General Requirements for Graduate Programs


I. Admission

  1. For admission to the Master’s degree program, possession of a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent is required.For admission to the Ph.D. program, the M.A./M.S. degree (with thesis) or its equivalent is required.  Presentation of previous research output may be required.
  2. A grade point average of at least 2.0 (85% or B) with no failing marks in the undergraduate coursework is needed to be eligible for admission to the Master’s degree program.A grade point average of at least 1.75 (or its equivalent) in the Master’s degree program is required for one to be eligible for admission into a Ph.D. degree program.

    Prospective students who do not satisfy the minimum grade requirement but who pass the Admissions Test and interview may be admitted on probation.  After earning twelve (12) units of coursework, their performance shall be evaluated by a Committee composed of the Dean, Department Chair and a Professor representing the academic discipline, who will recommend  them for promotion to a degree program.

  3. If the Applicant’s performance in any of the tests is unsatisfactory, he/she may be admitted on probation.  If the written composition is unsatisfactory and MCET is below 42 (raw score), the student is advised to take Engl 200A – Certificate Course in English.Schedule of Admission Examinations:

    For:     Summer                     – December, January, February

    First Semester          – March, April, May

    Second Semester    – July, August, September

  4. Submission of Letters of Recommendation (three for Ph.D. and two for Master’s programs) from persons who can attest to the applicant’s capacity to pursue graduate work.  The recommenders may be former professors and/or current work supervisors.
  5. International applicants have to submit the required documents specified by the International Students Section of the university; and comply the requirements for admission to the graduate program he/she intends to pursue.  For international applicants based abroad, he/she must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Test System (IELTS) and must obtain a minimum score for both tests.  The results of the examination must be presented to the International Students Section of the University.

II. Admission Process

  1. Submit a completed Admission Application Form to the Department Chair together with the Informative Copy of the Transcript of Records, Certificate of Honorable Dismissal from the last academic institution attended, and the required Letters of Recommendation.  Out-of-town applicants may send these documents by mail.
  2. Be present for a scheduled interview by the Department Chair.
  3. Take the Admissions Test and submit the examination results to the Department Chair.

The Department Chair then acts on the application and endorses it to the Dean for approval.  Once the application is finally approved, prospective students may now be allowed to enroll.  Determination of which courses to enroll will be carried out in consultation with the Department Chair.

III. Registration Process

1.   New students (those whose applications for admission have been given final approval), as well as returning graduate students are required first to report to the Chair’s Office where they will be guided regarding the enrolment procedure.

2.   For registration purposes, new students must submit to the Registrar’s Office the Informative Copy of their Transcript of Records and Certificate of Honorable Dismissal (Transfer Credential).

For Married Females: 

Married females whose Transcript of Records still retain their maiden names are required to submit a copy of their Marriage Contract.

For International Students:

Old and new international students are required to accomplish a Clearance Slip from the Registrar’s Office as an additional requirement for enrolment.

For Cross-Enrollees to USC:

Students currently enrolled in other institutions may be allowed to enroll in graduate courses offered by the University provided they accomplish the Cross-Enrolment Permit/Permit to Study Form.

3. All students with documents which are in order must report to the Department Chair for assignment of courses to be enrolled in, after which they are required to pay the appropriate school fees.

IV. Academic Requirements

Students must complete all academic requirements specified in their curricular program of study.   In general, these include the completion of the required coursework, passing the comprehensive examinations, and submission of the final bound copies of the thesis/dissertation or the final paper/research projects.

Course Work. In compliance with CHED requirement, a minimum of thirty units of coursework beyond the Bachelor’s level must be acquired by the student working towards obtaining a Master’s degree (with Thesis).  A minimum of forty-eight units of coursework beyond the Master’s level must be acquired by the Doctorate student unless the number of course units required are specifically stipulated by a particular degree program (e.g., Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry and Physics Programs).

