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Graduate Handbook

Degree Requirements

Coursework

All students earning an MS degree, as part of the 30- credit minimum must complete the following course work: (a) a general core consisting of 21 semester credits, and (b) 9 semester credits in their specialization. The core requirement includes foundation courses in Human Development and Family Relations, two research methods courses, a statistics course, and thesis. Courses are to be chosen by the student in consultation with the committee chair and approved by the supervisory committee prior to enrollment in the courses. 

View Course Requirements

Master’s students have six years to complete all degree requirements (from the time of matriculation). Coursework older than six years must be repeated. Department policy states that out-of-date coursework will not be revalidated.

Thesis

MS students are encouraged to begin thinking about the thesis topic, familiarize themselves with related literature, and begin forming their supervisory committee by their second semester. A student cannot officially begin thesis research until a thesis proposal has been approved by the supervisory committee and the project has been approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). 

For a description of thesis credits, see HDFS Graduate Courses in Mentored (Non-classroom) Learning.

Coursework

All students earning an MFHD degree, as part of the 33-credit minimum, must complete the following course work: (a) a general core consisting of 18 semester credits and (b) 15 semester credits in their specialization. The core requirement includes Human Development Theories and Family Relations Theories, other foundations courses in Human Development and Family Relations, one research methods course, a statistics course, a practicum, and a capstone. Courses are to be chosen by the student in consultation with the committee chair prior to enrollment in the courses.   

MFHD students have six years to complete all degree requirements (from the time of matriculation). Coursework older than six years must be repeated. Department policy state that out-of-date coursework will not be revalidated.

Practicum and Capstone

Graduate Practicum Handbook (HDFS 6980)

For a description of appropriate practicum and capstone projects, see HDFS Graduate Courses in Mentored (Non-classroom) Learning.

MS Program

A Master’s of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy means that a student participates in a Master’s thesis (Plan A). The MS and MMFT specializations complete the requirements to be a Marriage and Family Therapist. This specialization provides professional and research development for students who are primarily interested in marriage and family therapy as a career.

MMFT Program

Students who choose to pursue a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy are NOT required to write a thesis (Plan C). Instead, these students complete a culminating experience in place of the thesis. Students who typically go through the MMFT program are those who will primarily go into professional practice. 

Coursework

All students earning a master’s in MFT complete 27 credits of theory and content courses related specifically to marriage and family therapy. Further, students complete 8 credits of practicum courses during which they complete face-to-face clinical hours while under direct supervision. Additionally, students complete 6 credits of family theory courses, as well as a graduate level statistics course. The MS degree requires an additional 6 credits of thesis work.

Total credits: MMFT: 47, MS: 53

View Course Requirements

Clinic Operations Manual

Coursework

Doctoral students develop their primary and secondary emphases (family relations, human development, MFT) by their choices of elective coursework and the dissertation. The MFT area of concentration requires special admission.

Post-MS

Students who have completed a Master’s degree and who are pursuing a PhD (Post-MS) must complete the common 35-hour core, which includes a minimum of 14 credits for dissertation research. Additionally, Post-MS students must complete 15 credits in their area of concentration (either family relations or human development), and 12 elective credits. The required and recommended courses for Post-MS PhD total 62 credits.            

Post-BS

Post-BS PhD students must complete the common 53-hour core, which includes a minimum of 14 credits for dissertation research. Additionally, Post-BS students must complete 15 credits in their area of concentration (either family relations or human development), and 15 elective credits. The required and recommended courses for Post-BS PhD total 83 credits.

View Course Requirements

Dissertation

Doctoral students are encouraged to begin thinking about the dissertation topic, familiarize themselves with related literature, and begin forming their supervisory committee early in the doctoral program. This must be completed by their third semester. A doctoral student cannot officially begin dissertation research until a dissertation proposal has been approved by the supervisory committee and the project is approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The Application for Candidacy form, which requires completion of the comprehensive exams, must be filed at least three months prior to the dissertation defense. Students who did not complete a thesis as part of their master’s degree may be asked to complete the research competency prior to submitting a dissertation proposal. 

