Master of Science in Applied Science
The Master of Science degree is an interdisciplinary program designed to advance a student’s knowledge beyond the baccalaureate degree and to teach the student how to approach a research project. Students may either pursue a generic applied science master’s degree or, with sufficient specialized course work, may earn a master’s degree in applied physics.
The degree is designed for students with a wide variety of research and/or curricular interests in science and engineering. The thesis option includes a proposal defense and a thesis defense, and provides the student with an opportunity to carry out thesis-based research. The non-thesis option includes a comprehensive exam and a project. The student choosing the non-thesis option will have three different alternatives to satisfy the comprehensive exam and project requirement.
These alternatives are intended to cater to students who
- are in the Applied Science (ASCI) Ph.D. program and want to acquire the ASCI M.S. degree since they satisfy a majority of the cognate requirements, or
- want to complete some of the requirements of the ASCI Ph.D. as a precursor to applying for admission to the Ph.D. program, or
- want to complete a predominately course based master’s degree. The details of the programs are given below.
- Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree in an appropriate scientific discipline, such as chemistry, physics, biology, material science, mathematics, statistics, or earth science.
- They must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
- On the GRE, applicants must have a minimum quantitative score of 151 and verbal score of at least 138, and a 4.0 on the writing assessment portion (or combined 1,000 in the older GRE scoring system with a minimum score of 650 on the quantitative portion).
- With the approval of the graduate coordinator, applicants with a 3.5 GPA or greater on their last 60 hours of graduate and undergraduate coursework may not be required to take the GRE.
- Applicants must possess the requisites for their intended area of study.
- International Students: International students whose native language is not English and who do not have a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher education must also submit a score of at least 79 on the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam, or a 550 on the paper-based test, or 213 on the computer-based version. In order to qualify for a teaching assistantship, students whose native language is not English must score a 5.0 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE).
In certain cases, students not meeting these requirements may be admitted on a conditional basis. The conditional student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in at least nine DCSTEM graduate credits in the first year of study to be fully admitted.
Recommendations on a graduate application for admission to Applied Science’s Master of Science program are made by the Applied Science graduate coordinator with input provided by the relevant Applied Science doctoral faculty. Satisfying minimum requirements for admission by itself does not guarantee admission. Other factors that could be involved include but are not limited to the availability of funding and appropriate faculty mentors.
The Master of Science degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. The lecture courses not from Applied Science disciplines (applied science, biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, and physics) must require prior approval from the Graduate coordinator. The student’s plan of study must be developed in conjunction with the thesis advisor/project instructor and the Student Advisory Committee.
If a student receives one C in his/her course work, he/she will be warned that his/her academic performance is unacceptable and that his/her status will be reviewed by the relevant Applied Science faculty, who will suggest corrective action. A student receiving two Cs or either a D or an F in his/her course work will be dismissed from the program, pending review by the Applied Science faculty.
Emphasis in Applied Physics
To earn an emphasis in applied physics, students must take at least nine credit hours from recognized physics courses recognized by the Applied Science department.
Transfer of Credit
A maximum of six credit hours may be transferred from an accredited graduate program. The graduate coordinator will determine applicability of the transfer.
Student Advisory Committee
The Student Advisory Committee will be composed of four members, including the committee chair, who will be the thesis advisor/project instructor. The chair and two of the three members must be faculty members from DCSTEM. The at-large member can be any other UALR graduate faculty or Applied Science adjunct faculty. The Applied Science faculty must approve the committee constituency.
The thesis subject is selected by the student and the Student Advisory Committee at least one year prior to the oral defense. The written thesis format must follow the UALR Graduate School’s Dissertation and Thesis Guidelines found on the Graduate School website.
At least one year prior to the thesis defense, the candidate must present a proposal for his/her thesis work to the advisory committee.
Students will present and orally defend their completed master’s research before their advisory committees. The defenses will be open to the public and must be announced at least two weeks in advance.
After the candidate has completed eighteen credit hours of graded course work, the candidate may attempt the comprehensive exams. The comprehensive exam requirement must be passed in no more than two attempts.
The second attempt has to be in the semester immediately following the semester in which the first attempt was made. The student may opt for either of the two options listed below to satisfy the comprehensive exam requirement, but must get prior written approval from their Student Advisory Committee for their choice. These options are:
- The student may take an oral exam administered by his/her student advisory committee, or
- The student may take the Doctoral Candidacy Exams. If a student chooses this option, he/she must pass the exams in the three candidacy subjects within the same emphasis area. The student may test only in those candidacy subjects, which he/she has taken as part of the eighteen credit hours of graded course work mentioned above. The Doctoral Candidacy Exam rules will be invoked to determine whether the student has passed or failed.
Project Presentation and Report
The student must complete a project, by means of six credits of Independent Study (ASCI 7X89) with the project instructor as the instructor of record. Prior to undertaking the Independent Study courses, the student must present a project plan to the Student Advisory Committee. Upon completion of the Independent Study courses, the student must orally present his/her work to the Student Advisory Committee, and deliver a written project report, in the format specified by the project instructor, to the Student Advisory Committee for approval, for which at least two-thirds of the committee members will have to vote in favor of that outcome for it to be approved.
Successful defense of the doctoral proposal and acceptance of a peer-reviewed written document on some completed portion of a project, such as a conference paper or a journal article, with the student as the primary or corresponding author, may serve in lieu of the project presentation and report, with prior written approval from the Student Advisory Committee.
The master of science degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree.
A minimum of 18 credit hours in 5000 or 7000 level graded courses within DCSTEM must be taken. A grade of B or greater must be obtained in each course to count towards the minimum course requirement. A maximum of six credit hours of independent study (ASCI 7X89) or special topics (5399, ASCI 7399 ) may be applied to the master of science with the following exceptions. Those students who are required to use six hours of independent study (ASCI 7X89) to complete a project under the non-thesis option may apply three additional credits of independent study (ASCI 7389 ) or special topics (5399, ASCI 7399 ) to the master of science.
Thesis/Dissertation or Project Credits
Either a minimum of twelve credit hours of master’s thesis (ASCI 8X00) or a minimum of twelve credits of research/dissertation (ASCI 9X00) or a minimum of six credits of Independent Study (ASCI 7X89) are required.
- Successful completion of an approved program of study with a minimum GPA of 3.0
- Successful completion of the writing requirements
- Successful completion of thesis proposal
- Successful completion of thesis defense
- Submission of an acceptable thesis to Graduate School
- Successful completion of Comprehensive Exam
- Successful completion of Project Presentation and Report