Class Attendance. Regular attendance and participation in all scheduled class exercises/activities are important obligations of students.  A limited number of absences is permitted, but these absences must not exceed six hours for a three-unit course.  For absences beyond this norm, students receive a grade of NC.

Comprehensive Examination. After completing the required course work, the student must pass a Comprehensive Examination (hereinafter, called Comprehensives), which may be written or oral, or both.  A Committee of graduate faculty members will be formed by the Chair, three for Masters and five for PhD.  If no other course is enrolled during the semester, students who intend to take the Comprehensives during the term are required to enroll in CAS Residency.  Students must PASS in the Comprehensive Examination in order to qualify for enrollment in the thesis/project residency course.

Eligibility. Graduate students who have completed all the academic requirements and obtained a weighted average of 2.0 or better are qualified to take the comprehensive examination.  A student who fails to get at least a weighted average of 2.0 for all subjects taken may enroll in additional courses to improve his/her grade point average.  The assignment of courses shall be determined by the Department Chair.

The student should consult the Chair at an early date to ascertain eligibility in taking the Comprehensives.  Application for admission to the examination shall be filed at the Department during the enrolment period or at least a month prior to the examination.  Comprehensives are scheduled every semester or summer term.

A student whose performance in the Comprehensives is judged to be unsatisfactory may be granted the privilege of another examination upon the recommendation of the Examination Committee.  A second failure in the Comprehensives will require the student to enroll in additional course work as deemed necessary by the Chair in consultation with the Examination Committee.  A third failure may disqualify the student from further consideration of completing the program.

Language Requirement. Besides mastery of the English language, the Ph.D. candidate must possess a reading knowledge of one other foreign language, the choice of which may depend upon the nature of studies pursued.  An examination of this language proficiency may be required.  There is no foreign language requirement for the Master’s programs.

Transfer Credits.  For the Master’s degree programs, a maximum of nine units of coursework may be accepted as transfer credits from duly accredited schools, while a maximum of one-third of the required course work for the Doctorate degree may be accepted as transfer credits.  The courses to be credited have to be validated by the Department Chair/Dean.  Exception may be considered on justifiable grounds and with the approval of the Department Chair and concurred by the Dean.

Shifting To Another Program. Students who wish to shift to another program or concentration within a program must be evaluated for eligibility for the new program by the Chair of the receiving department.  Remaining students of the Non-Thesis Programs are required to submit a terminal project or paper which is to be presented and approved by Panel instituted for this purpose.

Thesis/Dissertation Requirement.  Students who have satisfactorily passed the required Comprehensives are now eligible to officially work on their thesis/ dissertation requirements.  Students may also be allowed to work on the research requirements leading to thesis/dissertation work while taking their coursework.  Students are required to work on their thesis/dissertation right after passing the comprehensives.  The time limitation for completing the degree requirements should be taken into consideration.

Residency Requirement. At least two-thirds of the required coursework must be taken in the University with the last year of studies spent in residence.

The duration of time (from the start of the program until submission of the bound thesis/dissertation/project/paper) that is allowed to complete the graduate programs are as follows:

Ph.D. degree –seven years; Master’s Thesis Programs – five years;

Students who fail to comply with the above requirement will be obliged to enroll in additional coursework or re-take certain courses as recommended by the Chair.  This requirement presupposes enrolment in one three-unit course in a given school year as sanction.

Leave of Absence. Students who wish to temporarily separate themselves from their graduate studies for a semester or more for non-academic reasons, need to apply for official leave of absence, at the Chair’s Office, dully approved by the Dean.  Students without an approved leave of absence who do not register for two consecutive semesters shall be required to enroll in additional coursework (beyond what is required), i.e. one three unit course for each year of absence.

  1. V. Grading System
  1. The Graduate Studies Division uses the following Grading System.

Grade       Equivalent                             Grade             Equivalent

1.0             100%-95%                             2.1                   84%

1.1             94%                                        2.2                   83%

1.2             93%                                        2.3                   82%

1.3             92%                                        2.4                   81%

1.4             91%                                        2.5                   80%

1.5             90%                                        2.6                   79%

1.6             89%                                        2.7                   78%

1.7             88%                                        2.8                   77%

1.8             87%                                        2.9                   76%

1.9             86%                                        3.0                   75%

2.0             85%                                        5.0                   74%

W*                   Withdrawn

NC**               No Credit

INC***             Incomplete

*  Withdrawal from a course with official notice.

