3000 College of Arts and Sciences

Graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences are described in detail in this chapter. See subsections for specific program information as well as policies and procedures.

3010 General Information

The College of Arts and Sciences consists of 23 departments and institutes within the areas of the humanities, the natural and computational sciences, and the social and behavioral sciences. The college has approximately 11,000 undergraduate and 2,00 graduate students.

Graduate programs offered by the College of Arts and Sciences prepare students for professional careers and provide them with the foundation for meeting the challenges of career development. For these purposes, the College of Arts and Sciences offers the Master of Arts, the Master of Science, the Master of Fine Arts, the Master of Heritage Preservation, and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Within the framework of the various degree offerings, specific programs have been designed for students who wish to pursue a career in teaching.

3020 Office of the Dean

25th Floor, 25 Park Place Building

Sara Rosen, Dean
John Augusto, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives
Amber Amari, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies
Chad Dillard, Assistant Vice President for Development
Dan Deocampo, Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement
Eric Friginal, Director of International Programs
Kathryn McClymond, Associate Dean for Faculty Development
John Medlock, Assistant Dean for Academic Success
Fred Mote, Assistant Dean for Administration and Finance
Binghe Wang, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
Shelly-Ann Williams, Director, Undergraduate Academic Assistance

3020.10 Office of Graduate Services

3rd floor, 25 Park Place Bldg.
Fax: 404-413-5036

3030 Academic Programs

The College of Arts and Sciences offers the following graduate degrees:

  • Master of Arts in African-American Studies; Anthropology; Applied Linguistics; Communication; English; French; Gerontology; History; Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology; Religious Studies; Sociology; Spanish; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
  • Master of Heritage Preservation
  • Master of Science in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geosciences, Mathematics, Neuroscience, and Physics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics, Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, English, History, Mathematics and Statistics, Neuroscience, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology

Specialist in Education Degree

A Specialist in Education degree with a major in Teaching and Learning and a concentration in foreign language education is offered by the College of Education and Human Development in conjunction with the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences. Descriptions of admission and program requirements are outlined in the College of Education and Human Development section of this catalog.

Dual Degrees

The College of Arts and Sciences offers dual degree programs within departments and the college and with other colleges within the university. These programs enable approved students from one degree program to fulfill requirements of another. For more details on dual degrees, please visit cas.gsu.edu/dual-degrees/ and program information in this catalog.

Certificate Programs

The College of Arts and Sciences offers a number of professional certificates in addition to traditional graduate degrees. Each certificate is outlined in the department section of this catalog and on the individual department websites. The college offers graduate certificates offered in the following areas:

  • Advanced Language and Literacy Science (Communication)
  • African-American Studies
  • Geographic Information Sciences (Geosciences)
  • Gerontology
  • Historic Preservation (History)
  • Interpretation (World Languages and Cultures)
  • Latin American Studies (World Languages and Cultures)
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Applied Linguistics and ESL)
  • Translation (World Languages and Cultures)
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Applicants not currently in a degree program in the College of Arts and Sciences must apply according to the general application instructions. Currently active degree-seeking students who wish to add to their academic curriculum one of the certificate programs must apply for the certificate but are exempt from the standard admissions fee. Such qualified students should submit an application to the Office of Graduate Services.

3040 Admission Policies

A person seeking to pursue any of the programs of graduate study described in this section of this catalog must be admitted to Georgia State University through the College of Arts and Sciences. The requirements for admission stated in the following sections are those established by the University and the College. Additional requirements, if any, established by the separate departments/schools can be found in the descriptions of their programs and on their respective websites.

There are four categories of admission to graduate study in the College of Arts and Sciences: Full Status, Special Status, Non-Degree Status, and Transient Status. A student must achieve Full Status in order to be eligible for a graduate degree. The category of Special Status is designed to accommodate, when practical, applicants with promise who may have certain limited deficiencies in admission requirements. Non-Degree Status is provided for non-degree seeking students who wish to take a limited number of graduate courses. Transient Status is available for graduate students in good standing attending another institution.

