DESIGNING YOUR GRADUATE PROGRAM
We suggest three models for completion of your graduate program. These models are dependent upon the time you can devote to your graduate studies.
One Year Plan
This model assumes that you are able to devote full time to your pursuit of a graduate degree; it is not a viable option if you are committed to full-time or half-time employment. Within the 33-hour program, you would take four classes fall semester and five classes spring semester. (If you are not a student in the creative writing program and do not desire a creative writing class, one of these classes will be an independent study.) Your last two classes or your thesis hours will be taken during the summer sessions. Your comprehensive examinations will be taken in Spring.
Two Year Plan
This model assumes that you are able to devote at least half-time to your graduate program. This is the most common model since this is the model that applies to GAs who are committed to half-time work within the University. GAs typically follow a schedule that includes three classes during fall and spring semesters through the first and second year (sometimes dropping to two classes in the last semester). GAs often do not take classes during summer sessions since their stipends are for fall and spring, but they may use part of the summer to prepare for the comprehensive exam or to work on their thesis.
Three to Six Year Plan
This model assumes that you are committed to full-time obligations with either your job or with personal commitments. This is the most common model for full-time teachers who wish to pursue a master's degree. Given such full-time commitments, it is very difficult to take more than one graduate course each term. A good pace for a graduate student in this situation is to take three classes each year (usually one in the fall, one in the spring, and one in the summer). This pace will permit you to complete your required 33 hours and study for your comprehensive exam in four years. Do remember that the University requirement is completion of the M.A. program in six years. If special difficulties occur which prevent completion of the degree program, this regulation can be appealed before the Graduate Council (see Bulletin).