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Chapter 1: The Master's Degree

General Requirements
The Supervisory Committee
The Program of Study
Grade Requirements
Inactive Status and Probation
Dismissal and Reinstatement
Theses and Reports
Final Examination
Concurrent Bachelor/Master/Graduate Certificate Program

A. General Requirements

The Department of Kinesiology has two different plans for a master's degree:

1. Thesis option: As a part of the degree program the student will complete a thesis for 6 hours credit.  A total of 30 credits is required.

2. Coursework option: The student's degree program will consist of course work only. Total of 36 credits is required.




KIN 815 Research Methods



Statistics course (STAT 703)



Other Courses and Electives









 To be awarded a master's degree, the student

  • must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • must not be on probation
  • must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher
  • must meet all the requirements of the Graduate School, the student's academic program area, and the student's supervisory committee, and
  • must be enrolled during the semester in which the degree requirements are completed (one undergraduate credit is sufficient to meet this requirement).


B. The Supervisory Committee

The Supervisory Committee is responsible for administering the culminating experience and must include at least 3 graduate faculty members (xx number in Kin). The majority of the Supervisory Committee must vote in favor for the student to pass his/her final examination (a tie vote is a failure). The major professor is responsible for returning the signed ballot to the Graduate School.

C. The Program of Study

Every master's student must file with the Graduate School a Program of Study, a formal list of the courses the student intends to take to fulfill the requirements of the degree. The program of study should consist solely of courses directly related to the master's degree. Students should file their programs by the end of their second semester of graduate study. All members of the supervisory committee must indicate their approval by signing the Program of Study form. The Program of Study can be found at the Graduate School website below.


D. Courses

Graduate study demands a high degree of intellectual aptitude. It presupposes a broad preparation and involves the acquisition of specialized knowledge. These facts should be reflected in the graduate student's program of study. Credits that were earned more than six years prior to the semester in which the program of study is approved cannot be accepted.

 D. Course Levels and Programs

  • The student must complete 30 (thesis) or 36 (coursework) graduate credit hours with a graduate GPA of at least 3.0.
  • At least 18 of the graduate credit hours on the Graduate Program of Study must be in classes at the 700 level or above.
  • Graduate courses in the KIN Department must be at or above the 600 level.
  • Graduate courses outside the department must be at or above the 500 level (6 cr maximum).
  • A student pursuing a thesis format must complete at least 6 credit hours of Master’s Thesis (KIN 899).

D.2 Problems Courses

  • Thesis option: No more than 3 hours in problems or other individualized courses
  • Coursework option: No more than 6 hours in problems or other individualized courses

D.3 Courses Applied Toward Two Degrees

No graduate student may use credit from the same course in meeting the requirements for both an undergraduate and a graduate degree, except as described in the Concurrent BS/MS program described below.

D.4 Transfer of Credit

Kansas State University accepts graduate credit from another institution only under the following conditions:

a. The other institution is accredited by the cognizant regional accrediting association to offer graduate degree programs appropriate to the level of the credit to be transferred;

b. The credit is fully acceptable to the other institution in satisfaction of its own advanced degree requirements; and

c. The credit is applicable to the student's program of study for an advanced degree at Kansas State University.

d. Maximum of 10 credit hours for the master's degree; grade must be B or better.

E. Grade Requirements

E.1 Graded Work

Graduate work is graded A, B, C, D, F, credit/no-credit, pass/fail, incomplete, or withdrawn.

  • For graduate credit, the grade in a course must be C or higher.
  • To remain in good standing, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • All courses in the Program of Study except research (thesis) must be taken for letter grades. Research for master's theses is graded credit/no-credit exclusively.
  • No more than 3 hours of credit/no-credit or pass/fail (exclusive of research credit hours) may appear on the program of study for the master's degree.
  • A grade of incomplete (I) that is not changed to another grade by the end of the next semester will automatically change to an F, which is used when computing the GTA.
  • Research credits including thesis (KIN 898, 899) are initially given a grade of ‘I’.  This is converted to Pass when the student has completed all program requirements, including final examination or thesis defense.

E.2 Retake Policy

If the student received less than 3.0 (B) in a course, the student may retake the course with approval of the major professor and the supervisory committee. If the course is retaken by the direction of the major professor and the supervisory committee, the original grade is noted as retaken and removed from the grade point average. The retake grade will always be used in computing the grade point average regardless of whether it is higher or lower than the original grade. A student may retake a course with subsequent removal of the prior grade only once for each course and for a total of two courses in the program of study. An approved program of study must be on file in the Graduate School at the time the retake request is submitted. Retake requests must be made prior to enrolling in the course.

F. Inactive Status and Probation

F.1 Inactive Status

After consultation with the student's department/graduate program, a student will be placed in inactive status if he or she is not currently enrolled and has not been enrolled during the previous two years.

Once in inactive status a student must reapply to (and be accepted into) a graduate program before being considered for re-entry by the Graduate School. In order to be allowed to resume graduate studies, the student must meet all requirements for entry in force at the time of the new application. Inactive students who seek to regain active status will not, however, be required to recreate materials submitted with their original applications and held in their files by the Graduate School.

If allowed to regain active status, the formerly inactive student will be subject to all requirements in force in his or her graduate program and in the Graduate School at the time the student returns to active status.

F.2 Probation

  • Students may be placed on probation as a condition of their admission to graduate programs, if warranted by their academic record (Chapter 1.C).
  • In addition, students who fail to make satisfactory progress in their graduate programs will be placed on probation. Either of the following conditions will warrant probation:

a. A grade point average lower than 3.0,

b. The recommendation of the major professor or student's committee that the student's progress is unsatisfactory.