The Office of Graduate Services reserves the right to require prerequisites as conditions of admission. Visit the admissions section of the Graduate Services website for detailed information and application at  cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/.

Application Completion Deadlines

The Office of Graduate Services lists on its website the dates by which an application to degree programs must be completed. These are the dates that all materials required for admission must be collected in the Office of Graduate Services. Departments have different application completion deadlines, especially for applicants wishing to receive financial assistance. Applicants should check the Office of Graduate Services website at cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/application-deadlines/and with the department to which they plan to apply for specific application instructions and deadlines.

International applicants must have all application materials in the Office of Graduate Services, College of Arts and Sciences, as early as possible in order to allow sufficient time for the application materials to be reviewed by the department and, if appropriate, for the preparation of necessary visa documents.

Application and Admission

The selection of applicants for admission to graduate study is competitive. Given limited university resources, even applicants with strong credentials may not gain admission to a specific graduate program. Admission is based upon a variety of factors among which is the quality of the applicant’s undergraduate record, achievement on required admissions tests, the degree of preparation for the specific academic program to be pursued, and available space in the program. In addition to these general criteria, individual departments may consider additional factors in making admission decisions. Applicants should be aware that exceptional performance in an undergraduate or a graduate program in one discipline does not guarantee acceptance into another graduate program. Following initial recommendation by the department, the associate dean for Graduate Studies of the college shall make the final decision concerning the acceptance or rejection of an applicant.

A prospective student seeking admission must be a graduate of an accredited college with a four-year baccalaureate degree or the equivalent that reflects superior quality work at the undergraduate level. Each applicant must complete and submit the application for admission to graduate study, any required application materials and the application fee.  The College of Arts and Sciences requires all prospective students to submit applications and supporting documents electronically. The online graduate application can be found at: cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/.

Application materials required for admission to graduate study include the following:

  1. A copy of a transcript from each and every college or university, domestic or overseas, from which applicants received a degree, or where they were enrolled in a degree program for more than a single semester, will need to be uploaded by the applicant to the application. In addition, applicants should send transcripts from all institutions where they were enrolled in coursework relevant to the degree program for which they are applying. This may include courses taken in non-degree status, in transient status, or in post-baccalaureate status and is regardless of whether or not the courses led to a degree. Separate transcripts are not required for AP credit given for high school courses. As well, separate transcripts are not required for enrichment activities (e.g., summer abroad, summer internship, etc.) that did not involve enrollment in a degree program unless the work is relevant to the program for which they are applying. If offered admission, students are required to send one official transcript from each institution directly to the Office of Graduate Services. Transcripts should be received no later than the first day of the semester of entry. Admission will be conditioned upon submission of official transcripts that confirm the information provided on unofficial transcripts during the application process.
  2. For many programs, official records of scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or similar national examination (see specific departmental requirements) must be directed specifically to Georgia State University from the relevant testing agency. Some departments also require an acceptable score on the Subject Test of the Graduate Record Examination. Several programs accept the Miller Analogies Test. Review the detailed admission process at cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/ for complete instructions. Please see specific program sections to determine if submission of national test scores is required.
  3. Any supplemental materials required by the major department beyond transcripts and test scores must be submitted via the online graduate application.  These materials may include but are not limited to a statement of purpose, writing sample, cv/resume, letters of recommendation and creative portfolios.  Required supplemental materials vary greatly by program.  Applicants should visit cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/program-specific-application-information/ for a full list of the materials required and application instructions specific to their department/program of interest.

Admission to the College of Arts and Sciences can only be granted by an Associate Dean of the College. Correspondence from individual departments, professors, or outside agents does not constitute official admission.

Special Status Admission

The use of Special Status admission is solely the prerogative of the department to which application has been made. Special Status admission may be given to applicants who show promise but are not able to fulfill all the requirements for admission to Full Status at the time they apply. Students admitted under the Special Status category are informed of expectations or conditions in the letter of admission. Students admitted to Special Status may be dismissed from their programs if their departments feel that they are not making satisfactory progress toward promotion to Full Status.