** Final grade which does not earn credits.  This grade is given to a student who has not taken the final examination and whose performance is not considered satisfactory.  Such a grade is permanent and cannot be changed subsequently.

*** This grade is given to a student who fails to submit certain requirements in the course.  The student is given one year to fulfill all the requirements of the course, otherwise, the student has to re-enroll the course.

  1. For Thesis/Dissertation Counseling, the following grades are given :
  • “IN PROGRESS” or IP, for students enrolled in Thesis/Dissertation Counselling
  • “PASSED” with the corresponding credit units granted upon submission of the required Thesis/Dissertation

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Policies and Procedures Governing the

Thesis/Dissertation Requirement

A. Enrolment in Thesis/Dissertation Residency

1.   Enrolment. Students are expected to enroll in Thesis/Dissertation Residency (Thes/Diss Res) after having passed the Comprehensives.

2.   Advising. In consultation with the Chair, the student selects a thesis/dissertation adviser who is a member of the University graduate faculty.  In special cases, the services of an adviser who is not a member of the University graduate faculty may be allowed.  For a PhD dissertation, the external adviser must have a PhD in the field of specialization.  The student will take care of the external adviser’s expenses that may be incurred during the Proposal Hearing and/or Oral Examination.

  1. Residency. The student is required to enroll in Thesis/Dissertation Residency (Thes Res/Diss Res) during each school term while working on the thesis/dissertation up to the semester in which Proposal Hearing and Oral Examination is undertaken.  In order to ensure completion of revision and other requirements needed following Proposal Hearing, the student is required to enroll in Thesis/Dissertation Residency (Thes Res/Diss Res) every semester until the student is scheduled for Oral Examination.

Enrolment in Thesis/Dissertation Residency (Thes Res/Diss Res) is required before an Oral Examination of the thesis/dissertation can be scheduled.  The minimum residency requirement is two semesters for the master’s degree and four semesters for the doctoral degree.

B. Proposal Hearing

  1. In order to facilitate the writing of the Thesis/Dissertation Proposal, students may enroll in a course offered for this purpose.  The Research Proposal should follow the format prescribed in the Philippine Association for Graduate Education Region (PAGE) VII revised manual or the one prescribed by the Department.
  2. Upon approval of the proposal by the Adviser, the candidate submits the proposal to the Department Chair.  The Chair will then recommend to the Dean the members who will compose the Thesis/Dissertation Committee – three for the Master’s programs and five for the PhD programs.
  3. The candidate will then submit the required number of copies of the proposal (five for Master’s and six for Ph.D.) which shall be distributed to the members of the Thesis/Dissertation Committee for review.   The Dean’s Graduate Programs Office in coordination with the Department Chair will then schedule the Proposal Hearing which should occur at least two weeks after submission of the proposal to the Thesis/Dissertation Committee for review.
  4. The Proposal Hearing is conducted for the purpose of having the proposed research design officially approved by the Thesis/Dissertation Committee.  Final approval of the proposal will only be done upon presentation of the revised one. The candidate may be required to go through another schedule of Proposal Hearing if the revision is a major one.
  5. The candidate is required to submit two copies (i.e., one to the Committee Chair, one to the College Dean) of the revised proposal incorporating the suggestions of the Thesis/Dissertation Committee within a reasonable time after the Proposal Hearing.