PhD students have eight years to complete degree requirements (from the time of matriculation). Coursework older than eight years must be repeated. Out-of-date coursework will not be revalidated.

*Note. For additional information, see the comprehensive exam and competencies sections in the handbook.

For a description of dissertation credits, see HDFS Graduate Courses in Mentored (Non-classroom) Learning

MFT Area of Concentration

Clinic Operations Manual

PhD Student Plan of Study & Review of Progress Form

Each spring semester, each PhD student completes an annual review. The purpose of this review is to facilitate a doctoral student's self-assessment of academic progress, and to set goals for the coming year. The annual review also helps the student and the dissertation committee better understand the student's objectives, recognize accomplishments, and track progress in the program.

Procedures

  1. Annually (typically in April), the PhD student completes the self-assessment form reflecting on the prior year's work and sets goals for the incoming year.
  2. The student emails the completed form to his/her committee chair (or temporary sponsor) and sets up an annual review meeting.
  3. The student and the committee chair (or temporary sponsor) meet face-to-face to go over the form. The chair can suggest changes and the student may amend the document. The chair/sponsor approves any amendments and signs the document.
  4. The form is emailed to committee members who review the document and provide written feedback. Members of the student’s committee, the chair, or the student can request a face-to-face meeting with the committee to discuss the plan or clarify expectations. The full meeting is only convened as requested. Email may be sufficient for all feedback. The committee members sign the document.
  5. When the committee has provided feedback and all have signed the form, an electronic copy is emailed to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC).

The PhD program requires satisfactory completion of a set of competencies in research, teaching, and professional development. The minimum requirements for acquiring and demonstrating these competencies are identified below within each of these three areas. Students are expected to complete each aspect of the core and at least one additional competency within each domain. These competencies constitute a vital part of training and evaluation during the doctoral experience. Most students will have sufficient structured experiences within the doctoral program to enable them to complete these competencies. PhD students are responsible for planning and completing the competency requirements. 

  Research Teaching Professional Development
Core
  1. Write and submit a first-authored publication to a refereed journal
  2. Write and submit a first- or co-authored publication to a refereed journal
  1. Teaching assistant for a 3-credit undergraduate course
  2. Instructor of record for a 3-credit undergraduate course
  1. First-authored presentation at a national conference (poster, paper, symposia)
  2. First- or co-authored presentation at a national conference (poster, paper, symposia)
At minimum complete one of the following
  • Write and submit a grant (first- or co-authored)
  • Write and submit a first- or co-authored publication to a refereed journal or chapter in edited book
  • Attend a workshop related to teaching skills
  • Development of research product on pedagogy (present at a conference, refereed publication)
  • First- or co-authored presentation at a regional conference (poster, paper, symposia, roundtable)
  • Student reviewer (manuscripts, conference abstracts, grants)
  • Officer or member in professional organization, university, or departmental committee
MFT only CLINICAL EXPERTISE: Develop a personal theory of therapy and change document and a philosophy of supervision.
Develop a personal theory of therapy and change (information outlined in the MFT Policies and Procedures Manual), and apply theory to a specific clinical population or condition. You will also need to articulate your personal philosophy of supervision.
   

Students are responsible for documenting their progress in completing the competencies. Students will provide their committee chair and supervisory committee members an indication of their progress in completing the competencies at the time of the dissertation proposal. At this time, the supervisory committee will provide initial feedback regarding the student’s progress on the requirements.  Competencies will be ultimately evaluated at the dissertation defense meeting.

If a student has successfully completed the competencies, the Competency Form will be signed by the committee chair and supervisory committee members. Subsequently, the form must be submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). If competencies have not been met, the student must complete the remaining requirements and reconvene the supervisory committee to evaluate whether the competencies have been met. Students who do not complete competency requirements, will not be able to graduate (even if other defense forms are signed and completed).

Note: PhD students admitted during or before 2017 have the option of completing the "new" competency form described above, or they can utilize the "old" competency expectations effective at the time of their admission:

The PhD program also requires satisfactory completion of a set of competencies in research, teaching, and professional development. The minimum requirements for acquiring and demonstrating these competencies are identified below within each of these three areas. These competencies constitute a vital part of training and evaluation during the doctoral experience.  Most students will have sufficient structured experiences within the doctoral program to enable them to complete these competencies.  PhD students are responsible for planning and completing the competency requirements. 

