Degree and Certification Information

Comprehensive Exit Examination

The student must pass a final comprehensive examination oral and/or written in the field of study. This examination will include the defense of the student's thesis, if one is written. For further information, contact the appropriate program coordinator or department chair.

Degree/Non-degree Requirements

The University requirements for all doctor of education, education specialist, master's and non-degrees are:

  1. A master's degree requires a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours. Most master's programs are more than 30 hours. For the education specialist program, a minimum of 60 hours including the master's degree must be completed. The doctor of education program requires a minimum of 60 hours including completion of a capstone.
  2. No credit earned by correspondence or through testing programs may be applied to the requirements for the master's degree, Ed.S., Ed.D. and non-degree programs.
  3. Residence credit is given for all MSU coursework completed on the campus, online or at the regional campus centers. Not more than nine hours of approved transferred work will be accepted toward the minimum requirements for the master's degree, Ed.S., or non-degree programs. A maximum of 18 post-master's hours may be permitted to be transferred for the doctor of education program.
  4. Fifty percent of the total coursework (minimum of 15 hours) must be earned in one field of study.
  5. At least 50% of the coursework toward a graduate degree or non-degree program must be earned through instruction at Morehead State University.
  6. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for the degree or non-degree, and no credit is allowed for a mark below "C."
  7. A maximum of nine credit hours may be earned through independent study, directed study, special problems or workshops.
  8. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive exit examination. For specific requirements of a particular program (which may go beyond the minimum), consult the section on the appropriate program.
  9. Must be unconditionally admitted to the program.

Proficiency Evaluation for Teacher Certification

Experienced teachers seeking certification in an additional content area or for another grade level may request a proficiency evaluation to determine their eligibility. This is an individualized process during which appropriate University faculty will review an applicant's prior education, school-based professional development, experience, and/or other specialized training. The applicant is required to provide documentation of mastery of the critical competencies required of candidates completing the program of preparation in the field for which certification is being sought. This documentation can take a variety of forms including academic transcripts, records of in-service training, certificates, letters, work products and other documents.

An applicant requesting a proficiency evaluation must obtain the proficiency evaluation form from the graduate office and submit it with a letter of application, which briefly states the basis for applicant claim of eligibility for additional certification to the chair of the department that houses the desired certification program. The applicant will meet with the chair who will conduct a preliminary review to determine eligibility. As a guide in conducting this evaluation, the chair will list on the evaluation form the core University courses required of candidates typically obtaining the desired certification. This list of courses is intended to serve as a guideline for assessing the core competencies addressed within each course.

In this process, the applicant is expected to demonstrate these competencies and not necessarily equivalences of work done in courses. Based on the guidelines provided in this meeting and outlined on the evaluation form, the applicant will develop an array of evidence aligned with the required competencies. Upon submission of the evidence, the chair person will refer the applicant and the evidence to faculty member(s) with appropriate expertise who will review the applicant's material, request further documentation (if needed), and identify any areas of deficiency that must be addressed to obtain the requested certification.

The designated faculty member(s) will summarize the results of this process on the proficiency evaluation form. Additionally, transcripts, documentation of experience and faculty reviews of applicant's other supporting evidence (summarized in written memoranda) must be attached to the application. The faculty member(s) shall then submit the completed form and all supporting material to the appropriate department chair who will review and forward all materials to the Graduate School.

If the chair does not concur with the faculty assessment of the applicant's competencies, the chair will meet with the applicant and the relevant faculty member(s) to resolve any concerns and finalize the proficiency evaluation. In the event that the applicant disagrees with the results of the review and this dispute cannot be resolved in meeting with the appropriate chair and the involved faculty member(s), the applicant may file a Student Grievance Form through the Office of the Provost.

From that point forward, the procedures for resolving an academic grievance outlined elsewhere in this catalog will be followed. Upon completion of all identified deficiencies and successful completion of the required PRAXIS examination(s), the graduate certification officer will submit a recommendation for the requested certification to the Education Professional Standards Board. The applicant must have received a grade of at least a "C" in any undergraduate course or at least a "B" in any graduate class that is used to demonstrate competency for a proficiency review. Since proficiency evaluation is not part of a degree program, the University's typical limitation on the number of transfer credit hours will not apply to a proficiency evaluation. Successful proficiency evaluations will not be accepted in lieu of required coursework in graduate programs.

Rank I Change Requests

To qualify for a Rank I recommendation, the student must have 30 credit hours of approved graduate credit in addition to Rank II or 60 credit hours of approved graduate credit including a master's degree. The student must be admitted to an EPSB-approved graduate program and coursework must lead to completion of that program.

For students wanting to obtain a Rank I change outside of an EPSB-approved program, contact should be made with the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). The rank change would be subject to approval by that agency.


Prior to beginning work on a thesis, the student should obtain a copy of the official guidelines from the Graduate School, located in 701 Ginger Hall or online at

After you have successfully completed the thesis defense and no later than two weeks before the degree is to be conferred, upload the final copy of the thesis and the "Committee Approval to Review Graduate Thesis or Applied Project" form to ProQuest. The link to ProQuest is