Idaho State University offers students the opportunity to pursue an interdisciplinary master's degree. The degree sought and the field appearing first in the title of the program will be that of that department providing the major portion of the graduate credits. Other fields in the title will be secondary fields of concentration. The requirements include: completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours with a minimum of 10 hours in each of the departments participating. Students must be admitted into such a program by each department which participates. Students must contact each department contemplated to be involved prior to initiating the development of an interdisciplinary program.
Although students must take at least 10 credits in each of the
departments participating, departments may, at their discretion,
require additional credit hours of the students as a condition of
the departmental participation and admission of the student in
the program. Admission to candidacy requires approval of all
courses and additional requirements by chairpersons of the
departments involved. Requirements for candidacy are the same for
the interdisciplinary program as they are for other degree
programs (see section on Candidacy). An interdisciplinary thesis
may be written with a minimum of three credit hours and a maximum
of five credit hours in each department. The final oral
examination must include a representative from each department
and a graduate faculty representative from a department not
involved in the interdisciplinary program.
Hazardous Waste Management
Students may pursue an M.S. in Hazardous Waste Management (Interdisciplinary Studies). Students must obtain admission from the Graduate School, which requires that students possess a 2.75 GPA or higher for all upper division credits taken at the undergraduate level, regardless of the institution at which the credits were earned, and GRE scores must be provided for admission. Students may be admitted on a conditional basis without GRE scores, but the scores must be submitted no later than the end of the first semester of enrollment. Students must also obtain admission from two academic departments/disciplines. Admission requirements vary between departments, and there may be departmental requirements beyond those of the Graduate School which the student must fulfill to gain departmental admission.
Within the framework of the basic degree requirements, an advisory committee is chosen to work with the student to create an individualized program of study. The advisory committee consists of two ISU faculty advisors, one from each of the two listed departments, and a Graduate Faculty Representative appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies. The faculty member in the primary department acts as the student's major advisor and provides direction to the student regarding all relevant aspects of the program. The committee should assist the student in selecting courses appropriate for the program of study. An initial program of study must be developed and submitted to the Hazardous Waste Management Council for approval no later than the second semester of enrollment. Changes in the initial program may be made with the approval of the major advisor. The final program of study is submitted to the Council for admission to candidacy, and completion of the degree must also be submitted to the Council for approval.
The objective of the Interdisciplinary Studies program in Hazardous Waste Management is to allow the student to combine courses in Hazardous Waste Management with related courses in areas of primary interest. At least 30 credits are required for the degree, of which at least 15 must be at the 600 level. At least 10 credits must be completed within each of the two listed departments, with the remainder of the course work representing the Hazardous Waste Management required and elective course work. No more than 9 credits may be transferred from another university, with the exception of courses cross listed with the University of Idaho, which will be accepted as resident credits. Thesis and non-thesis options are available for the degree. A maximum of 10 credits of research and thesis may be counted toward the degree; these credits may apply towards the 15 credits at 600 level requirement. There are specific program-wide and department-specific requirements for the thesis and non-thesis option.
Students should confer closely with their advisory committee members in deciding the most appropriate option. Department/academic disciplines participating in the program include: Biological Sciences, Business, Chemistry, Engineering,
Geology, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Physics, Political Science, and Vocational Teacher Education (Occupational Training Management).
Currently a number of the Hazardous Waste Management courses are being offered only in Idaho Falls, although efforts are made to provide instruction to Pocatello students as often as possible via the telecommunications system. Many courses are instructed during evening hours. Due to these factors and the interdisciplinary nature of the program, it may be anticipated that completion of the M.S. degree may take longer than for other "traditional" M.S. degrees.
The following courses are required of every student receiving the M.S. degree in Hazardous Waste Management (Interdisciplinary Studies).
BIOS 587 Environmental Science and Pollutants 3 crENGR 570 Survey of Hazardous Waste Management Problems 3 cr
ENGR 655* Hazardous Waste Management Seminar 0 cr*Course must be completed two times in order to satisfy requirement.
