Transfer Credits and Course Waivers
Credit by Prior Learning Assessment
Akamai University offers a "coursework and thesis" route for completion of the Master's degree requirements in a wide range of relevant degree fields. All Master's level programs require you to complete preparatory coursework, and undertake comprehensive examination and thesis project activities.
As prerequisites for acceptance to the Master's degree, you should have completed the equivalent of a recognized baccalaureate degree in an appropriate field of study and have several years of meaningful professional experience. Some fields of study require specific preparatory coursework (and licensing) for entry at the Master's level.
The baccalaureate degree requirement is never waived. However, on occasion well qualified applicants are accepted to the Master's program lacking elements of preparation. Under these conditions, you would be required to add the missing competencies to your program.
You are expected to be proficient in collegiate English language skills. If you are a second language English applicant, you should submit records of TOEFL examination with scores of 550 minimum. You are expected to have access to a computer, email and the Internet and other outside library resources for the full extent of your program.
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Master's participants by coursework and thesis complete a minimum of 40 credits above the baccalaureate degree including the thesis. Your coursework requirements include the academic major and the academic minor and, as appropriate, field studies, directed studies, research preparation competencies, and additional electives to satisfy the minimum credit requirements. In addition to Akamai University coursework, credit may be applied from transfer courses completed at outside colleges and training organizations. As a Master's student, you will complete a comprehensive examination at the conclusion of your academic coursework. You will prepare a formal thesis proposal, complete the thesis project, and prepare the manuscript for faculty review. You will also complete an oral review of thesis at the conclusion of the research review.
Core Academic Requirements(Required: 18 credits minimum)
Major Concentrations (Required: 9 credits minimum)
Research Preparation (Required: 3 credits minimum)
EXM 880: Master's Comprehensive Examination (Required: 2 credits)
RES 885: Thesis Proposal (Required: 2 credits)
RES 890: Thesis (Required: 4 credits)
EXM 895: Oral Review of Thesis (Required: 2 credits)
Duration of Degree Program
Core Academic Requirements
Master's students completing the degree by coursework, complete core coursework comprising an academic major. These are the foundational competencies in theories, principles, and practices, and the historical, philosophical, and social-cultural implications of the discipline. These courses represent the core competencies and essential elements, which define your field of study and establish the underlying foundations upon which you may base your advanced professional development.
As a Master's student you are guided by your primary mentor in the selection of at least eighteen credits in core course modules from within the field of your academic major. In all degree fields the core program includes a reading course through which you cover the essential theoretical readings appropriate to the discipline. See the appropriate Center for program course offerings.
Master's students also complete at least 9 credits of coursework comprising an academic minor. The assigned primary mentor will guide you in the selection of this coursework. The academic minor may include additional studies in your major field or another appropriate field of study. The minor may also be interdisciplinary in nature. You are encouraged to select minor studies that serve your individualized academic needs and professional interests. These minor studies should add competencies essential to your professional, academic or research development.
Master's students must pursue studies providing advanced research knowledge necessary for success in their final projects (thesis). At least three semester credits of research preparation coursework is required and this might focus upon quantitative and qualitative methods or participatory action research techniques including subject selection, research design, and statistical analysis, as appropriate to each student's proposed project. Through this requirement, students learn to effectively define applied problems or theoretical issues and articulate the rationale for the study. They should learn to present an effective scholarly review of the academic literature and implement quantitative, qualitative or participatory action methods for evaluating academic issues.
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Once you have completed the coursework elements of your degree, you will be asked to schedule the Comprehensive Examination. Your primary mentor and a faculty member representing the secondary academic area conduct both the written and oral components of the examination. The written portion is open book style with selected essay questions requiring creative responses that reach for the higher levels of cognition. Your answers are expected to draw from both the primary and secondary competencies of your program with proper referencing of the scholarly literature. The oral component of the examination is normally completed by telephone conference and is intended to allow detailed investigation of your written responses.
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You are expected to prepare a formal proposal related to your concept for research under the direction of your primary mentor and according to University expectations. At a minimum, your research proposal should clarify the thesis statement and methodology (including the data gathering instruments and data analysis techniques) and provide an effective overview of the scholarly literature that sets the foundation for the thesis. Your research proposal should also include a brief manuscript outline that demonstrates how you will present in written form the various elements of the research project.
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Following approval of your thesis proposal, you will begin your research project. Your thesis may take the form of a traditional research project or it may be a major scholarly project of the type appropriate to the discipline. Whichever approach to the thesis is chosen, the resulting project must demonstrate mastery of a body of knowledge in the major field of study, be your original work and represent a meaningful contribution to the betterment of the human condition or an improvement to the professional field.
