Office of Graduate Studies
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 Academic 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
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, the Doctor of Philosophy degree (Juvenile Justice, Clinical Adolescent Psychology, Electrical Engineering and Educational Leadership), and the Doctor of Business Administration 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 Houston Center and the College of Nursing in the Houston Medical Center.
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.
The class schedule is available in advance of registration each semester on the website at http://panthertracks.pvamu.edu/. A student should consult with their advisor regarding the registration schedule, procedures for registration, and other pertinent registration information. The schedule is available several weeks in advance of registration.
All graduate students enrolled in semester-based programs must register for at least one course and pay associated tuition and fees each semester, not including summer, until the degree is awarded. Certificate, masters, and pre-candidacy doctoral students who will be away from the University for one or two semesters may request a waiver of this continuous enrollment requirement and its associated tuition and fees for the relevant term(s). A leave of absence is granted at the discretion of the Academic Dean (see Leave of Absence policy). A graduate student should refer to program handbooks for any additional program-specific requirements.
International graduate students must register for at least nine (9) credit hours each semester to be considered full-time. An international student cannot drop below the minimum number of hours without prior approval from the Office of International Programs. A student who drops below a full course load without prior approval may be considered to be out of status. An international graduate student who needs less than full-time hours to complete the requirements for the degree may apply for a reduced course load with approval from the academic department and the Office of International Programs.
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.
Registration in Absentia
Registration in absentia is for students pursuing doctoral or master's degrees in academic disciplines. A student is required to be enrolled in the semester he/she intends to graduate. Registration in absentia is permitted only for a graduate student who has met all degree requirements, including successful defense of a thesis or dissertation, but did not graduate in the semester of completion. The following semester, a student must register in absentia as well or reapply for graduation.
To qualify for registration in absentia, a student must have minimal need for access or use of university facilities or resources during the registration in absentia period. Instead, if a student who is not registered in absentia and intends to use university resources, including interaction with their project, thesis or dissertation committee members, he or she must register for a minimum of one credit hour of a research, thesis, or dissertation course.
The Registration in Absentia Form must be approved by the Academic Advisor, Department Head, and Academic Dean before final approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies. The form must be approved at all levels before the registration in absentia fee is paid. The fee for in absentia registration is $15 for Texas residents and $17.50 for non-residents. The completed application must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the census date (12th class day) of the applicable semester. If the deadline is not met, a student must apply for a subsequent semester.
Leave of Absence
Graduate students are expected to remain continuously enrolled in the fall and spring semesters while pursuing a graduate degree. In certain circumstances, a student may find the need to take a formal leave of absence from a program. A student in good academic standing, who does not expect to be enrolled in a given semester, may request a leave of absence for up to one year, but still must meet the time limit on work for the master’s and doctorate degrees. The Graduate Student Request for Leave of Absence form must be submitted to the department. A leave of absence is granted at the discretion of the Academic Dean and Dean of Graduate Studies. A graduate student should refer to program handbooks for additional program-specific requirements.
Time Limit on Work for Master’s Degree and Re-validation of Courses
A student must complete requirements for the master’s degree within six consecutive years after the first date of enrollment in Graduate Studies. A student must complete requirements for the doctorate degree within nine 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.
Comprehensive or qualifying examinations are designed to test a student’s knowledge, his or her ability to integrate and synthesize the wealth of information in the field, and his/her preparation for engaging in the kind of independent scholarship required to complete a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation.
Master’s Programs. Not all master’s programs require a comprehensive or qualifying examination. A student should consult with his or her graduate program coordinator regarding department-specific procedures for comprehensive or qualifying examinations or other work required toward the completion of the degree.
Doctoral Programs. Before a doctoral student is admitted to candidacy, he/she must successfully complete doctoral examinations. A student should consult with his or her graduate program coordinator regarding department-specific procedures for comprehensive or qualifying examinations. 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.
