UNO offers graduate certificates and advanced degrees in 32 master’s programs and nine doctoral programs, with on-campus and select online formats. All graduate programs involve a rigorous mix of scholarship and research, providing comprehensive instruction across each specialized area while refining students’ independent investigation and evaluation skills. To successfully complete each program, students must exceed all minimum requirements, demonstrating mastery of all subject matter in exams, research, and presentations.
Graduate degree programs are currently offered through:
- The College of Business Administration
- The College of Liberal Arts, Education & Human Development
- The Dr. Robert A. Savoie College of Engineering
- The College of Sciences
Types of Graduate Degrees
Students working toward their master’s degree must complete 30 semester hours of 5000-level or higher coursework, with no more than six (6) credit hours going toward researching and writing a thesis. To be awarded a degree, students must:
- earn a minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA) for all coursework;
- have an approved Candidate Plan of Study;
- complete a Master’s Examination Report, in written, oral, thesis, capstone, or performance form, depending upon the degree program;
- submit an official Application for Graduation; and
- meet all program- or school-specific requirements.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is the highest degree granted by UNO. Beyond GPA and test scores, admission to this advanced, selective program denotes original research abilities, achievement level, and detailed knowledge of the subject matter. Upon admission, doctoral students build upon this foundation by completing field-leading research, a multi-semester residence under the guidance of one or more faculty members, and a minimum of 60 semester hours. To be awarded a degree, students must:
- earn a minimum 3.0 GPA for all coursework;
- complete a residency requirement lasting two (2) consecutive semesters or three (3) non-consecutive semesters;
- pass the Qualifying Examination;
- develop a program of study with assistance from a dissertation committee;
- present their research in oral and/or written form for a comprehensive general examination;
- file for candidacy;
- complete and present a dissertation to the program’s scholarly and research standards;
- pass the final examination, which typically blends dissertation topics with other related areas, per the committee’s discretion; and
- be certified to the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors by the Graduate School.
Not every professional wants—or needs—to earn a master’s degree. Instead, a graduate certificate expands their toolkit, equipping students with in-demand, career-enhancing skills. Programs are based on current market needs, and coursework covers a mix of general and industry-specific applications, so students can readily use their newfound knowledge on the job.
Individuals applying to earn a graduate certificate are considered non-degree students and therefore don’t have to submit test scores. However, because courses go above entry-level knowledge, students must have already completed a bachelor’s degree and should have relevant experience.
Online Graduate Degrees
Designed for working professionals wanting to advance their knowledge and credentials, UNO’s online graduate degrees allow students to complete demanding master’s-level coursework at their own pace, wherever they happen to be. Currently, UNO offers six 100% online graduate degrees, with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous coursework. Learn more about UNO’s online course formats.
Graduate Student Academic Standing
Upon being admitted to the Graduate School, full-time students must be enrolled for nine (9) semester hours for the fall or spring semester or six (6) credit hours for the summer semester. Students may register for up to 15 credit hours in the spring or fall semester or 12 for the summer semester. Understand that while graduate students aren’t prohibited from registering for undergraduate courses, undergraduate coursework does not count toward a master’s or doctoral degree.
Additionally, students who take fewer than the required nine credit hours per fall or spring semester risk losing their assistantship, scholarship, or fellowship.
Students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree must earn the majority of their course credits at UNO:
- For a master’s degree, up to one-third of all credit hours may be transferred from other schools.
- For a doctoral degree, no more than half of all required hours may be transferred from other institutions.
- Thesis and dissertation work cannot be carried over from another institution.
- To receive credit, students must have earned a “B” or higher on all previously completed graduate-level coursework.
- While transfer credits may help fulfill degree requirements, GPAs do not factor in grades earned outside of UNO.
- The Graduate School does not have blanket guidelines for transfer credits; rather, each school or college accepts and applies them at their discretion.
- Students must complete a minimum of 9 credit hours of graduate coursework at UNO and be in good academic standing before transferring over previously earned credits.
Refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for all policies concerning transfer credits.
Students accepted into the Graduate School must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to remain in good academic standing. No more than six (6) credit hours in which a “C” grade was earned can go toward the completion of a graduate degree.
Students who fail to earn a cumulative 3.0 GPA will be placed on academic probation and will be denied their assistantship. Students on probation must earn a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher, until a cumulative 3.0 average is reached. Students who miss this mark will be dropped from their respective programs for one semester; upon returning to the Graduate School, students must continue to earn a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Review the Graduate Student Handbook for all grading and academic standing policies.
Financing Your Graduate Degree
Students interested in the Graduate School are encouraged to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form with their application. For additional financing opportunities, accepted students can attend one of the school’s funding workshops or apply for graduate student–specific awards.
Graduate Degree Assistantships
Assistantships offer graduate students a two-fold benefit. Awards provide a salary or stipend, waive the non-resident fee, and may additionally offer tuition exemption. At the same time, students train and get experience in a relevant teaching, research, or professional discipline while earning their degree. Students interested in an assistantship must keep the following points in mind:
- Assistantships are based on the current needs of individual departments, including available budgets and openings.
- To be awarded an assistantship, students must be enrolled full time and maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA.
- Students are appointed for assistantships for the duration of an academic year, fiscal year, or summer semester.
- Assistantships may be combined with other awards, including graduate scholarships.
Learn more about the types of assistantships available at UNO and how these opportunities work.
Graduate Degree Scholarships
Each year, the Graduate School distributes multiple merit-based awards that assist with covering part of your expenses or offer a full tuition waiver for the fall and spring semesters of one (1) academic year. Students interested in applying must:
- already be admitted to their respective programs;
- have a minimum 3.0 GPA for undergraduate work or a minimum 3.5 GPA for completed graduate work; and
- be enrolled full time.
Review the full list of graduate scholarship programs, including potential awards, application criteria, and deadlines.
Realize Your Potential with a Graduate Degree from UNO
Whether for expanding your knowledge, advancing your career, or adding a valuable credential, the Graduate School at UNO opens up a whole new path. Take the next step forward by contacting the Graduate School or filling out a request for more information.