BIOS 623 Soil and Groundwater Bioremediation 3 cr BIOS 624 Microbial Ecology 3 cr BIOS 599 HWM Problems (Independent Study) 2 cr CHEM 599 Environmental Chemistry 2 cr CHEM 599 Environmental Chemistry Laboratory 1 cr ENGR 606 Environmental Law and Regulations 3 cr ENGR 659 Special Topics in Engineering Science 3 crENGR 589 Principles of Hazardous Waste Site Remediation 3 cr
ENGR 608 Waste Treatment Technologies 3 cr ENGR 504 Engineering Risk Assessment 3 cr ENGR 607 Hazardous Waste Management 3 cr ENGR 609 Treatment of Radioactive Waste 3 cr ENGR 612 Treatment of Hazardous Chemical Waste 3 cr ENGR 614 Hazardous Waste Site Remediation 3 cr GEOL 520 Principles of Geochemistry 3 cr GEOL 530 Principles of Hydrogeology 3 crGEOL 599 Fate and Transport of Contaminants in the
Environment 3 cr GEOL 599 Environmental Geochemistry 3 cr PSCI 621 Biological Action of Chemicals 3 cr PSCI 622 Principles of Toxicology 3 crPHYS 605 Radiological Environmental Monitoring and
Surveillance 3 cr PHYS 599 Emergency Planning and Preparedness 3 crSpecial Requirements Department of Biological Sciences: Students who have not taken an undergraduate ecology course will be required to complete the ecology bridge course BIOS 521 prior to enrollment in BIOS 587, a required course. All students choosing this option will be required to complete Hazardous Waste Management Problems BIOS 599, an independent study course.
Majors in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, and Physics or approved interdisciplinary combination of the foregoing may lead to the degree of Master of Natural Science. This program is designed to provide subject matter material for those teaching at the secondary level or intending to do so. Requirements include possession of or pursuit of a standard secondary teaching credential. "Pursuit of a standard secondary teaching credential" shall be defined as follows: The following factors must be completed by the student, or the student must have equivalency in these areas to meet the definition:
Courses numbered 600 and 700 are for students in the Graduate School only. Other courses for which graduate credit may be obtained are indicated with "g" designations in the University Bulletin and the Graduate School Bulletin. Courses with "g" designations are shown on registration forms and transcripts as 500-level courses (e.g. EDUC g483 becomes EDUC 583.) Extra work is required of graduate students enrolled in "g" courses. Whether these or other courses may be applied toward requirements for a graduate degree is determined by the department offering the degree. Credit by examination (course challenge) is not permitted in graduate programs.
Activities Instructors May Require to Meet the "Additional Work" Requirement to Receive Graduate Credit in Those Courses Offered as g300 and g400
The Graduate Council expects instructors to require specific work to be done in a graduate level course to justify graduate credit being given. This is particularly true for courses which may be used to count toward a degree. In those courses designated at the g300 or g400 level, for students to receive graduate credit (500 level courses) specific and evaluated activities and performances must be identified. Listed below are a suggested list of activities which an instructor may use to meet this requirement.
Transfer of Credits
All credits must be earned on the Idaho State University campus except in the following instances: (1) In all degree programs a total of nine semester credits may be transferred from an accredited institution. Transfer of residence credits from an accredited institution is acceptable only if the courses were taken as resident credits at that institution and are specifically approved by the Graduate School and academic department of ISU at the time the student becomes a candidate for an advanced degree. (2) Extension credits earned through ISU but taught by instructors other than approved faculty of ISU are treated as transfer credits. Official transcripts to be used for transfer of credits in a degree program must be received before admission to candidacy will be approved. Intra-institutional Transfer
Transfer of Credits from Unclassified to Classified Status. Students may petition the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research to transfer course work taken while under Unclassified status to a degree program. The total number shall not be more than 30% of the credits of the program of work required of each student for the degree.
Transfer of Credits from One Program to Another. There are no limits to the number of credits which may be applied toward a master's degree program which were originally awarded in a different degree program if a) the student was not awarded a degree in the original program and b) the department approves the transfer of such credits and the courses taken meet the requirements for the degree approved by the Graduate Council. There are no limitations with respect to electives which exceed the requirement for the degree.
Departments and/or colleges may allow students to apply up to nine semester credit hours earned at ISU to two master's degrees. Doctoral Programs
Departments may accept credits by transfer in toto or in part from a master's degree earned at ISU or at another institution regardless of age of the courses. See section on Time Limits for further discussion of this policy.
All credits which are to be applied to an advanced degree must be earned as resident credits or accepted for transfer as described in the Transfer of Credits section. Resident credits are those earned on the Idaho State University campus except in the following instances: (1) With the approval of the department and college offering the degree, graduate credits earned in the Boise Cooperative Graduate Center, Twin Falls Graduate Center, or Idaho Falls Graduate Center are considered resident credits and may be applied toward an advanced degree. (2) Extension courses approved by the Graduate Council and taught solely by approved faculty of ISU may be, with departmental approval, accepted as resident credit, but only when normal instruction does not demand special facilities available only on campus. A maximum of 15 credits earned under these circumstances may be applied toward a degree. Correspondence Courses
No credit obtained by correspondence may be counted toward a graduate degree at ISU.
