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Global and International Studies Student Handbook:

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Key Offices at KU:​     

College Office of Graduate Affairs (COGA)

COGA oversees graduate affairs and administers university policy for programs within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The COGA Website contains comprehensive information on requirements and processes pertaining to graduate education at KU. Most common questions can be answered with the information provided there, including questions regarding enrollment changes and forms, University policies regarding exams and committee requirements, and University graduation requirements.

COGA reviews all student petitions of University and College policy, issuing decisions on behalf of the College or referring as required to a faculty committee and/or the Office of Graduate Studies. The more common student petitions relate to Enrollment, Leave of Absence, and Time Limit Extensions.

COGA is a resource if you have any questions about petitions or graduation requirements that your department is unable to answer. Refer to the COGA Website for current staff contact information.

Office of Graduate Studies
Graduate Studies is the office of the Dean of Graduate Studies at KU. The Executive Council of Graduate Studies sets policies and regulations governing graduate study, and offers various programs for graduate students throughout the year. While COGA should be your first stop for any questions your department cannot answer, you may be referred to Graduate Studies for certain matters, especially for questions about GTA/GRA/GA appointments and policies.
Graduate Admissions (Within the Office of Graduate Studies)
Contact Graduate Admissions for questions regarding the KU Online Application for Graduate Study, ADMIT System/Prospect, English Proficiency Requirements, and Official Transcripts.
Office of the Registrar (OUR)
Contact OUR for questions related to enrollment (if the question cannot be resolved via the enrollment changes link provided under COGA), tuition and campus fees, the academic calendar, and fee petitions.
Financial Aid
Contact the Financial Aid Office for questions related to the disbursement of scholarships, fellowship awards, loans, and FAFSA. Please visit the GIST graduate student funding page http://global.ku.edu/graduate-funding for funding opportunities. GIST students may be eligible to apply for GTA appointments in Global & International Studies and other departments. 
International Student Services (ISS)
Contact ISS for questions related to international students, including enrollment requirements, international student insurance, obtaining a social security card, I-20 questions, and any issues related to student visas. While other offices on campus such as the Applied English Center, Human Resources, or the Registrar may also handle related matters, because the students’ legal status in the country may be affected, it is recommended that students contact ISS first.

General Admissions Policies & Procedures:    

University Policies and Degree Requirements for Admission For the University of Kansas official policy on Admissions please visit: http://policy.ku.edu/graduate-studies/admission-to-graduate-study

Additional Global and International Studies admissions requirements can be found here http://global.ku.edu/how-apply and include: 

  • Online application and application fee
  • Official transcript from previous higher education institution
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • 500-1000 word Statemetn of Interest describing relevant aspect of background, potential thesis/research topic, potential advisor, and how this program will meet academic and professional goals
  • Writing sample
  • Copy of current resume
  • GRE Results (LSAT or GMAT acceptable substitutions) Institution code: 8671
  • International Students: TOEFL scores within the last 2 years 

We currently admit students for the fall semester. For domestic students and international students​, the fall application deadline is February 1. 

To Apply: Choose Global and International Studies MA at http://graduate.ku.edu/ku-graduate-application

Application Materials & Procedures:
All applicants must complete our online application, which can be found: http://graduate.ku.edu/ku-graduate-application

Please visit http://global.ku.edu/graduate to see the requirements for Admissions.

Although the online application asks you to self-report your GRE scores, an official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score report must be directly sent from GRE to KU. KU’s GRE/TOEFL Code: 6871

There is an option for uploading unofficial transcripts to the online application, though official transcripts should also be sent from those previous institutions directly to KU via mail or by or by email at: gapc@ku.edu

Official Transcripts (physical copies) may be submitted to the following:

Graduate Admissions
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
313 Strong Hall
Lawrence KS 66045

For questions regarding transcripts, please visit: http://graduate.ku.edu/transcripts

For questions regarding references, please visit: http://graduate.ku.edu/references

Non-Native English Speakers
The Office of Graduate Studies requires applicants, international or domestic, whose native language is not English to demonstrate English proficiency. Visit the links below for more information regarding the University’s requirements for providing English Proficiency.