  Research Teaching Professional Development
Goals Develop professional networks; share research and/or program results with peers. Prepare, deliver, and evaluate a curriculum. Develop professional networks; share research and/or program results with peers.
Procedures
  1. Write and submit a grant proposal
    OR
  2. Write and submit a research manuscript for journal publication.
  1. Teach 3-credit college level course (e.g., Department, Extension, other)
  1. Membership and participation (presentation of papers or posters) in a professional organization (e.g., NCFR, SRA, AAMFT, NAEYC, GSA, APA)
    OR
  2. Develop, implement, and evaluate a needs-based program (e.g., workshops, public service, community-based prevention, mass media, or training), and disseminate findings (e.g., newspaper articles, presentations) to relevant constituents.

If a student has successfully completed the competencies, the Competency Form will be signed by the committee chair and supervisory committee members. Subsequently, the form must be submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). If competencies have not been met, the student must complete the remaining requirements and reconvene the supervisory committee to evaluate whether the competencies have been met. Students who do not complete competency requirements, will not be able to graduate (even if other defense forms are signed and completed)

The purpose of the comprehensive exam is to ensure that PhD graduates are capable of integrating perspectives on research methods, family relations, human development and/or marriage and family therapy.  Successful completion of the comprehensive exam provides assurance that PhD graduates have acquired a level of understanding that enables them to generate integrative, intelligent, and creative research, and have acquired knowledge that qualifies them to teach courses in human development and family relations. We also expect that the comprehensive exam process (preparation, written responses, and oral performance) will provide optimal preparation for professional situations, such as conference presentations and employment interviews, where participants are required to think quickly and converse with a working knowledge of family relations, human development, and research methods.

The comprehensive exam, consisting of a written and an oral examination, is required of all PhD students. During the seven-hour written portion of the exam, students respond to a multi-part question that requires: 1) theoretical integration within the major emphasis, 2) a brief research prospectus that outlines a study from beginning to end (i.e., research question(s), testable hypotheses, a sample section, a measurement section, a research design section, and a proposed data analysis), and 3) a critique of the prospectus from one or more of the theoretical perspectives from the student’s secondary emphasis.

While much of the material necessary for completion of the comprehensive exam is addressed in required and elective coursework within the program, we expect that doctoral students who are preparing for a comprehensive exam will find additional reliable resources from scholarly materials outside of curricular requirements. Students should seek out the original source, where possible.

The following study guides or menu of topics are provided

The written portion of the comprehensive exam is offered twice per year (during the week before classes begin in the fall and spring semesters). The written portion of the exam occurs over two consecutive days (1st day 3 hours for Part 1, 2nd day 4 hours for Parts 2 & 3). All students in an exam cohort take the exam at a set time. Seven hours are allocated for the written exam (not to exceed 18 double spaced pages).

Eligibility to participate in the comprehensive exam requires completion of the following coursework:

  • In Primary Area of Concentration students choose 9 credits
  • In Secondary Area of Concentration students choose 6 credits
  • In Research Methods students need all 12 credits
  • Bolded courses are required to be completed prior to taking the exam
Human Development Couples and Family Relations Marriage and Family Therapy Research Methods
7060 7070 7300 6031
6060 6070 7310 7032
7510 7210 7320 6600
7520 7220   7610
7530 7230    
7540      

Doctoral students who have not met all of the prerequisite course requirements may petition the Comprehensive Examining Committee to request participation in a comprehensive examination. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and usually involve relevant transfer credits from another university, department, or degree program that may substitute for the required coursework. To be given full consideration, the request for waiver, including a list of relevant course work, grades, and date of completion (signed by the student and their committee chair) must be submitted to the faculty graduate coordinator at least six weeks prior to the scheduled comprehensive examination. An approved request for waiver is confirmation of the student’s intent to participate in the next scheduled comprehensive exam.

Doctoral students planning to take the comprehensive exam must notify the faculty graduate coordinator at least six weeks prior to the scheduled exam date.