Master's and Educational Specialist Degrees All requirements for a master's degree or educational specialist degree must be completed within eight years preceding the student's graduation. An extension of time may be obtained for good cause with the approval of the Graduate Council (file petition through the Office of Graduate Studies and Research). Doctoral Degrees
The doctorate is a research or performance degree and signifies that the holder has the competence to function independently at the highest level of endeavor in the chosen profession. Hence, the number of years involved in attaining or retaining competency cannot be readily specified. Rather, it is important that the doctoral student's competency be assessed and verified in a reasonable period of time prior to conferral of the degree. The comprehensive examination is the method of assessing whether the student has attained sufficient knowledge of the discipline and supporting fields in order to undertake the independent research or practice. It is expected that the examination will occur after all course work has been completed and language or other requirements satisfied, and it consists of a series of examinations covering all areas specified in the plan of study. Because the comprehensive examination attests to the academic competence of the student who is about to become an independent researcher or practitioner, the examination should not precede the degree by too long a period of time. Consequently, doctoral candidates are allowed no more than five years in which to complete remaining degree requirements. In the event a student fails to complete the doctorate within five years after passing the comprehensive examination, an extension of time can be obtained only by: a) The student getting a specified set of requirements from the student's committee which states in writing what must be done to make the candidate up-to-date in the discipline. These new requirements for obtaining an extension may include the necessity to repeat parts or all of the comprehensive examination. b) The student must then submit a petition to the Graduate Council for the extension and provide the written documents showing the additional requirements established by the student's committee justifying the requested extension. Out-of-Date Credits
All credits applied to a master's degree or to an educational specialist degree must have been taken within eight years immediately prior to granting of the degree unless it can be shown that the course work taken more than eight years earlier covers material which has not changed substantially during the intervening time or that the student has been able to remain current in the topics covered in the course. Evidence that the older course work is still appropriate must be approved by the department chairman. A petition requesting an exception to the eight-year limitation must be submitted by the student to the Graduate Council for approval. The letter of approval from the department chairman should identify the reasons why the older course work is still appropriate and be submitted with the petition to the Graduate Council.
Withdrawal or Dismissal
Students may voluntarily withdraw from a graduate program at any time. A graduate student may be dismissed from a graduate program by a department/college according to the policy described in the Appeal of Dismissal section.
Appeals of Grade or Dismissal
Appeal of a Grade
Graduate students who wish to appeal a grade must use the following procedural format. Appeal of a grade must be made within one semester following the posting of the grade. Grades earned in the spring semester that are to be appealed need not be appealed during the summer, but the appeals process must be initiated in the following fall semester. Faculty members who are overruled in the appeals process are entitled to the same sequence of appeal as the graduate students. The Graduate School encourages resolution of appeals at the lowest possible level. Step 1:
The Class Instructor. When a student receives a grade that is judged by that student to be unjustifiably low, the first step in the appeals process is to discuss the matter with the instructor of the class. This may be done informally but if the student plans to proceed up the line of appeal, a formal statement must be prepared in accordance with the format presented in the Protocol for Appeals shown below. This statement must specify what, in the student's mind, would constitute a fair redress of the grievance. If the instructor agrees that the student was erroneously graded, the grade is changed using standard procedures. If the instructor stands by the original decision, the case may be taken to the department chairperson. In such an instance, the instructor must prepare a statement explaining the reasons for the grade.
The Department Chairperson. The chairperson of the department in which the appealed grade was received is to review the student's written statement and the instructor's written rationale for the grade. The chairperson should interview the student and the instructor and may conduct whatever additional investigation is deemed appropriate to help in the decision-making process. The chairperson must render a decision within two weeks of receipt of the appeal.
If the chairperson sustains the decision of the instructor, the appeal may be taken to the dean of the college. If the department chairperson chooses to overrule the instructor, the grade must be adjusted and the chairperson may adjust the grade. It is possible to negotiate the adjusted grade. If the student remains dissatisfied with the adjustment, the appeal may still be taken to the dean of the college. Regardless of the decision, the chairperson must prepare a statement, in writing, that explains the reason for the decision. If the appeal is taken to the dean, the chairperson's statement must accompany the student's appeal and the instructor's statement.