Application for Comprehensive Examination
Procedures for the comprehensive or qualifying examination are governed by the department. A student must contact his/her department for the Application for Comprehensive Examination (if applicable) and relevant deadlines.
Availability of Examinations
Examinations are available during a time period specified by the program. Students must meet the application deadline in order to sit for a comprehensive or qualifying examination.
Scoring of the Comprehensive Examination
Comprehensive examinations are reviewed by a panel of graduate faculty in the respective disciplines.
Appealing a Failing Score
Each graduate program has specific guidelines for appealing a failed examination. A student should reference the program handbook in their academic department for guidance.
Graduate Thesis, Dissertation, and Doctoral Project 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 Doctoral Project
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 four 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.
Beginning Spring 2019, the Office of Graduate Studies will be purchasing the required bound copies of the thesis/dissertation/doctoral project for all graduating master's and doctoral students. Graduate Studies will have three copies bound for each student: one for the Office of Graduate Studies, one for archival in the John B. Coleman Library, and one for the student. A student should consult directly with his/her department regarding any additional copies required by the academic college.
An oral examination is required of thesis, dissertation, or doctoral project 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, or doctoral project Committee and may include other interested departmental faculty. The Office of Graduate Studies' assigned staff member may attend or monitor an oral examination. The examination can be repeated only once.
Academic Progress Standards
In order to show satisfactory progress toward an advanced degree, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0. A course in which a grade below “C” was earned cannot be counted toward graduation requirements. A student who, in any two consecutive semesters including the summer term, has a cumulative grade point average below 3.0 may be subject to academic dismissal. The university policy on Probation, Dismissal, and Academic Appeals provides further guidance on satisfactory academic progress and the process to appeal an academic dismissal.
Individual graduate programs may have more strict academic standards, which include a maximum number of grades below a B before dismissal from the program.
Doctoral Program Standards
Doctoral 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 doctorate, only grades of “B” or better indicate satisfactory completion of courses required for the doctorate. A doctoral student’s progress is monitored at the program level and a student should consult with his/her Graduate Program Coordinator or Department Head regarding specific program level academic standing requirements.
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 Office of Graduate Studies. The change must be completed during the regular registration period for a particular semester or term. 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.
Courses, Credits, and Grades
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). Beginning in Fall 2021, the second 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.
The following limitations on course loads are in effect:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A graduate student may not enroll in more than three semester credit hours during a three-week summer session.
- 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.
Students may acquire their mid-term and final grades via the web through PantherTracks. 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.
The standard university grading scale is indicated below. The score range applies to all programs except the College of Nursing.
|Grade||Meaning||Score Range||Grade Values|
|NR||Grade Not Reported||0|
|W||Withdrawal from course||0|
|WV||Withdrawal from the University Voluntarily||0|
A graduate student may not receive grades other than satisfactory/unsatisfactory (“S”/“U”) for dissertation courses. “S”/“U” grades will not factor into GPA computation.
In Progress Grade
An “IP”, in progress, is assigned to thesis, dissertation, internship, project, and practicum courses provided the student remains enrolled and makes satisfactory progress as certified by the committee chair, dean, and coordinator of the 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.
Incomplete “I” Grade
An “I,” incomplete, may be granted only when an authorized absence or other cause beyond the student’s control has prevented the student from completing a major course requirement, usually a final examination or major paper due near the end of a course. The student must have a passing average in all work completed at the time the incomplete is given. Incomplete work must be completed and a grade recorded within one calendar year from the close of the term in which the grade was earned. If the incomplete is not removed within the time allotted, the “I” will be changed to “F” by the registrar.