Comprehensive Examining Committee

The Comprehensive Examining Committee will administer and evaluate both the written and oral portions of students’ comprehensive exams. The Comprehensive Examining Committee will consist of the faculty graduate coordinator, and a faculty representative from 1) human development, 2) couple and family relations, and 3) research methods. The department head is included in the examination processes when possible. If a student has concentration in MFT, the MFT program director is also a member of the Comprehensive Examining Committee. 

Students who desire/require accommodations for the written and/or oral portions of the comprehensive exam must consult with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) prior to the scheduled exam. The department will comply with the DRC’s assessment and recommendations. If accommodations are not recommended by the DRC, no accommodations will be provided.

The Comprehensive Exam Process

The Written Exam

Questions for the comprehensive exam are written and graded by the Comprehensive Examining Committee. Students use the assigned computer lab (proctored) on the assigned examination date and time.  Failure to come to the written portion of the exam warrants a failure of this exam. If a student arrives late to the exam he or she does not receive extended time. Students can bring water, a pen, and blank paper, but no materials are needed for the exam.  The department supplies a storage device (flash drive) for the exam. Students will have access to their Part 1 response on day 2 (via the flash drive), as this may facilitate writing the Part 2 and 3 responses, however they cannot edit their Part 1 response on day 2. If the written response passes (average score at or above 73% and/or majority vote among members of the examining committee), an oral exam date will be set. Failed written exams are not eligible for an oral exam.

The Oral Exam

A short period of time (usually between two to six weeks) exists between the written portion of the comprehensive exam and the oral defense.  Students are encouraged to use this time to prepare for the oral defense of their written response. For example, they may want to evaluate their written response(s) to find weaknesses, and then spend time consulting written resources to strengthen their understanding of those areas. Students may consult scholarly journal articles, books, internet resources, class notes, etc. as they prepare for their oral defense.

We expect that students will prepare for their oral examinations individually. They will not consult with others, INCLUDING peers in their exam cohort, as part of these preparations. One of the main purposes of the comprehensive exam is to ensure that doctoral students “have acquired a level of understanding.” It would be contrary to this purpose if students prepared for the oral portion of the exam by consulting with their committee chair, faculty members, and other graduate students who have already completed the comprehensive exam.

Participating students may invite their committee chair to attend their oral exam, but committee chairs cannot vote regarding pass/fail following the oral exam. The Comprehensive Examining Committee will inform the student of their decision (Pass/Fail) during the oral exam and clarify procedures for repeating the written exam or remediation if necessary.

While participating in the oral exam, students are encouraged to bring a copy of the exam question and their written response (students are permitted to write notes in the margins of the written response that they bring to the oral exam). Any additional materials such as books, peer-reviewed studies, former class PowerPoint slides, handouts, etc., will not be permitted during the oral examination.

Paths for comprehensive exam chart

Graduate Studies Procedures and Policies

Department Degree Change Request

Change of Master's Degree Type

This includes a switch from plan A (MS) to plan C (MMFT or MFHD) or from a plan C (MMFT or MFHD) to plan A (MS)

  • Submit a revised statement of purpose. This statement requires a rationale for the change of degree, how the proposed change will support career objectives, and a revised plan for program of study (courses plus ideas for the thesis or practicum/capstone) to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC).
    • The revised statement of purpose must be signed by the student’s committee chair (or temporary sponsor). Any change involving the MS with MFT specialization or the MMFT degree must also be approved by the MFT Program Director before submitting to the GPC.
  • The signed statement of purpose is forwarded to the Faculty Graduate Coordinator and the HDFS Graduate Education Committee for approval.
  • The student is notified of the decision. If the change is approved, the student completes and submits the Department Degree Change Request form.

Change from PhD to MS

  • Submit a revised statement of purpose to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). This statement requires a rationale for the change of degree, how the proposed change will support career objectives, and a revised plan for program of study (courses plus ideas for the thesis).
    • The revised statement of purpose must be signed by the student’s committee chair (or temporary sponsor). Any change involving the MS with MFT specialization, or the PhD with MFT area of concentration must also be approved by the MFT Program Director before submitting to the GPC.
  • The signed statement of purpose is forwarded to the Faculty Graduate Coordinator and the HDFS Graduate Education Committee for approval.
  • The student is notified of the decision. If the change is approved, the student completes and submits the Department Degree Change Request form.

