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2017-2018 Graduate Bulletin

College of Arts and Sciences

Dean: Sam Huckaba; Associate Deans: Robert Contreras, Laurel Fulkerson, Lois Hawkes

The oldest college at the University, the College of Arts and Sciences has provided generations of undergraduate students instruction in the liberal arts disciplines that are essential for intellectual development and personal growth. Graduate degree programs in the College of Arts and Sciences grew organically from these strong undergraduate roots, and the contributions of the college to graduate education have been integral to the evolution of the University. The first recorded master’s degree at the Florida State College for Women was awarded by the College of Arts and Sciences in 1908, and the first doctorate at Florida State University was awarded in chemistry in 1952.

The College of Arts and Sciences comprises over thirty departments, institutes, centers and interdisciplinary programs. In addition to awarding bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees and heavily supporting the Liberal Studies for the 21st Century Program, the College of Arts and Sciences offers an extensive array of foundation courses for pre-professional and professional programs.

Faculty within the college have earned national and international recognition for research, teaching, and distinguished service to the profession. Among the faculty are members of the National Academy of Sciences, Nobel Laureates, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and recipients of numerous other national and international honors.

Graduate students within Arts and Sciences have received marks of distinction that include local, national, and international scholarship/fellowship awards.


Departments in the College of Arts and Sciences work with various programs, schools, and colleges to offer cooperative and interdisciplinary degree programs at the graduate level. Well-funded research opportunities for graduate students are extensive among the science departments.

Scholarships, Awards, and Assistantships

Annually, many students are supported by graduate teaching or research assistantships which are available across the college. In addition to being eligible for the assistantships, students in the College of Arts and Sciences may apply for various types of graduate fellowships. Fellowship opportunities are available through The Graduate School. The application deadline for most fellowships is January 15th for awards beginning the following academic year.


The College of Arts and Sciences offers the master of arts (MA), the master of fine arts (MFA), the master of science (MS), and the doctor of philosophy (PhD). In addition to reviewing the requirements highlighted below, students should consult all University-wide degree requirements and academic procedures for the master’s and doctoral degrees as summarized in the “Graduate Degree Requirements” chapter of this Graduate Bulletin.

Admissions Criteria

Students who wish to pursue graduate study in the College of Arts and Sciences must apply through the Office of Admissions and must be accepted for graduate study by the intended department or program. The applicant must have an earned bachelor’s degree with a minimum upper division 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) or have earned a graduate degree. All applicants must submit test scores from a nationally standardized graduate admissions test that is acceptable to the program to which they are applying. Prospective graduate students who are foreign nationals must also earn a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based or 80 on the Internet-based TOEFL examination, 6.5 on the IELTS examination, or 77 on the MELAB examination. Individual departments and programs may set higher standards for admission. For more detailed information about specific graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, students should consult departmental or program entries of this Graduate Bulletin.

Limitations on Supervised Teaching and Research Coursework

Students may be granted credit for supervised research and supervised teaching at the option of their department. A student may register for such activity more than one term, using the same numbers. No more than three semester hours of supervised research credit and three semester hours of supervised teaching credit may be counted toward the master’s degree. The normal limit for candidates for doctoral degrees is five semester hours in each category.

Master’s Degree Requirements

Master’s degree students must complete their program of study within seven calendar years from the time of initial registration; master’s students do not, however, have to meet a specific residency requirement. A thesis-type master’s program requires a minimum of thirty semester hours, six of which must be thesis credits. A course-type master’s program requires a minimum of thirty-two semester hours. A student who enrolls in thesis hours need not be enrolled continuously thereafter in thesis hours if they meet the minimum University requirement for full-time or part-time enrollment through other coursework. The minimum number of thesis hours required for the master’s degree is six. Students who have left the campus must register for at least two semester hours of thesis credit per term as long as they are receiving faculty supervision. Master’s students should consult regularly with their supervising professor about progress toward the degree.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Doctoral students must complete their degree requirements within five calendar years from the time the preliminary examination is passed. No student may register for dissertation hours prior to the point of the term in which the preliminary exam was passed. Dissertation hours may be added retroactively during the term in which the preliminary exam is passed, provided that an Admission to Candidacy Form has been filed with the Registrar during the same semester. Retroactive changes are only permitted if the preliminary exam is passed by the mid-point of the semester. See the “Academic Calendar” in the Registration Guide for semester-specific deadlines. A minimum of twenty-four dissertation hours is required for completion of the doctoral degree. Students admitted to candidacy must register for a minimum of two dissertation hours each term in which any work is being done on the dissertation, even after the minimum of twenty-four dissertation hours has been met. Students who are off campus must also register for at least two semester hours of dissertation each term in which they receive faculty supervision or make use of university resources.

To meet the Scholarly Engagement requirement, doctoral students should interact with faculty and peers in ways that may include enrolling in courses, attending seminars, symposia, and conferences; engaging in collaborative study and research beyond the university campus; and utilizing the library, laboratories, and other facilities provided by the University. The goal is to prepare students to be scholars who can independently acquire, evaluate, and extend knowledge, as well as develop themselves as effective communicators and disseminators of knowledge. The purpose of the Scholarly Engagement requirement is to ensure that doctoral students are active participants in the scholarly community. Each academic unit with a doctoral program should include a program-specific statement in its Graduate Handbook describing how its students can meet the Scholarly Engagement requirement.

Effective with all committees appointed after August 24, 2009, the PhD supervisory committee must meet the new minimum university standard of four members with Graduate Faculty Status (GFS). Included among these four members will be the University Representative who must hold not only GFS, but also be a tenured faculty member. Annually, this committee will assess in writing the progress of the student, making copies of its report available to the Dean of the Graduate School, the department chair, and the student’s academic dean (Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences). Within a week of the dissertation defense, the University representative must file with the Dean of the Graduate School and the student’s academic dean (Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences) a report on the dissertation and adherence to University procedures governing the defense.

Final Term Registration

Students must register for at least two semester hours of thesis or dissertation credit in the final term in which a degree is granted. Non-thesis type master’s program students who have not previously registered for the comprehensive examination must do so in the final term.

Clearance for Degrees

During the first three weeks of the semester in which the candidate intends to graduate, the student must formally apply for graduation through the Office of the University Registrar’s Web site. Those writing theses or dissertations must submit additional paperwork to the Graduate School. The completed thesis or dissertation manuscript must be submitted to the Graduate School by the official University deadline in order for the student to graduate that term.