74); “P” (Passing); “I” (Incomplete);”IP” (Incomplete Passing); “W” (Withdrawal from a class); “WV” (Voluntary Withdrawal), “AW” (Administrative Withdrawal), “MW” (Military Withdrawal).

A grade of “S”, may be given during the doctoral dissertation process; however, prior to submission of the final dissertation document the conventional grading system must be used. A grade of “S” may not be given as a final grade for doctoral candidates.

Incomplete “I” Grade

The grade of “I”, incomplete, is assigned to students who are unable to complete a course due to circumstances beyond their control. For lecture, seminar, independent study, and similar organized instruction courses, the student must complete the work necessary to remove the grade of “I” in one calendar year from the semester in which the “I” was awarded. All grades of “I” in courses that are included in the requirements for a degree must be replaced with a grade acceptable in the program. Students are not to re-enroll in a course for which a grade of “I” has been recorded.

In Progress “IP” Grade : An “IP”, in progress, is assigned to thesis, dissertation, internship, project, and practicum provided the student remains enrolled and makes satisfactory progress as certified by the committee chair, dean and director/coordinator of graduate program. The time allocated for removal of the “IP” shall be the same as the maximum time for completion of a degree or certificate.

Transfer of Credit

Graduate credit earned at another accredited institution, not exceeding six (6) semester hours, may be transferred and applied toward the master’s or the doctorate degree at Prairie View A&M University. Only courses with a grade of “B” or better may be transferred. An “A” grade from another institution or earned in extension may not be used to validate a grade of “C” earned at Prairie View A&M University. An official transcript denoting the transfer course(s), year, and grade received must be on file in the Office of the Registrar before acceptance of transfer credit is official. The official Approval of Transfer Credits Form, the official transcript (or copy of the official transcript on file in the Office of the Registrar) denoting the transfer course(s), year and grade(s) received, and a copy of the course description(s) from the transfer institution’s catalog must be received by the Graduate School before transfer credits may be reviewed for approval.

This institution will not consider credits from other institutions to meet requirements for a graduate degree unless the institution offering the courses will allow these credits to be applied toward the requirements of an advanced degree on its own campus. Under no circumstances will transfer course work be considered that will be more than six (6) years old at the time the degree is awarded.

 Degree Majors - Graduate Level (Doctoral level where designated)

Department Major
College of Agriculture and Human SciencesHuman Sciences
School of ArchitectureArchitecture
Community Development
Brailsford College of Arts and SciencesChemistry
Sociology
College of BusinessAccounting
General Business Administration
Whitlowe R. Green College of EducationCounseling
Curriculum and Instruction
Special Education
Curriculum and Instruction - Reading Education
Educational Administration
Health
Physical Education
Educational Leadership (Doctor of Philosophy)
Roy G. Perry College of EngineeringComputer Science
Computer Information Systems
Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering (Doctor of Philosophy)
College of Juvenile Justice and PsychologyJuvenile Forensic Psychology
Juvenile Justice
Clinical Adolescent Psychology (Doctor of Philosophy)
Juvenile Justice (Doctor of Philosophy)
College of NursingNursing
Nursing-Nurse Administration
Nursing - Nurse Education
Nursing - Practitioner
Doctor of Nursing Practice

General Requirements

The following requirements apply to all graduate degree programs. Specific degree requirements may be found in the appropriate college sections of this catalog. All candidates expecting to graduate must file an application for the degree. The deadline for filing an application for the degree is published each semester by the Registrar. Upon completion of all requirements for the master’s degree, candidates are certified for graduation by the Dean for Graduate Studies. Degrees are publicly conferred at each University Commencement.

Registration Requirement: Students completing work required for a degree must be enrolled during the term in which the work is completed and the application for graduation is filed. A fee is required for registration in absentia.

Application for Graduation

A student who plans to receive a degree from Prairie View A&M University must apply for graduation online a semester before the anticipated graduation date. Students are to apply by the published deadline available on the website via the academic calendar for each graduation semester (fall, spring, or summer).

To start the process, complete the graduation checklist found online via PantherTracks at the “Apply to Graduate” link, then process the online application. A fee is required as part of the application process and will be billed to the student at the time the application is electronically submitted. Students who apply for graduation that are not enrolled for the term in which they plan to graduate will be charged an absentia fee. Finally, students receiving financial aid must participate in the financial aid exit loan process and should visit the Office of Student Financial Aid for assistance.