Transfer Request from MS to Post-BS PhD

  • Apply to the department PhD program (do not resubmit graduate application through School of Graduate Studies) by submitting a revised statement of purpose. This statement requires a rationale for the change of degree, how the proposed change will support career objectives, and a revised plan for program of study (courses plus dissertation plan and timeline) to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC).
    • The revised statement of purpose must be signed by the student’s committee chair (or temporary sponsor). Any change involving the MS with MFT specialization, or the PhD with MFT area of concentration must also be approved by the MFT Program Director before submitting to the GPC.
  • Along with the revised statement of purpose, submit to the GPC: undergraduate and graduate transcripts, GRE scores, and three current letters of recommendation.
    • At least one letter of recommendation must come from a current faculty member in the department who supports your transition into the PhD program.
    • Typically, this faculty member will state in the letter that they want to serve as your PhD dissertation committee chair and are willing to work with you for the duration of the program.
  • Completed documents will be forwarded to the Faculty Graduate Coordinator and the HDFS Graduate Education Committee for approval.
  • The applicant will be interviewed by the HDFS Graduate Education Committee.

If approved, the student completes and submits the Department Degree Change Request form.

To request conference travel funding as a graduate student

  1. You must be presenting at the conference you want to attend
  2. Apply for funding through the Office of Research and Graduate Studies http://rgs.usu.edu/graduateschool/travel-funding-application/
    1. Be sure to include your official letter of acceptance
    2. The department has to have your official letter of acceptance before your travel authorization may be processed.
  3. The department office will be notified when you apply for RGS funding and will respond to their email with approval/denial and amount of approved funding
    1. First author will receive $750 from the department
    2. Second author will receive $500 from the department
    3. Third author will receive $400 from the department
    4. No payment from the department for any authors beyond the first three
    5. Amount of funding provided by the department depends on the official order of authorship
  4. Fill out travel authorization form and email it to Nissa Boman (boman@usu.edu) http://www.teal.usu.edu/faculty-resources/images/TravelAuthorizationRequestFillable.pdf
  5. Three different ways you can handle the expenses:
    1. Pay for everything personally and then turn in your receipts after you travel
    2. Pay for airfare and registration personally and turn in receipts to Nissa soon after to get reimbursed for those items before you travel
    3. Borrow a department travel card for airfare and/or hotel; borrow a regular Pcard for registration
      1. No out-of-pocket expenses up front for you
      2. Funding limits will still apply
    4. After returning from the conference, email receipts to Nissa Boman right away so you can get your reimbursement

For master’s students, the department will help fund one trip during your degree program, provided you are in good standing and making progress towards your degree.

For doctoral students, the department will help fund one trip PER YEAR during your degree program, provided you are in good standing and making progress towards your degree.  It is still one trip per year no matter how many papers you help author.

Students with a grievance regarding academic matters should meet first with the faculty member involved. If the matter is not successfully resolved, the student may meet with the faculty graduate coordinator and/or the department head.  For students in the marriage and family therapy specialization or area of concentration the MFT program director will also be involved in reviewing a grievance. If the matter is still unresolved, the student is referred to the USU General Catalog to follow the procedure outlined there or in article VII of the Code of Policies and Procedures for students at Utah State University.

Each semester all graduate students are reviewed by faculty who know them through coursework, assistantships, or related activities from that semester. This review is different from the annual self-assessment for PhD students, which is conducted by their supervisory committee.  Each student is evaluated for strengths and deficient areas, and faculty comments are documented.  Reviews are retained electronically and available to the GPC, faculty graduate coordinator, and department head. If findings from the qualifying review indicate that problems fit within the category of a severe deficiency and the problems are not alleviated immediately, step two of the process will be implemented.