A student must be in Full Status in order to earn a degree. At least 20 semester hours of graduate coursework must be completed after the student is admitted to full status to qualify for graduation.

Non-Degree Admission

Non-Degree Status is provided for students who wish to take a limited number of graduate courses (typically not more than two) that relate to their academic or professional backgrounds but do not lead to an advanced degree. A student seeking admission to Non-Degree Status should complete the online application form at cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/non-degree/ and submit the $50 application fee, transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, and a list of courses he or she wishes to take.

A student is admitted to this status at the option of the department and when adequate resources are available. Applicants for the Non-Degree Status should consult the departmental director of graduate studies to learn about any additional requirements or policies that pertain to non-degree admission.

Admission to Non-Degree Status does not warrant or secure admission to any degree program. Some departments do not accept non-degree students. Please contact the departmental director of graduate studies for further information.

Transient Admission

An applicant seeking admission as a transient student must be a graduate student in good standing at another institution. Admission requirements include completed application forms, application fee, a list of courses the applicant wishes to take, and a letter of good standing from either the graduate dean or the registrar of the student’s institution.

Admission to transient status is for one semester only on a space-available basis. A student who is not in good standing or who is ineligible to return to his or her institution will not be admitted. No guarantee is made that a transient student will be able to secure the courses desired. The reporting of grades earned to the student’s institution is the responsibility of the student.

The College of Arts and Sciences does not allow transient students to reenter. A complete application form, fee, list of courses, and letter of good standing must be sent to the Office of Graduate Services for every semester the transient student wishes to attend Georgia State University.

Deadlines for transient applications are as follows: Summer – May 15; Fall – June 15; Spring – December 1.

Changing Semester of Entry

Admission to a graduate program is valid only for the semester, degree, and major specified in the letter of acceptance. An applicant who is admitted and does not intend to enroll should notify the Office of Graduate Services in writing of this decision as soon as possible. If an accepted applicant wishes to defer entry within one year, the admitting department/school reserves the right to review the application materials again and decide if postponement is appropriate. Applicants wanting to change their date of matriculation must notify the department with this request.

Re-entry Students

Students of Georgia State University who are on inactive status, or who have received registration holds due to violation of the continuous enrollment policy, must file a re-entry application and $25 fee in the Office of Graduate Services by the appropriate deadline for the semester they wish to re-enter. The complete re-entry application can be downloaded at cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/reentry/. Students who have attended other colleges and/or universities since last registering at Georgia State must have official transcripts of all coursework sent to the Office of Graduate Services, prior to the re-entry deadline for the appropriate semester. Degree programs must approve all re-entry applications and may deny re-entry for a variety of reasons such as a student’s previous academic performance, a student’s progress in the program, the length of time not enrolled, and availability of space in the program. Re-entry applications from students whose cumulative grade-point average is below 3.0 require a plan from the program’s graduate director describing how the grade-point average can be improved to 3.0 or better within 18 hours of graded coursework over the next three consecutive terms.

Reentering students are subject to the regulations of the Graduate Bulletin and the degree program current at the time of re-entry.

Deadlines for re-entry applications are as follows: Summer – April 1; Fall – June 1; Spring – November 1.

3050 International Students

Georgia State University encourages the enrollment of students from other countries. Applicants needing a student visa are required to provide proof of financial support for at least the first year of their degree program. International students with a student visa are required to carry a full course of study during every semester except the summer semester. Applicants requesting a student visa may not be considered for Non-Degree Status.

In addition to meeting the regular admission requirements, prospective international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by taking either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants with a score under 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, 80 on the internet-based TOEFL, or 6.5 on the IELTS cannot be considered for Full Graduate Status; they may, however, be considered for Special Status admission.