Degrees for students who are indebted to the University or have not completed “Exit Loan Counseling” will be posted, if earned, but the transcript and diploma will be withheld until the debt is paid, the exit loan counseling completed, and the hold removed by Student Financial Aid.

Cancelling a Graduation Application After Submission to the Registrar’s Office

A student has 10 business work days after the application deadline to cancel an application. No cancellations will be accepted after this period. The Graduation Cancellation Form (Forms Library-WEB) must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the graduation applicant. Graduation fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Graduate Thesis and Dissertation Committees

The school/college dean identifies all faculty qualified to serve as Chair for a thesis, dissertation or project report committee.  In consultation with the qualified faculty member, the graduate program coordinator, the department head, and the student select a committee chair.  The Committee Chair and the student collaborate to identify the members of the committee.  The Dean for Graduate Studies is responsible for approving the assignment of faculty to graduate committees.  It should be noted on all documents, including the thesis, dissertation or project reports when the graduate committee chair is not the thesis/dissertation/project report research advisor.

Graduate Thesis, Dissertation or Project Report

The graduate thesis, dissertation or project report must be signed by the thesis and dissertation committee members, college graduate program coordinator, department head, and dean; it must be prepared in a style and format that is prescribed by the specific degree program. Not later than two weeks prior to the last day of classes for the term or semester the student must submit a final draft of the thesis, dissertation or project report to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval. If the manuscript meets the style and format criteria established by the faculty of a specific degree program, the student will be permitted to submit the document to the student’s graduate advisory committee for approval and signature.

Not later than two weeks prior to the last day of classes for the term or semester, the student must submit a final draft of the thesis, dissertation or project report to the Office of Graduate Studies for review and approval.  All format changes, if any, will be submitted to the student and the Committee Chair for revision. Upon completion of the revision the student may submit the document for binding.

The bound copies of the signed thesis, dissertation or project report must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies not later than 30 days after the date of commencement.  ALL school/college signatures (Committee chair and members, graduate program coordinator, department head, and dean) must be affixed to the document prior to submission to the Office of Graduate Studies.  The Office of Graduate Studies requires two bound copies.  Additional copies may be required by the College or School.  The Graduate Studies Office will be responsible for distributing the copies to the appropriate offices.

An oral examination is required of thesis and dissertation students. The oral examination is designed to test verbal and explanatory abilities of students as they explain and defend their research. The examining body is the student’s Graduate Thesis/Dissertation Committee and may include other interested departmental faculty. The Office of Graduate Studies may assign a member of the Graduate Council to attend or monitor an oral examination. The examination can be repeated only once.

Probation and Dismissal

All graduate students are required to maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average. If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 during any semester of enrollment, the student will be placed on academic probation. In the next semester of enrollment, the student must raise his/her GPA to 3.0 or above or be dismissed from Graduate Studies.

Academic Appeal Process

A Notice of Academic dismissal will be provided by the Office of the Registrar for graduate students who have been dismissed for failure to maintain the required 3.0 cumulative grade-point average. The notice will include instructions for submitting an electronic appeal. Students should carefully review the instructions for submitting the electronic appeal and adhere to the prescribed format. An incomplete appeal will not be processed. Students should not email, contact by phone or visit any member of the Appeals Committee. The Notice of Academic Dismissal will generally be transmitted to the respective graduate students via email by the 5th working day after grades have posted for the term. The term deadlines for submitting the electronic appeal will be determined by the Office of Graduate Studies and provided in the Notice of Academic Dismissal. Information regarding deadline dates will also be available in the Office of Graduate Studies, on its website, and via Campus Announcements.

Notice of Academic Dismissal Deadline for Submitting Electronic Appeal Notice of Approval or Denial of Academic Appeal
5th Working Day after Grades have been posted for the term of dismissalNot later than 2 weeks after Notice of Academic DismissalNot later than 20th Class Day of the term immediately after the term of dismissal

Readmission after Academic Dismissal . A graduate student may file a written appeal to the Dean of the college or school in which he/she was previously enrolled. An appeals Committee in the college or school shall review the appeal and transmit a recommendation to the Dean of the college or school, who will make a recommendation to the Dean for Graduate Studies. If a graduate student is re-admitted after dismissal, he/she must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA in each semester of enrollment or be dismissed again. Individual graduate programs may also impose additional cumulative GPA restrictions for their students.

