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Chapter 3. Institutional Operating Standards. Article 2. Admissions and Academic Achievement Standards. Minimum Educational Requirements in Order to Award a Graduate Degree.   

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(a) A Master's degree may only be awarded to a student who demonstrates at least the achievement of learning in a designated major field that is equivalent in depth to that normally acquired in a minimum of 30 semester credits or its equivalent or one year of study beyond the Bachelor's degree.

(b) A professional Doctoral degree may only be awarded to a student who has completed a prescribed level of study normally requiring a minimum of three academic years of full-time graduate study or the equivalent in part-time study; or, if the program leads to a profession or occupation requiring state licensure, which satisfies the requirements of the state agency. The degree shall include the name of the field in which it is offered (e.g., Juris Doctor or Doctor of Music).

(c)(1) A Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) is a research-oriented degree requiring a minimum of three years of full-time graduate education or the equivalent in part-time study. Such a doctoral program shall include substantial instruction in both theory and research at an advanced level in a designated field and specialty, and may only be awarded to a student who has completed a program of study that includes research methodology and demonstrated learning achievement through original research directly attributable to the student. Each educational program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree shall involve preparation for scholarship and systematic inquiry.

(2)(A) Each Doctor of Philosophy program shall include a minimum of two formal evaluations of the student by a doctoral committee. The doctoral committee shall be composed of at least three members of the institution's own faculty who meet the qualifications in subdivision (c)(3).

(B) The first evaluation shall consider the student's qualifications, including the student's knowledge, skills, and conceptual framework, for undertaking rigorous inquiry into the student's designated field.

(C) The second evaluation shall consider the design procedures and products of a formal original inquiry proposed and completed by the student.

(3) The faculty members who serve on each student's doctoral examining committee shall meet the following qualifications:

(A) Each member shall have earned a Doctoral degree from: an institution that is approved by the Bureau or previously approved by a predecessor agency of the Bureau; or an accredited institution in the United States or Canada; or other state approved institution that documents that the institution at which the faculty member earned his or her degree is equivalent to an institution that is approved by the Bureau; or an institution outside the United States or Canada and in addition provides a comprehensive evaluation of the degree performed by a foreign credential evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

(B) The chair and the majority of the committee shall have earned degrees related to the student's field of investigation.

(C) A minimum of 50% of the faculty on the committee shall have degrees conferred by an institution accredited by an accrediting association recognized by the United States Department of Education or the American Bar Association, unless the accreditation does not exist.

(D) All of the faculty shall have three or more years of field or research experience related to their degrees obtained after they obtained their degrees.

(E) All of the faculty shall have been active in their field of scholarship or profession during the five year period preceding their participation on the committee.

(4) The formal evaluation procedures shall provide the committee as a whole with the opportunity to jointly examine the candidate.

(5) If the candidate is not physically present and the evaluation must take place by telephone or other means of electronic communication, one of the following shall apply:

(A) One faculty member on the student's doctoral committee from the main location (i.e., the state in which the program is licensed or otherwise officially approved) must be present at the location where the doctoral student is examined.

(B) A proctor, selected and approved by the doctoral committee, shall sit as an observer with the student at the distant location and verify, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California, the identity of the student and the facts that the student received no prompting by anyone and did not have access to unallowed materials during the evaluation process.

(6) If a project includes more than one student, the individual student's role and contributions shall be clearly identified and documented.

(7) The institution shall maintain a written record of the evaluations. This record shall include the names and signatures of all committee members who participated in the evaluations.

(d) No more than 25 percent of the credits required for graduate degree programs may be awarded for a final product such as a thesis, dissertation, or product.

(e) Dissertations, theses and other products submitted by a student as part of a graduate program shall be signed by all faculty members recommending the student for an award of a degree.

Authority cited:

Education Code 94803

Education Code 94877

Education Code 94885

Reference:

Education Code 94885

(Amended by Register 2010, No. 47.)