C. Writing the Thesis/Dissertation

  1. While the candidate is enrolled in Thesis/Dissertation Residency, regular conference with the assigned Adviser is required.  The candidate may also consult the other members of his/her Thesis/Dissertation Committee.
  2. There is a prescribed format (refer to PAGE VII revised manual or the Department’s prescribed format) that shall be followed in writing the thesis/dissertation.   
  3. To complete the requirement, the candidate for the Master’s degree should complete the thesis within three years; for the Doctorate, the candidate has up to four years after passing the Comprehensives.  If the student will not finish within this time limitation, enrolment in additional coursework or re-taking of certain courses will be required.  Such courses will be recommended by the Chair with the approval of the Dean.   

D. The Oral Examination of Thesis/Dissertation

  1. Before a candidate can be scheduled for Oral Examination, the thesis/dissertation must be approved and recommended by the Adviser for review by the members of the Thesis/Dissertation Committee.
  2. The candidate shall submit to the Dean through the Chair the required copies (five copies for Master’s programs, six copies for PhD programs) of the thesis/dissertation.  These will be forwarded to the members of Thesis/Dissertation Committee for review who shall certify the acceptability of the work for Oral Examination.   If there is a need to improve the work, the candidate is required to make the necessary revisions.  The Oral Examination can only be scheduled if all the members of the Thesis/Dissertation Committee certify the acceptability of the thesis/dissertation.
  3. The Oral Examination shall be scheduled at least two weeks (for Master’s programs) and one month (for Ph.D. programs) after forwarding the thesis/dissertation to the members of the Oral Examination Committee.
  4. The candidate may be given a grade of Passed, Failed or Conditional Passing based on the quality of the thesis/dissertation output and performance in the Oral Examination.  A student who gets a grade of Conditional Passing may be required to take another Oral Examination within the succeeding semester upon compliance of the revisions/additional requirements.  The final rating is decided by a majority vote of the Examination Committee.  The respective department may allow the oral defense to be open to the public.
  5. The Chair of the Oral Defense Committee shall prepare a report which shall detail the revisions proposed by the Committee.  This report constitutes the official guide of the Adviser in ensuring that the final thesis/dissertation should contain all the suggestions/recommendations of the Committee members.
  6. The Adviser shall ensure that all the corrections/suggested revisions are incorporated into the final copies of the thesis/dissertation.

E.  Final Paper Requirement

For Non-Thesis Programs. Students under the Non-Thesis Programs are required to submit a Terminal Paper or Research Project Proposal.  This shall be done after passing the Comprehensives.

Final Paper Requirement

This Final Project or Paper shall be presented to, and approved by a Panel of Examiners composed of three members.

An Oral Examination of the Project/Paper shall be scheduled at an appropriate time right after passing the comprehensives.  The student is required to submit two copies of the approved Final Project/Paper.

This must be submitted one month prior to the schedule of graduation during the semester/term he/she is scheduled to graduate.

The student is assessed a Research Proposal Hearing Fee.

F. Submission of the Manuscript

  1. Submission of five bound copies and electronic file copies (PDF, JPEG on DVD) of the thesis/dissertation is required for graduation. The electronic copies shall be placed on the inside front cover of the bound manuscripts.  The deadline for submission of the thesis/dissertation in its final form is one month before scheduled Graduation Ceremonies. The candidate should have incorporated all the revisions proposed by the Examination Committee. No candidate is allowed to join the Graduation Ceremonies unless all the requirements for graduation have been accomplished. 
  2. Candidates who will not be able to accomplish all the requirements for graduation in due time (as specified in number 1) will not be considered as having graduated in that particular academic term.  The date of graduation will be the date of Graduation Ceremonies in the particular semester in which the student has complied with all the requirements of the degree.  Hence, the candidate is required to enroll in CAS Residency (CAS Res) every semester until one expects to complete all the requirements. 
  3. The candidate who fails to submit the thesis/dissertation within one year after the date of the Oral Examination will result in requiring the student to enroll in additional course work and in CAS Res every semester until completion of all the requirements.  Failure to accomplish all the requirements three years thereafter will result in requiring the student to update the thesis/dissertation and undergo another Oral Examination.




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Revised June 2012

Presented during the 2012 CAS Graduate Faculty and Students Assembly