Additional testing of skills in English will be required of all newly-admitted international students who come from non-English speaking countries. Prior to registration for the first semester, international students are required to attend a special orientation, held by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, where they must take the Georgia State Test of English Proficiency (GSTEP) offered by the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language. Students who miss the orientation should arrange with the department to take the GSTEP before classes begin or as soon as possible thereafter. Students with acceptable scores on the examination may proceed with their regular academic coursework. GSTEP will not be required if the student obtains a minimum score of 100 on the internet-based TOEFL.  Students whose scores indicate a lack of English proficiency will be required to take ESL course or courses as a regular part of their graduate coursework. Any ESL courses required under this provision will be considered part of the student’s normal course load but will not count toward the total hours of coursework a student must take in order to obtain a degree.

GSTEP scores for each student will be sent by the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language to the Office of Graduate Services along with a recommendation regarding the additional language course(s) that the student should take. The Office of Graduate Services will then send the information to the appropriate departmental director of graduate studies, who will ensure that the student takes the recommended ESL course(s). Graduate Services will monitor the implementation of this procedure.

Academic credentials must be original documents with authorized signatures, seals, stamps, etc. Whenever possible, these should be sent by the institution responsible for issuing such documents. In cases where it is impossible for an applicant to have these credentials sent from such institutions, the applicant should forward a duly “notarized” or “attested to” copy. The notarization should be done by the proper institutional official or by the Ministry of Education in the home country. Documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by translations. Translations should be made by the home country embassy or an appropriate official, and the original copies of the translations, acceptably notarized as described above, must be provided. As a general rule, documents translated by the Office of the American Friends of the Middle East (AFME), the Institute of International Education (IIE), the student’s home embassy, the American embassy, or the language faculty of a regionally accredited U.S. college or university will be acceptable. Students who already attend school in the U.S. can arrange to have their institutions certify photocopies of original documents, and students in the Atlanta area can arrange for the Office of Graduate Services to certify photocopies of required foreign academic credentials.

3060 Graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships

Each academic department in the College of Arts and Sciences offers opportunities for qualified students who have been accepted into one of the graduate degree programs to work as laboratory, research, or teaching assistants. Graduate assistants work as tutors, aid faculty members in research projects, supervise laboratories, and teach undergraduate courses. Assistantships normally are awarded only to students enrolled full time in their degree programs. For the expected level of enrollment, see “Courses and Course Load” in section 3100 below. Students interested in graduate assistantships should contact the directors of graduate studies in their departments for specific information.

Students receiving assistantships as well as financial aid should be aware that receiving an assistantship can reduce the amount of financial aid awarded.

Graduate Assistantship Deadlines

Most departments/schools have early deadlines for graduate teaching or research assistantships. If you would like to be considered for an assistantship, please consult the appropriate departmental section of this catalog or departmental websites to obtain the deadline for the program to which you plan to apply.

Graduate Study Funding

In addition to graduate assistantships, the college and university offer a variety of fellowships, scholarships, and other sources of financial support for graduate education. Information about many of these offerings is available at cas.gsu.edu/funding-education.

3070 Calculation of Grade-Point Average

In departments where a new application is required from the master’s to the doctoral program, master’s and doctoral cumulative GPAs will be calculated separately. In departments where only one application is required for entry into a continuous graduate program, the cumulative GPA will remain combined. All credits earned while a student is in non-degree status that are approved for, and used to fulfill requirements to the master’s degree will be calculated into the cumulative master’s GPA. In order to qualify for graduation with a degree from the College of Arts and Sciences, a student must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

3080 Scholastic Warning and Scholastic Termination

Scholastic Warning

Graduate students are personally responsible for knowing and maintaining department and College academic standards. A graduate student whose cumulative grade-point average falls below 3.0 at the end of a semester or who fails to maintain the level of academic performance required by the major department will be sent a letter of scholastic warning from the associate dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Some departments have additional requirements for academic performance and progress. In these instances, the departmental graduate director will attempt to warn the student. However, the receipt or non-receipt of academic warning does not exempt the student from stated requirements. Students in Warning Status must achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average within 18 hours of graded coursework over the next three consecutive terms.

Scholastic Termination

A graduate student is subject to scholastic termination from the degree program for the following reasons:

  1. Failure to achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average by the end of the next 18 semester hours of enrollment or next three consecutive terms in letter-graded courses after the GPA has fallen below a 3.0;
  2. Failure to maintain the level of academic performance and progress required by the major department;
  3. A second failure on the General Examination in the M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. degree programs.

