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Graduate Student Resources

Throughout your time at Utah State, these resources may be of help to you. If you have additional questions not answered by this web-page, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Katie Stringham.

Getting Started at USU

As you begin your studies at USU, make sure you do the following:

  • Connect to campus wifi
  • Get your student ID Card from the USU Card Office in the Taggart Student Center, room 212.
  • If you have an assistantship or other paid USU position, meet with Mary Ann Anderson in Fine Arts Visual, room 230.
  • Learn about and sign-up for student health insurance
  • Learn about transportation options
  • Memorize your university issued A#
  • Pick-up you studio key from the Key Office
  • Select a desk within the LAEP Graduate Studio in the Fine Arts Visual Center

Forms & Curriculum

Throughout your graduate degree, there will be forms to complete and classes to register for. The following links can assist you in this process.

Graduate School Forms: 

*A student's Program of Study needs to be completed prior to the Thesis Project Approval Form. The Program of Study is submitted to the Graduate School by the Graduate Program Coordinator.

For more information about these forms, visit the degree completion page

Department Policies Pertaining to Graduate Students

Degree Program Requirements Policy

Graduate degree program curricula are the responsibility of the department’s faculty, who determine core coursework and other department requirements to meet the objectives of the degree program (ex. accreditation). Within School of Graduate Studies and department requirements, the supervisory committee determines the courses for individual student’s Program of Study

Early Commencement Participation Policy

Students enrolled in an LAEP graduate program (PhD, MLA, MsEP, B+MLA, B+EP) who will not defend their dissertation/thesis/project and have their Record of Examination prior to the Spring graduation application deadline (typically February/March), but wish to participate in Commencement, may submit an Early Commencement request to participate. Early Commencement requests will only be approved if one of the following conditions are met:

  1. The student has submitted their Appointment for Examination (AFE) and is scheduled to defend their dissertation/thesis/project prior to the last day of Spring classes; OR the student’s major professor indicates that the student will defend their dissertation/thesis/project prior to the last day of Spring classes.
  2. The student has a Thesis/Project Approval (TPA) approved by the School of Graduate Studies prior to the deadline for submitting an Early Commencement request AND the student’s major professor indicates that the student will defend their thesis/project prior to the beginning of the subsequent Fall semester.
Students who will not complete their degree requirements as described previously should plan to participate in the next spring Commencement that corresponds with their graduation term.

External Committee Member Policy

Having external members (outside USU) in a graduate thesis or dissertation committee is not required. However, if you and your thesis/dissertation chair think an external member is justified, you can proceed and request the inclusion of an external committee member.

An external committee member should contribute to the candidate’s supervisory committee with a unique approach, expertise, experience, or familiarity with the research topic. This expertise or unique position should be complementary to what USU Faculty may be able to offer.

Having an external committee member requires additional efforts from the candidate and the committee chair to keep this external member engaged and supportive. Make sure you discuss with your emerging committee the advantages and risks of having an external committee member before extending an invitation.

To add an external committee member, a student must take the following steps:

  1. Receive approval from the student’s Major Professor
  2. Receive approval from the Graduate Program Director and/or Department Head
  3. Receive approval from the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, via an email from the Graduate Program Director to the Dean.
  4. Have an A# created for the individual by the Graduate Program Coordinator
  5. Complete the Supervisory Committee Initial Form using the newly created A# to add the external committee member

No more than one committee member can be outside USU. 

Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator with additional questions.