English Proficiency Requirements can be found here:

Official Graduate Studies policy on English Proficiency Requirements:

Provisional Admissions
On rare occasions the department may recommend an applicant who does not meet the University’s minimum requirements for provisional admission. This may occur, for example, if a student’s overall undergraduate GPA is deficient (under a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) but the major GPA, GRE scores, and admissions essay suggest strong potential for success in graduate study. All recommendations for provisional admission are contingent on approval by the College and University.

To continue in the program, students admitted provisionally must meet additional requirements placed on them upon admission by the Director of Graduate Study (i.e. must earn at least a 3.0 GPA in the first semester of graduate coursework at KU).

For more information on Provisional Admission, please visit: http://policy.ku.edu/graduate-studies/admission-to-graduate-study

Permit to Re-Enroll
The Permit to Re-enroll form is only intended for individuals who have enrolled in their graduate program in the past year. The permit to re-enroll form is not available to a student who:
  • was dismissed from a program at KU;
  • was voluntarily discontinued (formally withdrew) from a graduate program;
  • completed the graduate degree program; or
  • most recently enrolled as a non-degree-seeking graduate student.

Before completing the Permit to Re-enroll form, students should verify with their graduate program that they are eligible to complete this form.

To complete the permit to re-enroll application, visit KU Graduate Permit to Re-Enroll.

Dismissed students and those who withdrew from the program must submit a full application.

Students will not be considered for readmission if they are currently on a leave of absence, if they have not been enrolled in the past year, or have already earned a degree from the graduate degree program.

Admissions Contact Information
For questions regarding admission or program requirements, please contact the Graduate Academic Advisor.

General Academic Guidelines:

Academic Integrity & Misconduct
Grievance Policy
Good Standing
To be considered in “good standing” in any graduate program, the University requires graduate students to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 (or “B” average) and be making timely progress towards meeting their degree requirements.

For additional information on good standing, as well as probation and dismissal procedures for those students that do not meet the requirements for good standing, please visit the official Graduate Studies policy on Good Academic Standing

For advising regarding university requirements, resources, petitions, program milestones, exam scheduling, graduation, and any other questions related student success as a graduate student, please contact your graduate academic advisor. For advising questions regarding research progress, program content, course credit towards degree, and thesis/M.A. portfolio updates, please contact the GIST Director of Graduate Studies
Students may face situations that require them to seek out exceptions to University policy. The most common of these relate to Enrollment, Leave of Absence, and Time Limit Extensions. A student who wishes to request an exception to University policy must begin by contacting his or her advisor or graduate director.

For more information on specific petitions, please visit: http://coga.drupal.ku.edu/for-departments/petitions

In cases where the policy or requirement is a departmental requirement, the graduate faculty will issue a final decision.

Graduate Assistant Information
Global and International Studies may offer GTA or GRA positions. Please contact GIST for further information. If you are interested in exploring funding opportunities in other departments, please visit: employment.ku.edu

Degree Requirements:

Program Specific Requirements
MA Non-Thesis Option

In order to select a Non-thesis Option, you must consult with your advisor and seek permission from the GIST Director of Graduate Studies

Option #1 (Research Project)- students selecting this option are required to take either GIST 810 or GIST 898 and complete an original research project of between 30-45 pages of text, not including notes, references or appendices. The project must involve original and systematic analysis of data/information (i.e. it must utilize a research method) and will include an oral defense. Should a repeat of the oral exam be necessary as determined by the student’s committee, this must take place no less than 30 days and no more than 90 days after the first attempt. The faculty committee for the first oral exam also administers the second oral examination. Students who fail the second exam will be dismissed from the program.

Option #2 (Exam)- students choosing this option must take an additional 3 credit hours, corresponding to one of their two coherent clusters. In the final semester, the student must successfully complete a written examination over the course content and the student’s regional and substantive areas of focus. Students receive comprehensive questions over the areas mentioned above and are given 72 hours to responds to each of the three questions with a minimum of ten pages of text. Students considering this option must receive the advance approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

For more information, please visit: http://global.ku.edu/non-thesis-option

MA Thesis Option
Thesis Option: Students electing to write a thesis must have their project proposal approved by their thesis advisor prior to enrolling in GIST 898 (Thesis Writing). Students doing the thesis option must complete GIST 898 and produce an original research project with a range of 50 to 100 pages of text, not including notes, references, tables, figures or appendices. 