The student who may be subject to scholastic termination will be notified of termination by the associate dean for Graduate Studies the College of Arts and Sciences.

3090 World Language or Equivalent Research Skill Requirement

Some departments in the College of Arts and Sciences require students to demonstrate proficiency in either one or two world languages, in an alternative research skill, or in a combination of the two. An alternative research skill is a proficiency obtained in an adjunct area that is ordinarily not a degree requirement in the student’s degree program. Students should consult their individual directors of graduate studies for specific departmental requirements.

An international student whose native language is not English and who demonstrates proficiency in English to the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language may be exempted from one world language requirement. Exceptions to this policy may be allowed only with departmental approval and by means of approved substitutions of equivalent research skills. The English for Foreign Language Requirement Exam (EFLRE) requires students to perform satisfactorily on the GSTEP, including the oral interview.

International students who will be using English to satisfy the world language requirement will take the EFLRE, and the result will be sent to the student’s academic department. Because GSTEP results are considered by the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language to be current for two years, students who wish to satisfy the foreign language requirement within the first two years of their arrival at Georgia State may use the GSTEP results already on file in the Department of AL/ESL if those results are satisfactory. If students were not required to take the oral interview section of the GSTEP when they arrived, they will need to contact the Department of AL/ESL to take it to fulfill the EFLRE requirement. Students who wait longer than the two year period will be required to take the complete EFLRE, which means retaking all sections of the GSTEP.

Courses taken to satisfy the world language requirement will not count toward the total hours of coursework a student must take in order to obtain a degree.

3100 Requirements and Time Limits

Program requirements are established based on the Graduate Catalog active at the time of the student’s initial acceptance and matriculation (first registration). All credits presented for the master’s degree must have been earned within seven calendar years of the date of the degree. All credits presented for the doctoral degree must have been earned within ten years of the date of the degree.

Continuous Enrollment

Students in all graduate programs must maintain enrollment totaling 6 hrs (or more) over all consecutive three semester periods (including summers). In other words, the total enrollment of the current term plus the two terms preceding it must add to 6 hrs or more at all times. The status of all students will be checked by the midpoint of each term for compliance with the continuous enrollment requirement. Any student whose enrollment is out of compliance will receive a registration hold preventing all current and future registration. Those students will be notified by an e-mail message sent to their official GSU e-mail account.

To resume their programs, students with continuous enrollment holds must file for reentry by the published deadline and must enroll at a level sufficient to satisfy the continuous enrollment criterion. That is, their enrollment in the reentry term plus the two terms preceding it must total to 6 hrs or more. The maximum required enrollment level for the reentry term is 6 hours. For more information on the reentry process, see section 3400.

Limits to Financial Aid

For purposes of financial aid and compliance with Federal regulations, graduates students may receive aid for a maximum of 90 hours unless they are receiving a graduate assistantship. Ph.D. students are exempted from the Satisfactory Academic Progress process. Students receiving financial aid and receiving graduate assistantships may be subject to reduced financial aid awards.

Students’ Responsibility

Graduate students must assume full responsibility for knowledge of the rules and regulations of the college, the university, and those departmental requirements concerning their individual curricula. Enrollment in a graduate program in the College of Arts and Sciences constitutes students’ acknowledgement that they are obligated to comply with all academic and administrative regulations and degree requirements.

Academic Advisement

It is the responsibility of the student to know and to satisfy any and all conditions that pertain to admission and to the satisfactory completion of degree requirements. Students may obtain advisement from the appropriate graduate faculty adviser or from the director of graduate studies of their departments. A complete listing of department directors and advisors is available at cas.gsu.edu/role/graduate-directors/ . Advisors are also available in Graduate Services in order to assist with admissions and other administrative actions related to admission and graduation. A list of office contacts is available at cas.gsu.edu/department/graduate-services/.

