GRADUATE STUDIES PROGRAMS AT UPRM
Study within the graduate studies at UPRM leads to the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering, Master of Science, or Doctor of Philosophy. The departments and programs of study are as follows:
Master of Arts
in Hispanic Studies and English Education.
Master of Business Administration
in Human Resources, Industrial Management, Finance, and Marketing, besides a general option.
Master of Engineering
in Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Industrial, Management Systems, and Mechanical Engineering.
Master of Science
in Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Education, Agronomy, Animal Industry, Crop Protection, Agricultural Extension, Food Science and Technology, Horticulture, and Soil Study.
in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Marine Sciences with the following programs: Biological Oceanography, Physical Oceanography, Geological Oceanography and Chemical Oceanography, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Statistics, Scientific Computing, and Physics.
in Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Industrial, and Mechanical Engineering.
Doctor of Philosophy
in Marine Sciences, Applied Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computing and Information Sciences and Engineering.
A Master of Science degree in Nursing is available through a consortium with the School of Medical Sciences of the University of Puerto Rico.
PHILOSOPHY AND OBJECTIVES
The fundamental objective of the graduate programs at UPRM is to develop in the graduate student a mastering knowledge of a particular field of study and of the resources and techniques which will enable each student to carry out independent and professional work or research in the arts, sciences, engineering or technology. Since the graduate programs are primarily responsible for the education of future college and university professors, all graduate programs stress the importance of attaining a high level of scholarship.
Additional objectives of the programs are:
1. To extend the boundaries of knowledge through research which contributes to the development of the student, the university, and the social and technological community.
2. To preserve, acquire and transmit knowledge to successive generations.
3. To serve as a focus for research and teaching in the Caribbean, with the recognition of Puerto Rico's unique position as a crossroad of the Americas.
Graduate Studies Organization
Graduate studies at the Mayagüez campus are organized around four basic units:
- Office of Graduate Studies
- Graduate Council
- Departmental Graduate Committee
- Student's Graduate Committee
The functions and responsibilities of these units are described below.
Office of Graduate Studies
The Office of Graduate Studies is an academic and administrative unit within the Deanship of Academic Affairs. The office sees that all academic and administrative regulations at the graduate level are followed, coordinates graduate activities, and insures that proper guidance is provided to all academic units which offer graduate programs and related units.
The Director of Graduate Studies, who is also an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, chairs this office. An Associate Director collaborates in all duties assigned by the Director.
In addition to the usual administrative duties, the Director presides over the Graduate Council, schedules final dissertation, thesis or project examinations, and participates in such exams personally or through the designation of a representative.
The Graduate Council
The Graduate Council is composed of representatives from all academic units which offer graduate programs. The Council is composed by the Director and Associate Director of Graduate Studies, the Dean (or representative) of each college sponsoring graduate programs, a representative of each Departmental Graduate Committee, and a representative of the graduate students of each college.
The Council acts as an advisory board to the Office of Graduate Studies. Its main duties include:
- Serve as forum for the discussion of all matters pertaining to graduate studies.
- Make recommendations on the administration and regulations involving graduate studies.
- Evaluate and decide on regulations which a department submits for its own program.
- Evaluate and decide on those administrative and academic decisions of its jurisdiction.
The Departmental Graduate Committee
The Departmental Graduate Committee consists of at least three members, including the Director of the Department, who usually presides it. In multidisciplinary programs, it includes representation from each department involved.
The functions and responsibilities of the committee include:
- Formulation of complementary regulations.
- Evaluation of applications for admission, readmission, and transfer.
- Accreditation of courses taken in other institutions or prior to admission to the Mayagüez Campus.
- Preparation of qualifying and comprehensive examinations with the assistance of qualified faculty.
- Promotion and periodic evaluation of graduate programs.
The Student's Graduate Committee
The committee consists of three to five members in Master's programs and four to six members in Doctoral programs. The chairperson of the department appoints the student's committee considering the student’s interests and those of the faculty. The committee is presided by the student's thesis advisor.
This committee is responsible for:
- Preparing or changing the student's plan of study.
- Revising and approving the student's dissertation, thesis, or project proposal.
- Directing studies and research until the student completes the degree.
- Revising and approving the dissertation, thesis, or project report and its oral defense (if included in the student's program).
The Graduate Advisor
The student's graduate advisor must hold an academic degree equal to or higher than the degree sought by the student. The graduate advisor ´s responsibilities include:
Informing the student of regulations and procedures related to graduate studies.