Your thesis research may be conducted via quantitative, qualitative, or participatory action research. The body of your thesis manuscript, structured according to a set of approved manuscript guidelines, should exceed 75 double spaced, typewritten pages. If your thesis takes the form of a scholarly project, it must follow the guidelines provided by the University for such projects.
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REVIEW OF THESIS
Once you have prepared the thesis manuscript, you will be asked to schedule the formal review process. Your primary mentor and a faculty member representing the secondary academic area will conduct both the formal physical review of the thesis manuscript and the oral review of thesis.
The physical review of the thesis manuscript usually takes the review committee four to six weeks. Each reviewer will prepare questions and commentary relative to your underlying review of the literature, the thesis methodology, the mechanics of your project, and your presentation of the findings, conclusions and recommendations.
The Oral Review of Thesis is conducted under the direction of your primary mentor with the assistance of one qualified member of the faculty. The examination is carried out by telephone conference call and is designed to allow detailed investigation of your thesis. The faculty reviewers explore with you issues related to your thesis including methodology, review of literature and interpretation of the findings.
One outcome of the thesis review process is a set of final expectations directing you through the remaining tasks for completing the thesis manuscript. Once your final manuscript is approved, you will submit the formal document to an approved bindery and later ship the bound thesis to the University for permanent archival storage.
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DURATION OF DEGREE PROGRAM
As a minimum degree requirement, Master's students must maintain enrollment at Akamai University for at least one calendar year. Most students complete their program within two years. After two years, a small continuation fee is assessed each calendar quarter. Up to four years is allowed to finish all requirements for the degree.
TRANSFER CREDITS AND COURSE WAIVERS
As an important part of your program, you may petition your primary mentor to transfer coursework previously completed at accredited education and training institutions, provided the coursework satisfies meaningful elements of your program of studies. As a Master's student, you may have a maximum of six semester credits of transfer coursework applied toward your degree.
Courses applied to your prior degrees will not be granted credit in transfer but may be eligible for course waivers. There are no limits to the number of course waivers that may be applied, so long as they address required elements of your program. You should carefully review the University's guidelines regarding transfer credits and course waivers and explore the details with your primary mentor.
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CREDIT BY PRIOR LEARNING ASSESSMENT
As a Master's student, you may earn a maximum of 12 semester credits toward your degree through assessment of prior learning by portfolio evaluation and challenge examination. Your portfolios should be developed relative to creditworthy elements of your professional background for which sufficient credible evidence exists to correlate effectively with college-level learning objectives. The source of your prior learning might be advanced employment experience, non-college training, continuing education, seminars and conferences, professional achievements, employment training, language training, technical classes, training leading to special certificates, diplomas and licenses or other advanced level learning obtained from personal and professional achievements.
College equivalency credit may also be earned through course challenge examinations. You are allowed to undertake course challenge examinations when it is clearly demonstrated you have acquired sufficient knowledge and expertise from prior experiences and training to satisfy the learning objectives of the course under examination.
Duplicative credit may not be awarded. Each course approved for prior learning assessment is evaluated independently by the most appropriate Akamai University mentor. You are advised to carefully review the University's guidelines covering prior learning assessment and discuss these matters in detail with your primary mentor early in your progress toward the degree.
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EXM 880: Comprehensive Examination-Master's Students (2 credits)
Masters students complete this comprehensive examination as a required element of their academic program, prior to undertaking the thesis. The examination usually includes both written and oral components and is confined to the programs of studies completed by the student.
RES 885: Thesis Proposal (2 credits)
This course is required of all Masters students designed to guide them through the formal research proposal process for their final projects, including the development of the research methodology, data gathering device and data analysis techniques. Students also prepare annotated bibliographies of the major scholarly works underlying their project.
RES 890: Thesis (4 credits)
This course governs the conduct of the thesis project for the Master's level student. The Masters thesis is the demonstration of the mastery of a body of knowledge in a given field and is presented in a manuscript usually 75 or more pages in length. The final project may take any of several forms, depending upon the field of study and the expectations of faculty. This may be quantitative or qualitative research, participatory action research, or a major project demonstrating excellence. Master's students may re-enroll for this course for no-credit, as needed.
EXM 895: Oral Review of Thesis-Master's Students (2 credits)
This examination is an oral review of the Masters thesis conducted by the graduate committee immediately following their reading of the thesis manuscript.