Courses and Course Load

Courses numbered 6000 and above are normally open only to graduate students (see exceptions below). Each graduate course will carry three semester hours of academic credit unless otherwise indicated. Twenty-five semester hours is the maximum student load per semester; eighteen semester hours is considered to be the normal load for graduate students with graduate assistantships in the College of Arts and Sciences, while nine semester hours is the load for defining a full-residence semester for most financial aid and loans. Students who wish to register for more than twenty-five hours of course work must obtain the approval of the department director of graduate studies.

Policy on Allowing Undergraduates to Take Graduate Courses

Under one of the following conditions, an undergraduate student may be permitted to take a graduate course:

  1. Dual Degree Enrollment: The student has been formally accepted into an official university dual degree program that links an undergraduate degree program with a graduate degree program. Students in dual degree programs are granted permission to enroll in specified graduate courses when they reach a designated program milestone. Students who are accepted into the affiliated graduate program upon completion of the undergraduate degree may count specified course work toward fulfillment of the graduate degree requirements. A current listing of official undergraduate/graduate dual degree programs is available at cas.gsu.edu/dual-degrees/.
  2. College Approval of Enrollment: The dean’s office of the college will determine a student’s eligibility for admission into a graduate course. To be eligible, an undergraduate student generally must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or higher and be within 18 semester hours of graduation, and be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. Eligibility does not guarantee permission to take a course. Once a student’s eligibility is determined, permission must be granted by the instructor for the course, the department’s/school’s director of graduate studies, the chair/director of the department/school offering the course, and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. The request form is located at cas.gsu.edu/dual-degrees/. Please note, graduate courses taken by an undergraduate student cannot be applied toward fulfillment of graduate degree requirements unless the student has been formally accepted into an official university dual degree program.

(This approval process does not apply to postbaccalaureate students. Postbaccalaureate students wishing to take graduate courses must be admitted as non-degree seeking students. See cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/non-degree/ or additional information.)

Transfer Credit

A maximum of six semester hours of approved graduate credit from other institutions may be accepted toward a master’s degree program, a maximum of 30 semester hours may be accepted toward a doctoral degree and a maximum of three semester hours of approved graduate credit from other institutions may be accepted toward a graduate certificate program.  Transfer credit must be approved no later than the end of the second semester in Full Status. Transferred credits will be included in the time limitations placed on credits applicable to graduate degrees. For the policy concerning application of work taken at other institutions in the doctoral program, see the departmental requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Please note that the acceptance of transfer credit is not automatic; it must be approved and documented by the departmental director of graduate studies and the appropriate associate dean.

Curriculum Adjustment

Course 6999 in any department that offers graduate work is designed only to assist the graduate student with a particular curriculum problem. Credit of one to a maximum of four semester hours may be earned. To be eligible, a student must have Full Status and must have the approvals of the instructor, the chair of the department, and the appropriate associate dean of the college. Application forms for Course 6999 may be obtained from either the academic department or the Dean’s Office and must be submitted for approval prior to the close of registration for the semester in which the credit is to be earned. Registration for Course 6999 will be permitted only when an alternative course is not available.

Research Requirements

Most departments that offer graduate degrees also offer Course 8999, Research, for which credit from one to a maximum of 15 hours per semester may be earned. In some departments, 8999 may be taken to a maximum of 25 hours per semester. These courses generally are acceptable to reach minimal continuous enrollment standards.

Responsible Conduct in Research

All undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs involved in empirical research at Georgia State University are required to undertake Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) education and training as part of their requirements for graduation or employment.  As part of this educational requirement, web-based training thru the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) has been made available to meet this requirement.  More information on the university’s RCR training requirement can be found at ursa.research.gsu.edu/ursa/compliance/human-subjects/required-education-and-training/.

3110 Degree Requirements

Candidates for graduation in a degree program offered by the College of Arts and Sciences must be officially registered for classes the semester of completing all academic requirements, including thesis/ dissertation defense, performance, or gallery show. Departments may determine the extent and type of hours that must be taken by the candidate during the concluding semester. Every candidate for completion must apply at least two semesters in advance of expected graduation with the Graduation Office of Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office. These regulations are explained in the general university-wide section of this catalog. The semester of completion is defined as extending until the last day of the semester on the academic calendar as published by Enrollment Services.