- Overseeing, in consultation with the student and the student’s committee, the preparation of the student’s plan of study.
- Revising and approving the dissertation, thesis, or project proposal, and recommending changes.
- Meeting regularly with the student to evaluate academic progress, research and/or project development.
- Providing adequate resources to carry out research.
- Verifying that other members of the graduate committee collaborate efficiently.
- Assigning the final grade on dissertation thesis or project work.
The Representative of Graduate Studies
The representative of graduate studies is a professor or professional who represents the Director of Graduate Studies in the oral examination of the dissertation, thesis, or project report. This person must belong to a department or program different from the student's. The representative oversees the examination of the dissertation, thesis, or project report and ensures that it takes place according to regulations. The representative participates in the administration, evaluation and decisions concerning the exam, and makes corrections and changes to improve the final document.
A candidate for admission to graduate studies must file an application form with the Office of Graduate Studies. Three letters of recommendation, three official transcripts of the student’s academic record at every institution of higher education attended, and the application fee complete the application. Application forms and credentials should be sent to: Director, Office of Graduate Studies, P.O. Box 9020, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 00681-9020. Applications should be completed before February 15 for admission in the first semester, and before September 15 for admission in the second semester.
Admission to graduate studies requires the favorable recommendation of the Departmental Graduate Committee. The department forwards its recommendation to the Director of the Department for his approval and to the Director of the Office of Graduate Studies for final action.
General requirements for admission to graduate studies include:
1. Holding a bachelor's degree from the University of Puerto Rico or an equivalent degree from an accredited institution.
2. Having a working knowledge of Spanish and English, as determined by the corresponding academic program.
3. Satisfying one of the following academic index requirements:
(a) a minimum graduation 2.50 GPA
(b) a minimum 3.00 GPA in the area of specialization
(c) approved a minimum of 60 credit hours during the last five semesters of the bachelor's program with a 3.00 GPA or better
4. Satisfying all department requirements, which may include, but are not limited to, holding a bachelor's degree in an area of specialization, having a grade point average higher than 3.00, and having approved courses in specific subjects.
Detailed regulations are available in the departmental sections of this catalogue.
Applicants who do not meet the academic index requirements listed under (3) above, but who have practiced their profession for a minimum of three years, may be considered for regular admission if they obtain admission as a non-degree student and approve, with at least a 3.00 G.P.A., a minimum of nine credits in advanced undergraduate and/or graduate courses during the first three semesters following admission. Up to nine credits approved under this provision may be credited towards a degree if the applicant is admitted as a graduate student.
Meeting the above requirements does not automatically grant admission. Candidates are selected on a competitive basis from among those who apply and satisfy the requirements.
Students in good standing who have voluntarily interrupted their studies and desire to continue study must apply for readmission. Applications must be filed at the Registrar’s Office before the deadline established in the official academic calendar. The student will pay a non-refundable fee of thirty-three dollars ($33.00). The Registrar processes each application through the Departmental Graduate Committee, the Dean of the College, the Director of Graduate Studies, and notifies the applicant of the action taken. Readmission is granted only once.
Graduate students at UPRM are classified according to
- admission status
- academic load
- academic status
A student in Full Standing is one who at the time of admission satisfies all requirements and is admitted unconditionally.
A student in Conditional Standing is one who at the time of admission satisfies all requirements except for some deficiencies in undergraduate courses. Full-standing status can be granted if the student approves deficiencies within the first two years of study. The maximum number of deficiencies are four courses which must be approved with a grade of C or better while maintaining a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the deficiencies.
A Professional improvement student is one who does not seek a graduate degree, but desires to take advanced undergraduate or graduate courses for academic or professional benefit. Up to 12 credits of advanced undergraduate or graduate courses approved under this classification may be used to satisfy degree requirements if the student is admitted as a full or conditional-standing student.
A Visiting student is one registered in another university and who visits the Mayagüez Campus to participate in a research project. Up to 12 credits of advanced undergraduate or graduate courses approved under this classification may be used to satisfy degree requirements if the student is admitted as a full or conditional-standing student.
A Special student is a faculty member in active duty of the UPR system who wishes to take courses at the UPR campuses. Certification number 108 (2005-2006) of the Board of Trustees (http://www.certificaciones.upr.edu), establishes the regulations for the authorization for studies for the faculty members of the UPR system in active duty.
