The minimum number of courses required when establishing a program depends upon the level of the program and whether the program has a thesis option. All coursework on a graduate program of study must be at the graduate level (courses numbered 5000 or above). Each program lists the number of hours required for completion; see the specific program for details. The following rules apply.
- Master's degrees that include a thesis component: Minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework; some programs require more.
- Master's degrees without a thesis component: Minimum of 36 semester hours of coursework, except the MS in Accounting, which requires 30. Master's degrees in professional areas or those that lead to licensure typically require more than 36 hours. In some cases, students pursuing a second master's degree may be exempt from some of the required semester hours for the second degree. Please see the "Second Master's Degree" information in this section.
- Specialist degrees require a minimum of 30 hours of coursework beyond the master's degree.
- Doctoral degrees require a minimum of 60 hours of coursework beyond the master's degree. Students holding the Education Specialist Degree from Appalachian may be exempt from some hours in the Ed.D. program. This exemption is not automatic, and must be approved through the program director. Note: This exemption is not allowed for students holding the specialist degree from another institution.
- Graduate Certificates require 12-18 hours of coursework, depending on the subject.
- Graduate Minors require 8-12 hours of coursework, depending on the subject.