May 19, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Bulletin 
2024-2025 Graduate Bulletin

Graduate Research Requirements

 Graduate Research Plans

To meet research literacy and writing requirements for a graduate degree, the student should contact the Department Chair and/or Graduate Coordinator to select one of the research plan options listed below  (I, II, or III). Once admitted, a student seeking a master’s degree must enroll in the appropriate research foundations course the first time it is available. Research Plans I, II, and III are as follows:  

  • Plan I:     Research Literacy
  • Plan II:    Research Project
  • Plan III:   Thesis/Dissertation/Field Study

For assistance in determining the appropriate plan for a degree, the student should consult the Department Chair and/or Graduate Coordinator for the chosen program of study.

Non-APSU Employed Members on Thesis & Dissertation Committees Regulation

APSU allows outside, non-APSU employees to participate on thesis and dissertation committees. However, non-APSU employees cannot serve as thesis/dissertation chairs. Also, only one (1) member of a thesis or dissertation committee can be an outside, non-APSU employee.

Departmental Comprehensive Examination

During a student’s final semester of completing a degree program, or as otherwise specified, the candidate must pass a departmental oral and/or written comprehensive examination on all subject materials deemed appropriate by the faculty of the graduate program. The examination is a test of the candidate’s ability to integrate knowledge of the major and related fields, including material in the research literacy paper, research project paper, thesis, or field study report. Upon completion, the approved Verification of Thesis/Field Study/Research and/or Written-Oral Exam Completion Form must be submitted the College of Graduate Studies for the Dean’s approval. This form should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the end of the semester in which student expects to graduate. If the performance is unsatisfactory, as determined by the department administering the exam, the candidate may be re-examined after a minimum of three months and before a maximum of twelve months, unless otherwise approved by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The result of the second examination will be final. Verification of thesis, field study, research, literacy paper, and written or oral exam forms can be found at

Students enrolled in the Ed.D. program will be re-examined prior to the end of the subsequent semester. The results of the second exam are final, and a second failure will result in dismissal from the Ed.D. program.

Research Involving Humans and Animals

Any research involving humans or human tissues conducted under the auspices of APSU must be reviewed by the Austin Peay State University Institutional Review Board (APSU IRB). Most departments with graduate programs have representatives on this review board. For forms, information, and guidance on using human subjects in research, please visit

All research involving animals must be approved by the University Animal Care and Use Committee. Departments that conduct animal research are represented on this committee. Austin Peay State University adheres to the requirements of the Federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.) and its amendments, the PHS Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and other Federal statutes and regulations relating to animals. For further informtion, please visit APSU’s IACUC homepage at Forms and guidance for submitting animal research proposals are available in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, located in the McReynolds Building, room 110.  

Continued Enrollment to Complete Graduate Research Requirement

Tuition and fees will be assessed for the continued enrollment of those graduate students who have completed all course work but who have not completed the research plan component of their degree requirements.  During a two-semester “grace period,” tuition and fees will be waived and enrollment is not required.  Summer terms are not considered to be semesters.  Beginning the third semester, students who have not completed their theses, field study reports, research project papers, or research literacy papers must re-apply for graduate admission and will be assessed tuition and fees for a one credit hour course each semester until completion of the requirement.

Students who are enrolled in the Ed.D. program: Ed.D. students who have completed all coursework must maintain continual enrollment in a dissertation course (e.g., EDUC 8015, 8016) until they successfully defend their dissertation.