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 RUM :: Office of Graduate Studies :: Information for Current Students
 

 
 Information for
 Current Students


Each student enrolled in graduate studies will need to complete a series of steps at some point during their studies to obtain their degree.  Some of these steps will require the use of forms that are included in this section and explained in general terms below:

1.  Submitting a Study Plan

A Study Plan is a document that specifies two main points: names of the professors who will be part of the student’s graduate committee and outlines the courses the student must complete to obtain his/her degree.  This plan must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies during the second semester of admission, before the due date established on the academic calendar.

The graduate committee is made up of a group of professionals related to the area of study chosen by the student, who will act as advisors to the student throughout his/her graduate studies. In addition to professors from the student’s department, professors from other departments, faculties or the UPR system, as well as competent professionals named “Ad Honorem" can become part of the graduate committee. In master’s programs three to five people make up a committee, while in doctoral programs four to six people make up a committee.  In each case, at least half of the members must belong to the student’s program. Specific functions of the student’s graduate committee can be found in the following document:

Courses in the study plan are chosen by the student and his/her graduate committee according to the student’s area of interest. Although the minimum number of credits required vary from one program to the next (see “37 Graduate Programs at UPRM”), under no circumstances may the study plan include more than nine advanced undergraduate credits (courses with a 5000 code).  Study plans may also include courses completed prior to admission if transfers to the student’s graduate transcript are requested, as well as undergraduate studies, if any, that were noted as deficiencies during admission. Grades obtained for deficient courses are not considered in the student’s graduate grade point average.

The Study Plan form can be accessed through the following link:

A study plan can be revised, if necessary, to add, eliminate or substitute courses of members of the graduate committee. If a member of the committee is changed, both the member leaving the committee and member joining the committee must sign the form.  The form to amend the study plan is found through the following link:

The following table contains advanced undergraduate and graduate courses (5000, 6000, 8000) scheduled until 2010-2011. Courses may change, so we suggest you check course availability with the relevant department.

2.  Submitting the Proposal

Each student enrolled in a master’s plan with a thesis (Plan I), with a project (Plan II), or a doctorate must submit a proposal to their graduate committee which includes a justification, previous publications, objectives, methods and literature to be used in their graduate research. A proposal can be a relatively short document (compared to a thesis or dissertation) – we recommend between nine to thirteen pages – and is a commitment by the student, as well as members of the committee, to the research that must be completed for the student to obtain their degree.

For proposals, the original title page containing the signatures of all committee members and the director of the department must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office.  The proposal must be submitted before a student enrolls in thesis or project for the third time or in dissertation for a fourth time and at least two weeks prior the beginning of enrollment process for the following semester.

The document in the following link specifies the proposal and length recommended for each part:

In this portal you will find useful and necessary information at the time of realizing
an investigation with human beings: http://uprm.edu/cpshi/ 

The proposal must accompany the form in the link below:

FORM TO SUBMIT DISSERTATION, THESIS OR PROJECT PROPOSAL.

3.  Taking Comprehensive, Qualifying and Degree Examinations

Some programs, especially doctoral programs and master’s programs without a thesis or project (called Master’s Plan III), have established one or more examinations as transition points in the student’s academic journey.  These examinations, called qualifiers, comprehensives or degree examinations (according to the program), may be written, oral, or both and are administered to evaluate the student’s dominion of material covered in the courses taken through their studies. Examinations may be repeated once and, results of any exam must be submitted to the Registrars Office, with a copy sent to the Graduate Studies Office, as per the following form:

The following table outlines the types of examinations required by the various graduate programs:

PROGRAM

NAME OF EXAM

WHEN THE EXAM CAN BE TAKEN

PURPOSE

Business Administration (MBA, Plans II y III)

Comprehensive

Upon completion of courses in the study plan. Examinations are offered twice a year, in April and November.

Final Degree Examination

Information and Computer Science and Engineering  (Ph.D.)

Qualifying Examination

 

Determine proficiency core courses

Information and Computer Science and Engineering  (Ph.D.)

Candidature

 

Proposal Defense

Marine Sciences  (MS, Plan I)

Oral Examination

Upon completion of courses in the study plan.

Final Degree Examination

Marine Sciences  (Ph.D.)

Qualifying Examination

Before completing the second semester of studies.

Determine if the student qualifies for a doctorate degree

Marine Sciences  (Ph.D.)

Comprehensive

Before completing the third semester of studies.