While the provisions set forth in this catalog will ordinarily be applied as stated, Georgia State University and the College of Arts and Sciences have the right to change any provision, including, but not limited to, academic requirements for graduation, without actual notice to individual students. Every effort will be made to advise students of any such changes. It is especially important that each student note that it is the individual student’s responsibility to keep apprised of current degree requirements for his or her particular program.

Graduation Requirement

All students must be enrolled in the term in which they complete the requirements for their degree. Normally, this is the term in which they will graduate. However, if the requirements are completed after the deadline for graduation in a term, but before the first day of classes in the subsequent term, then it is not necessary to enroll in the subsequent term. If the continuous enrollment criterion is not met in the term in which degree requirements are completed, then it must be met in the term of graduation.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded in recognition of the attainment of independent and comprehensive scholarship in a selected field. The Ph.D. emphasizes research in conjunction with the mastery of a substantial body of knowledge. Specific degree requirements may be tailored by the faculty to meet the needs of the individual student.

In order to qualify for the Doctor of Philosophy degree, the student must fulfill the following general requirements:

  • Residence: Four semesters of residence are required, two of which must be consecutive; during all four semesters the student must register for at least six hours of coursework. A Doctor of Philosophy degree shall be conferred only on that student who holds a distinguished record of academic achievement and has maintained a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 for a minimum period of three academic years of post baccalaureate study. On the recommendation of the major department and with the approval of the appropriate associate dean, up to one-half of the residence requirement may be waived on the basis of competence obtained through coursework completed elsewhere.
  • World Language Requirement: Some departments require students to demonstrate proficiency in either one or two world languages, in an alternative research skill, or in a combination of the two. For specific departmental requirements, students should consult their departmental director of graduate studies.
  • General Examination: Students must pass a departmentally administered general examination. An Examination Committee shall be appointed by the chair of the major department. The committee shall consist of a minimum of three members, at least two of whom shall be on the faculty of the major department. The general examination shall be written or oral, or both. The examination may be repeated once following a minimum interval of six months either with the original committee or a duly constituted new committee. The examination must be passed at least one academic year prior to the conferral of the degree. The student who fails the examination for the second time will be subject to termination.
  • Admission to Candidacy: In order to be admitted to candidacy, the student must have met the language or equivalent research skill requirement, if any; must have passed the general examination; and must have a departmentally approved dissertation proposal. Graduate students who have completed these requirements except for their dissertation and related defenses or oral exams may be admitted into ABD (all but dissertation) status. This title will be based on the positive recommendation of the graduate program director and following successful review and certification of other doctoral program requirements by the Office of Graduate Services. This designation does not change any time limits or registration requirements for completion of the degree program.
  • Dissertation: A dissertation is required of all candidates for the doctoral degree. A Dissertation Committee, of which the dissertation adviser shall be chair, shall pass on the acceptability of each dissertation. The committee shall be nominated by the student and appointed by the chair of the major department. Two-thirds of the committee must approve the dissertation in order for it to be acceptable as a fulfillment of degree requirements. Currently, dissertations must be microfilmed by ProQuest. The student, with the concurrence of his or her adviser and the chair of the department, may stipulate that microfilming be delayed for a period of two years. A student may choose to have the dissertation copyrighted. The deadlines and procedures for submitting dissertations are available at cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/graduation/graduation-requirements/ . Research Hours: Each student must register for a minimum of 20 semester hours of dissertation research.
  • Final Examination: There shall be a final oral examination that should be directed primarily to the defense of the dissertation. This examination shall be administered by a committee appointed by the chair of the department.

Master of Arts/Master of Science

The requirements stated below are the minimum requirements established by the College of Arts and Sciences for the awarding of the Master of Arts and the Master of Science degrees. In addition to any other departmental requirements, the student seeking either of these degrees must fulfill the following general requirements.

