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Master’s Examination

Master's Examination

This content references the Graduate School Handbook

The master’s examination is a test of the student’s knowledge of the field. It is the final validation of performance for that degree. The master’s examination is taken after submitting the Application to Graduate on GRADFORMS and during the autumn or spring semester or summer term in which the student plans to graduate. A student must be registered for at least three graduate credit hours during the autumn or spring semester or summer term this examination is taken. 

Thesis. The master’s examination for a student pursuing the thesis option must include a written portion (thesis) and an oral portion.

Non-Thesis. The master’s examination for a student pursuing the non-thesis option must include a written portion and may include an oral portion. The written portion may be a substantial paper, project or examination appropriate to the discipline, demonstrative of scholarly work and consistent with best practices in the field.

Oral Examination. Students must coordinate with their advisor and examination committee to determine a mutually acceptable date and time for the oral exam. Exams must take place during announced university business hours, Monday through Friday. Exams may be held on the Ohio State University campus or via video conference, dependent upon unanimous agreement by the student and committee.

Master’s Examination Committee. The master’s examination is administered under the auspices of the Graduate Studies Committee. The responsibility for the examination rests with the student’s master’s examination committee. The master’s examination committee is composed of at least two graduate faculty members including the student’s advisor. Other graduate faculty members may participate in generating, administering, or scoring parts of the examination, but the master’s examination committee is finally responsible for the conduct and evaluation of the entire examination. The advisor of a master’s student must hold membership at the category M level or higher in the student’s graduate program. Non-Graduate Faculty members may be appointed as additional external members to the master’s examination committee by approval of the Graduate Studies Committee in the student’s home program and by petition to the Graduate School.

Attendance. If the master’s examination includes an oral portion, the advisor serves as chair. The student can be allowed to deliver a public presentation as part of the exam. The public presentation should be no longer than half an hour and the entire exam should be limited to less than 2 hours. Except when video conferencing is involved, all members of the master’s examination committee must be present during the entire examination and are expected to participate fully in questioning during the course of the examination and in the discussion and decision on the result. Others may attend the public presentation part of the examination, subject to the rules of the Graduate Studies Committee.

Video Conferencing. All master’s examinations involving video conferencing must adhere to the Graduate School’s guidelines for video conferencing (Appendix B).

Halting an Oral Examination in Progress. If for reasons of illness, fire, or other emergency, the committee members agree that it is necessary to halt the oral portion of the master’s examination, then the examination shall be rescheduled without prejudice to the student. If, however, the committee members unanimously decide that the examination has been sufficient to reach a decision to pass the student, then they shall consider the examination concluded and report the result to the Graduate School.

Specialist in Education

This content references the Graduate School Handbook

The Specialist in Education, also referred to as Educational Specialist (EdS or SEd), is a post-master’s terminal professional degree offered by the graduate programs in Education: Teaching and Learning and Educational Studies. An EdS is a postgraduate degree unique to the field of education, which is considered more advanced than a master’s degree, but generally requires less coursework than a PhD or EdD. For professionals who already have a master’s degree, an EdS is a great way to reach the next level without the time or cost required for most doctoral degrees. They generally require between 30 and 65 graduate credit hours of coursework (depending on the specialty and school) and can often be completed in a little over a year (or up to two years) after earning the master’s degree. Most doctorate programs will accept some transfer credits from an educational specialist degree program if an individual decides he or she would like to pursue a doctoral degree. 

There are two EdS degrees here at OSU; one in Education: Teaching and Learning and the other in Educational Studies.  

  1. Education: Teaching and Learning EdS - An educational specialist is a school-based educator with the depth of theoretical knowledge and wisdom of practice in a defined specialization to provide leadership within a school district, to help shape policy, to design and direct programs, to support and evaluate teaching and learning, to mentor early career educators, and to translate relevant research and theory into sound practice. Students focus their curriculum on one of eight specializations. Students complete a 30 hour master’s program prior to admission into the EdS and complete 38 additional post-master’s hours. 
  2. Educational Studies EdS - The Educational Specialist (EdS) program in school psychology trains students to provide comprehensive psychological services in schools, particularly urban schools, within an ecological problem-solving framework. The majority of the graduates of the EdS school psychology program are employed by school districts as school psychologists. To complete the EdS degree, students are expected to maintain two years of full-time enrollment (hat may include summers) and to successfully complete one year of internship. All EdS students will obtain the Master of Arts degree after their first year (33 semester hours). The EdS degree must be at least 38 post-master’s semester hours, for a total of 71 semester hours. Successful completion of the internship is required to obtain licensure from the Ohio Department of Education. 

The specific focus of the programs and requirements for admission vary, so consult the respective programs for additional information. The Summary of Master’s Degree Graduation Requirements (Section 6.6) generally pertains to EdS programs. 

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