A Regular or Full-time student is one who takes at least nine advanced undergraduate or graduate credits per semester, who is registered for dissertation, thesis, or project, or who participates in the COOP Plan.
An Irregular or Part-time student is one who does not meet the academic load requirements of a regular student.
A student on Probation is one whose grade point average drops below 3.00 or receives a non-satisfactory (NS) grade for dissertation, thesis research, or project. Increasing the grade point average to 3.00 or above, or receiving a satisfactory (S) grade in research or project, removes the probation status. Incurring on probation for a third time will lead to academic dismissal from graduate studies. Suspended students may apply for a second and final admission to graduate studies after one year of suspension.
A student in Good Standing is one who is not on probation.
The Grading System is as follows: A, excellent; B, satisfactory; C, approved; D or F, failed; W, authorized withdrawal; I, incomplete (does not carry a provisional grade); S, satisfactory; NS, not satisfactory. Incompletes must be removed during the term following the one in which the course was registered; otherwise an F will be posted. The Academic Index or grade point average is computed as a weighted average (by credit) using these point equivalencies A=4, B=3, C=2, D=0, F=0. Courses with an incomplete grade are not included. Credit for thesis research or project is not given until the thesis or report is approved. A graduate grade point index of 3.00 is considered satisfactory and it is the minimum required for graduation.
GRADUATE COURSE NUMBERING SYSTEM
Advanced undergraduate courses are codified in the 5000's. Graduate courses are codified with a numbers between 6000 and 8999. Courses codified between 8000 and 8999 are intended for the doctoral level.
ALPHABETICAL DISCIPLINE CODES
||COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING
||FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
||MARINE SCIENCES BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
||MARINE SCIENCES PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
||MARINE SCIENCES GEOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
||MARINE SCIENCES CHEMICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
||HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
||COMPUTERIZED INFORMATION SYSTEMS
I=course usually offered during the first semester
II=course usually offered during the second semester
S=course usually offered during a summer session
PLAN OF GRADUATE STUDY
Although there are a number of core courses required in some programs, there are no specific curricula. The student's Plan of Graduate Study will be prepared by the committee while taking into consideration the student’s individual needs. This plan must be approved by the president of the Departmental Graduate Committee and submitted to the Registrar during the student's second semester of graduate work.
Graduate students pursuing a degree in which a dissertation, thesis, or project is required must submit a proposal describing goals, objectives, previous work, justification, and proposed work. This document must be completed before the student is registered for dissertation, thesis, or project credit for a second time.
GENERAL ACADEMIC REGULATIONS
The maximum academic load is eighteen credits during the academic semester and six credits during the summer. Class attendance is compulsory.
Studying two academic semesters and approving 60 percent of the courses at the Mayagüez campus satisfies residence requirements for the Master’s degree. Studying four academic semesters and approving 60 percent of the courses at the Mayagüez campus satisfies residence requirements for the doctoral degree.
A student in good standing may apply for transfer to another department within the Mayagüez Campus during the period described in the official academic calendar. The student will pay a non-refundable fee of twenty ($20.00) dollars. The department will send its recommendation to the Director of the Department for approval and to the Director of Graduate Studies for final action. Only students with an academic index of at least 3.00 will be considered.
Repetition of Courses
Courses not approved may be repeated without restriction. The repetition of courses approved with C requires the approval of the faculty dean.
Withdrawal from Courses
Graduate students should avoid withdrawing from courses, but can do so during the period prescribed in the official academic calendar.
Withdrawal from the University
A student may withdraw completely from the Mayagüez campus at any time until the last day of classes. The student must obtain written permission from the Dean of the College and the Director of Graduate Studies. The Registrar will post a "W" in every course for the applicable semester. Any student intending to continue graduate work who has withdrawn from Graduate Studies may apply once for readmission during the period prescribed in the official academic calendar.
A graduate student may be dismissed from the university if any of the following conditions occur:
1. During the first two years of study, deficiency courses indicated in the conditional admission are not approved or are approved with a grade point average lower than 3.0.
2. He/She is placed on probation three times.
3. Fails for the second time any of the required degree examinations.
4. Fails to satisfy all requirements for a Master's degree within six academic years after being admitted.
5. Fails to satisfy all requirements for a doctoral degree within ten academic years if admitted with a bachelor's degree, or within eight academic years if admitted with a Master's degree.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE
At UPRM, there are three options in programs leading to a Master's degree. Applicants should seek information on the program of interest in order to best determine available options.