F.3 Removal from Probation

  • Students on probation as a condition of admission will acquire good standing if they achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the first 9 credit hours of graduate level course work.
  • Students placed on probation for deficient grades will be restored to good standing if they achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. This must be achieved within 2 semesters for full-time students and within 12 credit hours for part-time students.
  • Students placed on probation after recommendation by the major professor or supervisory committee may be restored to good standing only following the notification by the major professor and supervisory committee that the students are making satisfactory progress.

G. Dismissal and Reinstatement

G.1. Dismissal

A graduate student will be denied continued enrollment at Kansas State University for any of the following reasons:

a. Failure of a student admitted on probation to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the first 9 credit hours of graduate coursework, or failure of a student to meet other conditions specified in the admission letter.

b. Failure of a student placed on probation for deficient grades to achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 within 2 semesters for full-time students and within 12 credit hours for part-time students (see F.3)

c. Failure to meet published departmental or University requirements.

d. Failure to maintain satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree.

e. Failure in the final degree examination(s) (see Chapter 2.K.3).

f. Failure to acquire mastery of the methodology and content in a field sufficient to complete a successful thesis.

g. Qualifying for placement on probation a second time, except when the first period of probation is a condition of admission (Chapter 1.C) or when the second period is a condition of reinstatement (section G.2).

h. A recommendation for suspension or expulsion by the Honor Council.

G.2 Reinstatement

A student who has been denied continued enrollment may petition for reinstatement to the same program or for admission to a different one. The procedures for reinstatement are described in Appendix C Graduate Student Reinstatement Procedure of the University Graduate Handbook.

Students whose petitions are granted are readmitted on probation as a condition of readmission. In such cases, the Readmission Committee usually stipulates enrollment in a specific number of hours or courses, as well as other conditions for probation. To regain regular status, the student who has been reinstated must satisfy conditions described in F.3 for removal from probation.

I. Theses

I.1 General

A master's thesis presents the results of an original investigation of a problem or topic approved by the candidate's supervisory committee. Its purpose is to demonstrate the candidate's ability to conduct original research of a type appropriate to the academic discipline, to analyze the information obtained from the research, and to present the results in a form acceptable to the supervisory committee. Ideally, the thesis should result in a manuscript submitted to an appropriate peer-reviewed journal for publication.

I.2 Copies

  • The candidate should provide a copy of the thesis to the major professor and the supervisory committee at least ten days before the final examination.


  • Following a successful final examination, the candidate must provide an electronic copy of the final accepted thesis to the Graduate School, which will be deposited with the University Libraries. Refer to the Graduate School website for more information regarding the formatting and uploading of the thesis:  http://www.k-state.edu/grad/etdr/


J. Final Examination (see also Appendix A)

J.1 Nature

A culminating experience is required to earn a master's degree. The culminating experience should verify the student’s competence to synthesize information across the student’s program of study. The culminating experience will be completed during the semester the student plans to graduate based on the recommendation of the supervisory committee.

  • For the thesis option, the culminating experience shall be a defense of the thesis (see above). 
  • For the coursework only degree, the experience will be a final comprehensive examination over the coursework that constitutes the student’s Program of Study. See Appendix A for details.
  • The majority of the Supervisory Committee must vote in favor for the student to pass his/her examination (a tie vote is a failure).
  • The major professor is responsible for returning the signed ballot to the Graduate School.

J.2 Scheduling

The candidate must file with the Graduate School an Approval for Final Examination Form signed by each member of the committee at least two weeks prior to the scheduled exam. http://www.k-state.edu/grad/academics/forms/

When the examination has been scheduled, the Graduate School will send a final examination ballot and an ETDR ballot to the major professor and notify in writing all members of the committee regarding the time and place.

Normally the final thesis defense will be given on the Manhattan campus. In the case of an examination in which the participants are not all in the same location, any technology used to conduct the examination must support simultaneous oral interaction between the student and all members of the examining committee.

J.3 Structure of the Final Comprehensive Examination for the Coursework only option

The final comprehensive examination for the coursework only option is described in Appendix A. The role of the Major Professor in the examination process will be to a) solicit the questions from the committee members, b) distribute them to the examinee and supervise the exam, c) send the answers to the committee members and collect their feedback regarding pass/not pass, and d) circulate the ballot at the end for signatures of the committee members and return to the Graduate School (much as the MP would do for a thesis defense).

J.3 Failure and Repetition

Negative votes by two or more members of a three- or four-member committee constitute failure. A candidate who fails a master's examination may take a second examination no sooner than two months nor later than 15 months after the failure, unless an extension is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School. No third trial is allowed.

J.4 Competency Revalidation of Courses

If a student's program of study includes any course credits more than six years old at the time the student is about to complete all degree requirements, the department must revalidate the process.  Some of the courses may not be approved. The form and content of this revalidation process will be determined by the Kinesiology Department.

K. Concurrent Bachelor/Master Program

K.1 Nature and Rationale

The Concurrent Bachelor/Master’s program offers the opportunity for outstanding students to advance their careers in a significant way by pursuing the Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in a concurrent and coordinated program. The goal of this program is to provide the student with a high level of academic advising culminating in the preparation of a graduate program of study while the student is still an undergraduate. Graduate education involves a close working relationship between a student and a Graduate Faculty mentor, and the Concurrent Degree Program develops this relationship early in a student's career.

K.3 Concurrent Graduate Program Guidelines

All of the policies and procedures described above for the MS program are valid and appropriate for a student in the Concurrent BS/MS program.

The bachelor degree may be awarded at any time following the completion of the undergraduate degree requirements. Alternatively, the bachelor and the advanced degree may be awarded concurrently.