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 and Doctoral Level
|College of Agriculture and Human Sciences||MS Human Sciences|
|School of Architecture||MARCH Architecture|
|MCD Community Development|
|Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences||MS Chemistry|
|MS Clinical Adolescent Psychology|
|PHD Clinical Adolescent Psychology|
|MSW Social Work|
|College of Business||MS Accounting|
|MBA General Business Administration|
|DBA Business Administration|
|Whitlowe R. Green College of Education||MA Counseling|
|MAED Curriculum and Instruction|
|MSED Curriculum and Instruction|
|MED Curriculum and Instruction|
|MED Special Education|
|MSED Special Education|
|MED Curriculum and Instruction - Reading Education|
|MSED Curriculum and Instruction - Reading Education|
|MED Educational Administration|
|MSED Educational Administration|
|MED Physical Education|
|MS Physical Education|
|PHD Educational Leadership|
|Roy G. Perry College of Engineering||MS Computer Science|
|MS Computer Information Systems|
|MSEE Electrical Engineering|
|PHD Electrical Engineering|
|College of Juvenile Justice||MSJFP Juvenile Forensic Psychology|
|MSJJ Juvenile Justice|
|PHD Juvenile Justice|
|College of Nursing||MSN Nurse Administration|
|MSN Nurse Education|
|MSN Nurse Practitioner|
|DNP Nursing Practice|
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 in the Academic Calendar. Upon completion of all requirements for the master’s degree, candidates are certified for graduation by the Dean of 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 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.
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. Within a semester, the student must raise his/her GPA to 3.0 or above or they may be dismissed from Graduate Studies. Review of a graduate student’s academic performance and progress may result in a recommendation for dismissal from the program. A student who is dismissed has the right to appeal the decision first to the departmental committee, followed by the Dean of the College and the Dean of the Graduate Studies. The decision first rests with the departmental committee. If the pertinent department/school, the College Dean, and the Dean of Graduate Studies agree to reinstate the student, the decision will be communicated to the student. The decision regarding summer and fall dismissals will be made in the spring semester and dismissals in the fall semester will be decided in the spring semester.
A graduate student who is readmitted will return on academic probation until the cumulative GPA of 3.0 is met. A student who earns a 3.0 term GPA while on probation may register for subsequent semesters without an appeal. A student who earns a term GPA of less than 3.0 while on probation will be dismissed from the program. Individual graduate programs may also impose additional cumulative GPA and/or grade restrictions for their students.
Academic Appeal Process
The 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 appeal for readmission. Students should carefully review the instructions for submitting the appeal and adhere to the prescribed format. Appeal documents may be found on the Office of Graduate Studies website. All appeals should be signed and submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies. 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 from the Office of the Registrar will generally be transmitted to the respective graduate students via email by the 5th working day after grades have posted for the semester or session. Students are encouraged to check their grades soon after the end of a given semester to determine if an appeal is necessary.
The deadlines for submitting the appeal for readmission 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 on the Office of Graduate Studies website. A student will be notified by the Office of Graduate Studies within two weeks of submission of the appeal documents as to whether the appeal has been denied or approved.
Academic appeals are only considered for dismissals that occur at the end of a fall or spring semester. For a student dismissed after a summer term, the academic appeal will not be considered until the following spring.
Deadline for submitting Academic Appeal to Graduate Studies*
Fall (dismissal at end of spring term) - August 1
Spring (dismissal at end of summer or fall term) - January 2
* If date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be the following business day.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- Must be enrolled as a full-time graduate student at Prairie View A&M University.
- Must have a minimum of eighteen (18) graduate credits in the teaching field.
- Must be in good academic standing.
Graduate Non-Teaching Assistant Appointment Criteria
- Must be enrolled as a full-time graduate student at Prairie View A&M University.
- Must be in good academic standing.
Doctoral Teaching Assistant Appointment Criteria
- Must be enrolled as a full-time doctoral student at Prairie View A&M University.
- Must have a master’s degree and a minimum of eighteen (18) graduate credits in the teaching field.
- Must be in good academic standing.
Doctoral Research Assistant Appointment Criteria
- Must be enrolled as full-time doctoral student at Prairie View A&M University.
- Must be in good academic standing.