  • Coursework: A minimum of 27 semester hours of graduate coursework with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 is required. At least 20 hours of graduate coursework must be completed after admission to Full Graduate Status. In addition, students taking the thesis option must successfully complete at least six semester hours in Course 8999 in the major department. If desired, up to 6 semester hours of the 27-hour requirements may be taken in a related field or fields of study. Foreign Language: Some departments require students to demonstrate a reading proficiency in a foreign language or an approved equivalent research skill.
  • General Examination: Some departments require students to pass a departmentally administered general examination.
  • Demonstration of Research Competence.
  • Thesis: Ordinarily a thesis is required of all candidates for a master’s degree. A Thesis Committee, of which the thesis adviser shall be chair, shall pass on the acceptability of the thesis. The committee consisting of at least two members shall be nominated by the student and appointed by the chair of the major department. Two-thirds of the committee must approve the thesis in order for it to be acceptable to the Office of Graduate Services. The deadlines and procedures for submission of a thesis are available on the web at cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/graduation/graduation-requirements/.
  • Non-thesis: A non-thesis option is available in some departments. In lieu of the thesis, research competence must be demonstrated on the basis of a research paper or a creative project. A committee of at least three members of the faculty, of which the student’s adviser will serve as chair, will pass on the acceptability of the paper or project. Two-thirds of the committee must indicate approval. This approval must be submitted in writing to the Office of Graduate Services by the appropriate deadline (cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/graduation/graduation-requirements/).

Master of Fine Arts

The Department of English offers a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing. Applicants should submit strong portfolios of poetry or fiction. Details for degree requirements and application procedures are listed under the “English” section of this catalog and on the department website.

Master of Heritage Preservation

The College of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Heritage Preservation degree program. This program is interdisciplinary in nature, but currently is housed in the Department of History. For further information, refer to the description in the “Heritage Preservation Program” section of this catalog or the program website at heritagepr.gsu.edu.

3120 Student Exceptions Procedure

The grievance and appeals procedure for students enrolled in courses or academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences is available in the departmental and administrative offices of the college and on the university website at enrollment.gsu.edu/assistance/.

Students may request deviations from the regulations in the College of Arts and Sciences section of this catalog by applying for approval to the Graduate Petitions Board. Students considering such a petition should consult the Office of Graduate Studies to determine procedures and to obtain appropriate forms or download them from cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/graduate-student-advising/. This petition procedure does not apply to department-based regulations.

3125 Departments and Institutes

Department Main Office Catalog Sections
Department of African-American Studies 962 One Park Place South; 404-413-5135 3130
Department of Anthropology 335 Sparks Hall; 404-413-5156 3140
Department of Applied Linguistics
and English as a Second Language
15th Floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-5200 3150
Department of Biology 495 Petit Science Center; 404-413-5300 3180
Department of Chemistry 380 Petit Science Center; 404-413-5500 3190
Department of Communication 8th Floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-5600 32003126
Department of Computer Science 7th Floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-5700 3210
Creative Media Industries Institute 2nd Floor, 25 Park Place
Department of English 23rd Floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-5800 3220
Department of Geosciences 340 Kell Hall; 404-413-5750 3240
Gerontology Institute 605 One Park Place; 404-413-5210 3260
Global Studies Institute 19th floor, 25 Park Place
Department of History 20th floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-6385 3270, 3280
Department of Mathematics and Statistics 14th floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-6400 3300
Neuroscience Institute 800 Petit Science Center; 404-413-5445 3320
Department of Philosophy 16th floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-6100 3300
Department of Physics and Astronomy 6th Floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-4033 3170, 3340
Department of Political Science 1005 Langdale Hall; 404-413-6159 3350
Department of Psychology 11th floor, Urban Life; 404-413-6200 3360
Department of Religious Studies 17th floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-6110 3370
Department of Sociology 1041 Langdale Hall; 404-413-6500 3380
Institute for Women’s, Gender,
and Sexuality Studies
22nd floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-6587 3410
World Languages and Cultures 19th floor, 25 Park Place; 404-413-5980 3230, 3290, 3390, 3400