Sources of Financial Aid Graduate Teaching and Non-Teaching Assistantships

University Graduate Non-Teaching and Teaching Assistantships are managed by the schools and colleges. These appointments are available for full-time, enrolled graduate students. Assistantships may be distinguished as follows:

  1. A graduate teaching assistant has at least a bachelor’s degree and eighteen graduate credits in the field in which employment is held. A graduate teaching assistant may assist the professor of record by giving lectures and carrying out other classroom teaching, and may prepare and grade examinations under the direct supervision of an experienced faculty member.
  2. A graduate non-teaching assistant must have a bachelor’s degree and may be assigned to tasks that do not involve classroom teaching. Such activities may include laboratory assistance, research assistance, grading objective examinations, keeping class records, and performing similar functions.
  3. A doctoral teaching assistant must have a master’s degree, be fully admitted to a PhD program and have a minimum of 18 graduate credits in the field in which employment is held. A doctoral teaching assistant is the teacher of record but performs teaching duties under the supervision of an experienced faculty member.
  4. A doctoral research assistant must have a master’s degree and be fully admitted to a PhD program. Assignments may include assisting in faculty research, writing grant proposals, and performing grant related assignments.

International students “for whom English is a second language” may be appointed as graduate teaching assistants only when results of a test of spoken English or other reliable assessment of the applicant’s proficiency in oral communication and speech indicates that the appointment is appropriate.

Supervision

Each assistant must be assigned to a supervisor who will give guidance and assist the student in carrying out work assignments. The supervisor is responsible for assigning tasks, monitoring the progress of work, keeping a record of hours worked, and evaluating the performance of the student. At the end of each school year, each supervisor must submit an evaluation of the work performance of the students supervised.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Appointment Criteria

  1. Must be enrolled as a full-time graduate student at Prairie View A&M University.
  2. Must have a minimum of eighteen (18) graduate credits in the teaching field.
  3. Must be in good academic standing.

Graduate Non-Teaching Assistant Appointment Criteria

  1. Must be enrolled as a full-time graduate student at Prairie View A&M University.
  2. Must be in good academic standing.

Doctoral Teaching Assistant Appointment Criteria

  1. Must be enrolled as a full-time doctoral student at Prairie View A&M University.
  2. Must have a master’s degree and a minimum of eighteen (18) graduate credits in the teaching field.
  3. Must be in good academic standing.

Doctoral Research Assistant Appointment Criteria

  1. Must be enrolled as full-time doctoral student at Prairie View A&M University.
  2. Must be in good academic standing.

Application Procedures

Students who wish to apply for assistantships must do so on forms available in the Office of Graduate Studies. Approval of an application depends upon the student’s academic background, present status, and the availability of funds. Assistants in academic departments work under the supervision of appointed faculty members. In other units, the Head of the Department or the appointed supervisor provides supervision.

An application approved by a department is submitted to the Coordinator  of Graduate Programs for final action. Once approved, appropriate forms are submitted to the student employment office for processing. Once the student’s name is entered on the payroll, payment is made at a designated time each month.

Where separate funding sources are involved, doctoral students who wish to apply for assistantships must do so on forms available in their program office. Approval of an application depends on the student’s academic background, current skills, and the availability of funds. Doctoral assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis. The Dean of the college or school housing the doctoral program and overseeing the funding source is the final authority. However, appropriate forms are submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies for normal processing.

Remuneration

Assistants may work no more than 20 hours per week. The rate of pay is based on the academic training and experience of the assistant and is specified as follows:

Prairie View A&M University believes that the intellectual and moral growth of students occurs both within and outside the formal classroom setting. Residential and social life experiences are regarded as learning opportunities, significant in their own right and complementary to those provided within the academic curriculum. Thus, the University is committed to providing a co-curricular environment that supports individual needs, and actively contributes to the University’s residential and community life. A complete listing of the University’s student services is provided in the Prairie View A&M University Student Conduct Code and Handbook. Those services that are particularly relevant to academic life at the University are briefly described below.

Graduate Provisional and Special Students

Graduate Provisional Students are conditionally admitted to the University’s Graduate programs and usually have to complete certain requisites to be fully admitted as a regular graduate student to their respective specific programs. Due to this status, graduate provisional students are limited to the eligibility of a fifth-year undergraduate student. Graduate Special Students are ineligible for aid.