Success in graduate work requires certain skills and behaviors. Students are expected to put forth quality work, meet deadlines, and to behave professionally, taking care to discuss sensitive issues in confidential ways, to approach faculty, staff, and peers with respect, and respond to feedback given by faculty and supervisors.  Satisfactory progress includes adequate development in: research activities, coursework, teaching, clinical training (MFT), department assigned responsibilities (e.g., assistantships), and collegiality and collaboration, as appropriate to the student program and degree.

If issues/concerns are noted in the qualifying review, the student is invited to a meeting with the faculty graduate coordinator, department head, and possibly the student’s committee chair (temporary sponsor) or faculty member with the concern. Typically, these are resolved via discussion. In some cases, a student must complete a remediation plan. In extreme situations, the student will be advised to leave the program.

Most graduate students start their graduate training because they feel it is necessary to prepare them for their chosen profession. Along the way, a number of factors impact the extent to which this training continues to be effective for them. For most students, there remains a fit between their training and their career goals. Some students, however, discover that the program itself, or the time needed to commit to a graduate program, is not what they expected it to be. Other students change their educational and professional goals during (or as a result of the process), and some students simply lack the time/motivation/ability/skills to perform effectively within the graduate program.

For students in these latter categories, one solution is for them to acknowledge a mismatch or a shift in their educational and occupational goals, and then seek out a different graduate program (career) that is more suited to their evolved interests and expectations. Nevertheless, a few students, although struggling to master the skills to be effective, continue with their degree program. Because HDFS graduates pursue careers that require involvement with others, it is imperative that all of our graduate students achieve a base level of competence and professional skills (including effective writing and communication, time management, and others) prior to graduation. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the department to collectively identify those students who: 1) have career goals that are not addressed within our graduate program, 2) are struggling to master the skills or knowledge covered in our graduate program, and 3) are severely lacking in time/motivation/ability/skills. For these students, there are two options: 1) remediation, or 2) termination from graduate program.

Excusing a student from the program is a difficult situation for both the student and the faculty, and it may also negatively impact other current students. Because of this, the department will work with students who exhibit severe deficiencies to develop a workable remediation plan. Terminating a student from the program is a very rare situation that we attempt to avoid.

The process for determining whether or not a student should receive remediation (or termination) is subjective by nature, requiring the utmost sensitivity for all involved. What follows are guidelines for determining whether or not a student may be inappropriate for the HDFS Graduate Program and the procedures for dealing with this situation. When a student disagrees with the feedback they receive from faculty or supervisors, the student is expected to behave professionally by engaging that person directly (not passively or discussing it as a problem with other students and faculty). Likewise, students are expected to be sensitive and respectful when giving feedback to others, recognizing that their advice may be ill-timed or inappropriate to the situation. All students are expected to demonstrate emotional strength and stability in order to avoid negative effects on their fellow students, as judged by HDFS faculty.

Students are expected to perform well in class and to behave professionally in their interactions with other students and faculty. Students must maintain a 3.00 grade point average at all times while enrolled in the Graduate Program. Graduate students may earn no more than two “Cs.” Grades of C- or lower will not be counted toward program requirements. Students who do not meet these minimum academic requirements will first be put on academic probation, and an additional semester of sub-C grades will be grounds for termination. Students may not plagiarize work for their courses, or for professional/scientific outlets, and must adhere to the USU Honor Code. 

Graduate students are expected to maintain ethical and legal obligations to faculty and undergraduate and fellow graduate students with whom they interact. Preserving confidentiality is especially important, including the student’s identity. Confidentiality can be broken in many ways including careless talk in public places, leaving confidential notes in inappropriate places (e.g., observation rooms, conference rooms during practicum, or the staff assistant’s office), and thoughtless conversation. Graduate students are expected to maintain professional relationships with faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students; and to follow the university standards and policies for sexual harassment, grievance procedures, and procedures for working with persons with disabilities. 

Remediation Procedures

The procedures used in remediation or termination of a student from the HDFS graduate program are as follows:

Any faculty member who believes a student is displaying a deficiency in skills or progress, and has attempted unsuccessfully to resolve it, will discuss the concern with the department head and the faculty graduate coordinator prior to meeting with the student. The department head, faculty graduate coordinator, and committee chair (temporary sponsor) will decide whether the problem is severe enough to warrant the label “severe deficiency.”