Defines the student as a candidate to a doctoral degree

English Education (MA, Plan III)

Comprehensive

Upon completion of courses in the study plan.

Final Degree Examination

Hispanic Studies (MA, Plan I)

Qualifying Examination

Upon completion of courses in the study plan. Offered twice a year, in March and October.

Final Degree Examination

Civil Engineering (ME, Plan III)

Comprehensive

Upon completion of courses in the study plan or at the end of the semester that courses will be completed.

Final Degree Examination

Civil Engineering (Ph.D.)

Qualifying Examination

No later than the beginning of second year. (Exempt if student already has a master’s degree)

Determine if the student qualifies for a doctorate degree

Civil Engineering (Ph.D.)

Comprehensive

Upon completion of courses in the study plan. Includes defense of the research proposal.

Defines the student as a candidate to a doctoral degree

Chemical Engineering (Ph.D.)

Qualifying Examination

Second semester of the first year of studies.

Determina si el estudiante cualifica para el grado de Doctor

Chemical Engineering (Ph.D.)

Proposal Defense

Upon completion of courses in the study plan.

Proposal Defense

Mathematics (MS, all plans)

Qualifying Examination

After first year (subjects include algebra, algorithms, analysis, applied statistics, numerical analysis, numerical linear algebra, theoretical statistics and topology).

Graduation Requirement

Mathematics (MS, Plan III)

Comprehensive

Upon completion of courses in the study plan.

Final Degree Examination

4.  Writing a Thesis, Project Report or Dissertation

Every student in Master’s Plan I (master’s with thesis) or Plan II (master’s with projects), as well as any doctoral student, must produce a document reporting on their research as a requirement to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree. For students in Plan I, Plan II or a doctoral program, this document is referred to as a thesis, project report or dissertation, respectively.

The Graduate Studies Office (OEG) provides a general guide to producing theses, project reports or dissertations, which is available at the following link:

Each department may adopt manuals outlining the writing style of their discipline. For this reason, we advise students to consult the director or graduate program coordinator of their department regarding specific guidelines that should be followed when producing their thesis. An example from the Department of Marine Sciences has been placed as a guide. In the following link you can see the changes in format for the theses and dissertations considered and approved by the department.

Some UPRM professors have also prepared the following templates in WORD and LaTex to ease the preparation of theses and dissertations.

 5.  Thesis Defense

Once a graduate student has passed all the courses specified in their study plan, completed their research and written their thesis, the thesis must be defended in an oral examination before an Examination Committee made up of the student’s graduate committee and a representative from the Graduate Studies Office.  Examinations take between two to four hours and are divided into two sections.  During the first part, which is open to the academic community, the student will give a brief, clear and precise presentation of his/her thesis, within a reasonable period of time (thirty minutes are suggested).  Only Examination Committee and the student will remain during the second part of the examination at which point the Examination Committee will question the candidate on his/her thesis or project and related areas.

Upon completion of the examination, the Examination Committee will deliberate in private over the results and will decide by majority whether to approve the examination. Finally, the Graduate Studies representative will take the examination results to the Graduate Studies Office.

Regulations on the administration of oral examinations are outlined in detail through the following link:

Oral examinations must be requested at least a month before the date of examination.  Due dates for each semester and summer sessions are established in the academic calendar and published under "Important Dates" section in this web page. Oral examination must be taken any time between the first day and the last day of any given semester or summer session. Applications must be accompanied by a printed copy of the thesis or project report, and proof that graduation has been requested. The relevant documents can be accessed below:

6.  Submitting the Thesis

The final version of the thesis must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office as a PDF (Portable Document Format) document on or before the deadline. The following resources will facilitate the preparation of the PDF document:

In addition, the student must submit two title pages of the thesis or dissertation with original signatures from members of their graduate committee, the Graduate Studies Office representative, and the Director of the student’s department, a copy of the Abstract and Resumen and a completed form to publish their thesis or dissertation. If you wish to publish your thesis, project or dissertation with ProQuest, the service is free of change and you can Access the following link for instructions. Publication form can found at the following link:

Doctoral students must also fill out the Survey of Earned Doctorates in the following link:

The student may postpone for a period of six months the publication of his/her thesis/dissertation on the website of Graduate Studies. 

The institutional copyright policy states that the author of the thesis/dissertation is the sole owner of the work and is therefore the only person authorized to sign the application. 

The request for postponing the publication of the thesis/dissertation on the Internet is available at the following link: