Degrees and Majors

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers many graduate programs leading to the doctoral degree, the master’s degree, the educational specialist degree, and graduate certificates. To earn a graduate degree, students must choose a disciplinary major and meet all coursework and other academic requirements.

Specializations

A specialization is a focused collection (subset) of courses within a major. Specializations must represent a minimum of 9 credit hours of the degree requirements. Students may choose a specialization at the time of application or later when submitting a master’s Memorandum of Courses or doctoral Program of Studies. A specialization is listed with the major on official transcripts.

Concurrent Degrees

Graduate students may be admitted to two degree programs simultaneously with approval of each Graduate Program Committee and the Dean(s) for Graduate Studies. Concurrent degrees may be pursued on multiple campuses of the University of Nebraska system. Concurrent degrees may be pursued by two possible routes:

  • Coordinated Dual Degree Programs: Established dual degree programs shall appear as a single application on the Graduate Application for Admission. (An exception is the College of Law dual degree programs that require two separate applications.) With the required approval, credit hours may be shared between both degrees. Specific courses to be shared must be identified at the time coordinated programs are established. Coordinated programs result in the conferral of two degrees. Both diplomas must be awarded in the same commencement term if credit hours are shared.
  • Independent Concurrent Degrees: Pursuit of two unrelated graduate degrees requires two separate applications and two application fees. Application to each degree program need not occur in the same term. Each degree program is administered independently of each other; however, approval by each Graduate Program Committee and the Dean(s) for Graduate Studies is required. Credit hours may be shared between both degrees. Specific courses to be shared must be identified at the time of approval. Completion of requirements for independent concurrent degrees results in the conferral of two degrees. Both diplomas must be awarded in the same commencement term if credit hours are shared.

SOURCE:

  • Executive Graduate Council Minutes (March 19, 1992)
  • UNL Graduate Council Minutes (September 5, 2019)

One Degree, Double Major

Students pursuing a master’s degree may add a second major, with approval of the Graduate Program Committees of each major. Students approved for a double major must meet the minimum requirements for each major, including at least 18 hours in each major, excluding cross-listed courses in the second major. The precise number of credits may vary depending on the total required hours for a particular major. For each major, students must take at least 8 credits in courses open only to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without an undergraduate level counterpart), excluding thesis hours.

Students are required to satisfy the comprehensive examination schedule--written and/or oral examination--for each major. The examination committee shall consist of two graduate faculty members (or non-graduate faculty approved to perform specified graduate faculty duties) from each of the major departments/areas. The committee shall be co-chaired by a faculty member from each of the major departments.

SOURCE:

  • UNL Graduate Council Minutes (April 27, 1995)

Minors

A minor for the master’s degree under any option must consist of at least 9 credit hours and may be taken in any one department or interdepartmental area that has been approved to offer a major leading to a master’s degree. In addition, the minor may, in certain departments, be completed in a subdivision of the administrative department. Approved fields of study, which may be selected within each administrative department, must be approved by the Graduate Council for use as a minor.

A minor for the doctoral degree must include at least 15 credit hours with 6 hours in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without an undergraduate level counterpart). It may be taken in any department that has been approved to offer a major leading to a master’s degree. In addition, the minor for the doctorate in certain departments may be completed in a subdivision of the administrative department. Approved fields of study, which may be selected within each administrative department, must be approved by the Graduate Council for use as a minor.

Graduate Certificates

A graduate certificate is an academic credential awarded to a student upon completion of required coursework in a specific subject area. Graduate certificate programs are post-baccalaureate and consist of 12-20 credit hours. Students may be admitted to a graduate certificate and graduate degree program simultaneously, although admission to a degree program is not required. At the discretion of a student’s supervisory committee, credit hours earned in a certificate program may apply to a degree program.

SOURCE:

  • UNL Graduate Council Minutes (January 22, 1979)
  • Executive Graduate Council Minutes (March 15, 1979)
  • Board of Regents Minutes (July 15, 2000)

Non-Degree Coursework

Students meeting the minimum admission requirements may enroll in graduate courses. Acceptance in a graduate certificate or degree program is not required. Non-degree admission carries no guarantee of future admission to a degree program, nor does it guarantee that coursework completed as a non-degree student can later be applied toward a degree. Non-degree admission is not available to international students on F-1 student visas.

Teacher Certification and Added Endorsements

UNL offers graduate courses leading to the State of Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) initial teacher certification, renewal of teacher certification, and added endorsements. Teacher certification is granted by the NDE, not the University. Coursework leading to certification can be completed at UNL. The NDE determines the content requirements; the University delivers the courses.