In all cases, the student shall approve all courses in the Plan of Graduate Study with an academic index of at least 3.00. Graduate courses approved by the student as a senior in the Mayagüez Campus may be accepted as long as these were not utilized to satisfy Bachelor's degree requirements.
Students must inform the Registrar in writing of their intention to use a course as part of their Plan of Graduate Study. The last day to notify the Registrar is the last day to submit the application for graduation from the bachelor's degree. The student must also comply with the established academic residence requirements.
PLAN I. With Thesis Requirement
In addition to the common requirements stated above, the student shall:
1. Approve all the courses in the Plan of Graduate Study with a 3.0 minimum graduate point average and:
(a) A minimum of 30 credits in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses.
(b) Up to nine credits in advanced undergraduate courses.
(c) Up to six credits in thesis research.
(d) A minimum of six credits in courses related to, but outside the area of interest.
2. Carry out a research program, as specified in the Plan of Graduate Study and prepare a thesis.
3. Approve an oral exam on the thesis subject. If the student fails the exam, the student will have the opportunity to take a second exam during the same semester or in the following one. The result of the second exam is final.
PLAN II. With Project Requirement
In addition to the common requirements stated above, the student shall complete specific requirements in PLAN I´s description, except that all work completed will lead to a project report instead of a thesis. An oral exam on the project will also be required. If the student fails the exam, a second exam will be taken in the same semester or in the next one. The result of the second exam is final.
PLAN III. Without Thesis or Project Requirement
In addition to the common requirements stated above, the student shall:
1. Approve all courses in the Plan of Graduate Study as follows:
(a) A minimum of thirty-six credits in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses.
(b) A minimum of twenty-seven credits at the graduate level.
(c) A minimum of twenty-one credits in the major field of study.
(d) A minimum of six credits in courses related to, but outside the area of specialization. Courses within the area of specialization will be used to satisfy this requirement only when there are two or more distinct and well-defined areas.
2. Pass a written examination on the material covered in courses taken within the area of specialization. In the event of failure, the student may take a second exam during the same semester or in the following one. The result of the second exam is final.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE
The Doctor of Philosophy degree is conferred for distinguished scholarly attainment and original contribution to knowledge.
To qualify for the degree, the student shall:
1. Approve a qualifying examination.
2. Approve all the courses in the Plan of Graduate Study with an academic index of at least 3.00.
3. Comply with the academic residence requirements.
4. Pass a comprehensive examination on the courses included in the academic program. The exam may be written, or written and oral. If the student fails, a second exam may be taken later that semester or in the following semester. The result of the second exam is final.
5. Carry out an independent research project which will produce a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge, and write a thesis. The dissertation should be a scholarly presentation suitable for publication.
6. Pass a final oral exam on the research and thesis. If the student fails, a second exam may be taken later during the same semester or in the one that follows. The result of the second exam is final.
7. Approve all courses in the Plan of Graduate Study as follows:
(a) Up to nine advanced undergraduate courses.
(b) Up to eighteen credits in thesis research.
(c) A minimum of nine credits outside the field of specialization but in related areas.
8. Credits approved before admission to the PhD program may be awarded upon recommendation of the departmental graduate committee, as long as the student meets residence requirements. Master’s thesis, or Master’s project research will not be awarded credit.
The final thesis exam takes place after the student has satisfied all other requirements for the degree, except for any courses in which the student is registered at the time. No exam will take place after the last day of classes. The exam should last at least two hours but no more than four.
The examining committee consists of the student's committee and a representative of the Director of Graduate Studies. It will be presided by the student's advisor. All corrections to the thesis or report should be completed within the time period specified by the committee. Such period shall not extend beyond the last day of school of the semester immediately following the day the exam was taken.
Additional Graduation Requirements
In addition to the requirements specified in the section on general academic regulations, the student must:
1. Satisfy all financial obligations to the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus.
2. File an application for the degree at the Registrar's Office before the deadline established in the official academic calendar.
3. Receive recommendation for the degree by the Faculty.
4. Attend Commencement Exercises, unless excused by the Registrar’s office.
GUIDE FOR THE PREPARATION OF PROPOSALS, DISSERTATIONS, THESES, AND PROJECT REPORTS
A guide for the preparation of proposals, dissertations, theses, and project reports can be found in the Office of Graduate Studies web page at http://grad.uprm.edu/normastesis.htm. The student's graduate committee and/or the departmental graduate committee can define the specific format to be followed by the student.