Graduate Faculty Policy

Faculty in the Dept. of LAEP established the following criteria at the August 2014 Retreat related to graduate faculty service. The essential measure of graduate faculty status in the department was determined to be service in graduate student advisement. Consequently, graduate faculty status is defined by the following policies governing graduate committees for LAEP-granted degrees:

  1. Chairs of all graduate degree committees for LAEP-granted degrees must be full-time faculty members within the Dept. of LAEP.
  2. Chairs and Co-chairs of all graduate committees must hold an earned degree of equal rank with the degree sought by the candidate.
  3. In extraordinary circumstances, following approval by the Committee Chair and Department Head, a maximum of (1) non-master’s holding individual may serve as a committee member.
  4. Doctoral committees must be composed of no less than (5) members holding a commensurate degree.
  5. Master’s committees must be composed with >50% members whose position is full-time or emeritus faculty.
  6. To serve as Chair of a graduate committee, faculty must be currently, or have previously been, a member of at least (1) USU graduate committee for an equal degree rank.
* Chair is used here in lieu of USU’s alternate title, “Major Professor”

Graduate Registration Policy - 2nd Year Students

Students enrolled in a LAEP graduate program (PhD, MLA, MsEP, B+MLA) will be unable to enroll for courses following the 2nd semester in their program without a Supervisory Committee Approval form completed, submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, and signed by all of the student’s thesis or dissertation committee members. Appeals for an exemption from this requirement will be made to the Graduate Program Director and will not be granted for failure to identify supervisory committee members.

Internship Credits Policy

Internship credits (LAEP 2250/6250 Internship and Cooperative Education) represent course credit for professional experience outside the classroom prior to graduation. A statement of professional goals, agreed to by the supervising faculty member and the professional employer prior to the internship, and a summary report by the student and the professional employer following the experience are required. Students may earn 1 credit, up to a maximum of 5 credits, for every 20 hours of internship work completed. Internship credits should not represent thesis work or faculty supervision of a thesis.

Thesis Credits Policy

A LAEP master’s degree requires the preparation and defense of a thesis, of either the Plan A or Plan B options. In addition to completion of the thesis work, six credits, recognized by the graduate school as thesis credits, are required as part of LAEP’s approved master’s program curriculum representing the allocation of faculty supervision for a student’s thesis, not the allocation of the student’s effort toward completion of their thesis. One thesis credit is completed as LAEP 6890, two thesis credits are taken as LAEP 6970, and the remaining three are taken as either LAEP 6970 (for Plan A theses) or LAEP 6960 (for Plan B theses). The semesters during which a student registers for thesis credit should correspond as closely as possible to the semesters in which the thesis work is done and faculty supervision is provided (USU Catalog, School of Graduate Studies, G.1.a.1). No more than six thesis credits are required to represent the allocation of faculty supervision for a student’s thesis. A student must be registered for at least one credit the semester of their defense. Should the student defend their thesis after completing all of their credit requirements, including those required for their thesis, they may register for a thesis credit beyond the six required. Thesis credits may not be used to meet elective credit requirements.

Thesis Editing Policy

Preparation of a thesis, Plan B report, or dissertation is the culminating learning experience for a graduate student. The quality of the product, which should represent the student’s own best work, is the responsibility of the student. Monitoring the quality of the thesis, Plan B report, or dissertation and mentoring the student in writing (structure, clarity, and concision) are responsibilities of the major professor, with the assistance of the supervisory committee. Editing by anyone other than the major professor and the supervisory committee should be limited to mechanics, such as spelling and grammar (USU Catalog, School of Graduate Studies, H.2.). Following the successful defense of the thesis or dissertation, the student is responsible for proofreading the thesis/dissertation and having it read and approved by the department before it is submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for review (USU Catalog, School of Graduate Studies, H.4.).

LAEP uses designated reviewers on a fee for service basis to conduct the departmental review. All dissertations, project reports (Plan B), and theses (Plan A) must be submitted for departmental review. The first $150 of the fee for this review will be paid by the department, with the remainder the responsibility of the student. Students wishing to minimize this fee are encouraged to verify that their thesis/dissertation is properly formatted, free of grammatical and spelling errors, and correctly follows the APA 7th edition reference style. Students may seek assistance through the available USU services (Publication Guide for Graduate Students, Writing Center, LAEP Thesis/Report templates) and/or solicit the services of an editor to assist in this process should they chose to do so.The supervisory committee is not responsible for the mechanics, such as formatting, spelling, and grammar, of the thesis or dissertation.