Students will be notified of a severe deficiency by the department head, the faculty graduate coordinator, and the committee chair (temporary sponsor). The student and their committee chair (temporary sponsor) will strategize and outline specific steps that the student can take to resolve this deficiency and decide on a time schedule for accomplishing this. This plan, which may include actions for faculty as well as the student, will be finalized in writing with a copy given to the student, a copy to remain in the student's file, and copies for the department head and the committee chair (temporary sponsor). If the student satisfactorily resolves the deficiency, he/she will receive a letter notifying him/her of such with copies placed in his/her file and sent to both the department head and the faculty graduate coordinator.

Students who do not satisfactorily resolve their deficiencies prior to the agreed upon date will meet with the department head, the faculty graduate coordinator, and the committee chair (temporary sponsor) in order to discuss their termination from the department. These students will receive a letter from the department head notifying them of their dismissal from the program.

Remediation Form

  • New and continuing students who want to be considered for assistantships (teaching assistantships – TAs, research assistantships – RAs) must complete an online assistantship application which will be sent via email from the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC), approximately three months prior to the beginning of each semester. To be considered for assistantship support, continuing graduate students must have submitted to the School of Graduate Studies a Supervisory Committee form and a Program of Study form at the end of their second semester (master's students) or third semester (PhD students).
  • Graduate Instructors (GIs) will TA in the course before becoming the instructor of record. They also attend a graduate instructors forum the semesters before and during teaching as an instructor of record. They receive feedback on their syllabus and receive mentorship on teaching skills.
  • All teaching assistants and graduate instructors are required to take the Teaching Assistantship Orientation course (HDFS 6961) prior to beginning their assistantships. This course provides students with an introduction to becoming a teaching assistant in a university classroom.
  • As part of the qualifying review process, all teaching assistants, research assistants, and graduate instructors will be evaluated by their faculty supervisor each semester. Poor evaluations of any graduate assistant or graduate instructor will result in discontinuation of future TAs, RAs, or GIs.

PhD Assistantships

Prior to being awarded an assistantship, students' progress to degree completion will be evaluated. Only students who are making adequate progress towards degree completion will be considered for departmental assistantships or for graduate instructorships.

PhD Tuition Waivers/Awards

Tuition waivers and awards are available to PhD students who meet the following criteria:

  • Full-time
    • Registered for ≥9 graduate credits; or

    • Registered for ≥6 graduate credits if employed as a graduate assistant for ≥15 hours per week; or

    • Registered for 3 graduate credits with all required coursework completed and only the research component of the degree remaining (the student’s Program of Study must have been submitted to the School of Graduate Studies); or

    • Registered for ≥3 graduate credits during the semester of the final thesis/dissertation defense or, in a non-thesis degree program, the last semester of coursework required on the student’s Program of Study
    • Nonresident, domestic students may receive nonresident tuition awards or waivers for no more than 12 continuous months
    • For additional information regarding Utah residency requirements, see http://www.usu.edu/admissions/residency/
  • Matriculated
  • Limited to 83 credits for HDFS PhD students
  • .50 assistantship for entire semester that it is awarded
  • Credits on Program of Study
  • Additional Eligibility Requirements for EEJCEHS College Pool Tuition Awards:
    • Students must maintain a ≥3.0 cumulative GPA
    • Tuition awards are available for ≤12 credits for fall/spring semesters, ≤6 credits for summer semester
    • Courses added after 15th day of classes are not eligible for tuition awards
    • Tuition awards do not pay for any portion of a dropped course after the 100% refund date
    • Tuition awards cover the cost of on-campus courses only
    • No more than 6 credits of 6970 (thesis) or 15 credits of 7970 (dissertation) qualify for tuition awards
  • Program of Study requirements:
    • Classes covered by tuition awards must be on the final doctoral Program of Study
    • ≤3 credits of 3000-4990 level courses are eligible
    • Courses with grades of C- or lower cannot be included on the Program of Study and are ineligible for tuition awards
    • Programs of Study must be submitted by the end of the second semester for master’s students and by the end of the 3rd semester for doctoral students