The Dean of the College. The dean of the college is next to be contacted in the appeals process. The dean is to appoint an impartial committee of faculty members who will review all written documentation pertaining to the case. This appeals committee should interview both the student and the instructor and may conduct any other investigation deemed necessary. The appeals committee, which is advisory to the dean, must submit a written statement of its decision. The dean's decision is also to be tendered in writing. The committee's deliberation and the dean's decision must be completed within three weeks of receipt of the appeal in the dean's office. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the committee, the appeal may be taken to the Graduate Council.
The Graduate Council. At the request of the student, the Graduate Council will review all prior documentation and render a decision within three weeks of receipt of the appeal. The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and/or the Graduate Council may interview the student and instructor or carry out any other investigation deemed necessary to assist in the decision-making process. Once the decision is made, it is final and will be implemented by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. Protocol for Appealing
Protocol for appeal of a grade must include the student's name, department/college, date of the appeal, course title and number, instructor's name, and grade received in the class. Also included must be the student's rationale for appeal of the grade. The student should state as succinctly as possible the reasons for making the appeal. The student must also state the solution that would satisfy the appeal from the student's perspective.
Appeal of Dismissal
from a Graduate
A graduate student may be dismissed from a graduate program by a department/college according to the following criteria:
for reporting the results of graduate examinations to the Graduate Dean. The Graduate School welcomes suggestions from the student regarding candidates for the GFR.
Application to the major department for admission to Master's candidacy should be made as soon as the student is eligible to do so. This should be done no later than the penultimate semester or summer session relative to the intended date of graduation. No student will be admitted to candidacy until all required official transcripts have been received. Official transcripts to be used for transfer of credits in a degree program must be received before admission to candidacy will be approved. Each college and department may have specific requirements for admission to candidacy in addition to those of the Graduate School. Students should check with individual departments and colleges for additional requirements. Criteria for admission to candidacy in Ed.S., Ed.D., Ph.D., and D.A. programs vary, and the student should consult the Graduate School Bulletin for specific information on specialist and doctoral degrees. Regardless of the degree sought only students with Classified status may file for candidacy. Should the requirements for candidacy change during a student's program, the student is entitled to follow those requirements in effect at the time of admission or the student may elect to follow the new requirements. However, a student who remains in candidacy for a period that exceeds three years from the time of change must follow the new candidacy requirements.
Graduate Student Participation in Classified or Proprietary
The Graduate Council affirms the policy regarding the participation of graduate students in classified or proprietary research as it is stated in the Idaho State University Patent Policy. "Idaho State University shall make only agreements with third parties which will not inhibit a student's timely completion of a course of study or degree." This shall be interpreted to mean that students must not be delayed in their program of study up to and including the award of the degree and that placement of the finished thesis or dissertation in the library for public access may not be delayed longer than six months.
Application For a Degree
Within the first two weeks of the semester or summer session in which the student expects to complete work for the degree, an application for graduation must be filed and the diploma fee of $5 paid. If the student does not complete requirements during this semester or summer session, the application for a subsequent term must be renewed. Degree applicants must be formally admitted to candidacy for the degree sought prior to application for a degree. In cases where no course work is to be taken or thesis credit registration is necessary to meet graduation requirements, students must obtain authorization from the Office of Graduate Studies and Research to retain library privileges.
All graduate students are to complete a final examination. Final examinations are scheduled by departments and reported to the Graduate School.
All examinations must be completed at least two weeks before the end of a semester or summer session in which the student plans to graduate. All graduate requirements must be completed prior to or at the end of the semester or summer session during which final examinations are held. Students writing theses or dissertations are given final oral examinations. Others are usually given both written and oral examinations. Doctoral students are required to take written examinations at various times prior to the final examination (see doctoral program descriptions). Oral examinations are open to all regular members of the faculty as observers. Oral examinations are not open to non-faculty without permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. If the candidate's program requires a thesis, copies in substantially final form shall be in the hands of the examining committee at least two weeks before the date scheduled for the oral examination. Oral examinations are to be held at least two weeks prior to the date of graduation. If any member questions whether or not the substance or form of the thesis or dissertation is adequate, the committee as a whole decides if the thesis is sufficiently prepared for an oral examination. The major advisor is responsible for reporting a grade to the Registrar for all prior thesis registrations of the candidate when the thesis has been approved by the examining committee. If the candidate's program requires no thesis, the department or college is responsible for having a written examination on the degree program prepared and administered. If the student's performance is judged to be satisfactory or if it is determined that deficiencies may be cleared up during the oral examination, the examining committee conducts the oral examination on the scheduled date. Otherwise, the student may be expected to complete subsequent requirements before the oral examination is held. Oral examinations for non-thesis students must also be completed two weeks prior to the date of graduation.