The thesis defense date must be established and submitted to the graduate advisor at least three weeks prior to the defense.

The thesis must be submitted to the defense committee, the graduate director, and the graduate advisor a minimum of 10 days prior to a scheduled defense date. Failure to do so will result in the defense date being pushed back, even if this changes the student’s semester of completion. Should a repeat of the oral defense be necessary as determined by the student’s committee, this must take place no less than 30 days and no more than 90 days after the first attempt. The faculty committee for the first oral defense also administers the second oral examination. Students who fail the second exam will be dismissed from the program. 

For more information on Thesis requirements, please visit: http://global.ku.edu/thesis-option

Thesis Defense and Submission
At least ten days prior to your defense, you will submit your thesis to the Director of Graduate Studies, your advisor and the committee. Please bring a copy of your thesis as well as the following to your defense:


Applying for Graduation

At the beginning of the semester that you plan to graduate, please apply for graduation. Step by step instructions can be found here.

Once you have completed all MA requirements and defended your thesis, please connect with your advisor to review the Master’s degree checklist.

Graduation Timeline

The beginning of the semester in which you plan to graduate:

4-6 weeks before Graduation Deadline (See Semester Specific Deadlines):

  • Schedule thesis defense with your thesis committee and Academic Advisor
  • Work with your advisor to make sure all necessary documents have been submitted to the College Office of Graduate Affairs.
    • ​Your advisor will need the following:
      • When you plan to graduate
      • Official thesis title
      • Date and location of thesis defense
      • Committee chair & committee members

0-4 Weeks before Graduation Deadline (See Semester Specific Deadlines):

  • Thesis Defense
  • Thesis Defense Documentation Submission
    • After defending, please submit your Thesis Outcome Form to your advisor within one week of your defense.
    • Complete any necessary edits on your thesis
    • Once the thesis is finalized, please submit to your chair for her or his final review and signature on your acceptance page.
    • Please submit your acceptance page to your COGA advisor or to COGADocs@ku.edu.
  • Electronic Thesis Submission
    •  Comply with Thesis instructions and formatting requirements
    • Submit the PDF version of your thesis to the UMI/Proquest submission site
    • Your submission will be verified by COGA to check for formatting errors only. You will receive email communications indicating if there are revisions to formatting requested or if your submission has been accepted. These checks may not always occur prior to the Application for Graduation deadline. This will not impact your graduation date. If you have submitted your thesis by the Application for Graduation deadline, this item is considered complete for purposes of graduation.
    • COGA does not submit the final approval of your work to UMI/ProQuest until after the degree verification process is complete. This is after the end of the semester in which you graduate. Your work will not be available through UMI/ProQuest until that time. COGA makes every attempt to deliver your submission in a timely manner; however this process may be lengthier due to larger numbers of graduates in a particular semester, etc.
  • Pay any fees to UMI/ProQuest (if applicable)
    • There is an optional copyright fee. You may also order bound copies for an additional cost.
    • Questions about the processing of bound copies should be directed to UMI/Proquest, as COGA is not involved in this process.
  • ETD Release Form:
    • Please review and sign the form: http://clas.ku.edu/sites/clas.ku.edu/files/docs/KU_ETD_release_form.pdf
    • Creative Writing MFA/PhD students can find their specific release form here
    • On section A.1. COPYRIGHT, one or both boxes must be checked. Selection of one or both of these options also serves as verification that you understand and agree with the copyright statement above.
    • If you need to place an embargo on your thesis, you must also obtain your Director of Graduate Studies original signature. Please note, if you choose to embargo your thesis, your submission will still be delivered to UMI/ProQuest and you will receive notification of this as stated above. However, your request for embargo is noted in the delivery checklist. Note that embargos will expire at the end of the given period starting with the month of graduation. Upon expiration of an embargo your work will be publicly available.
    • For more information, please refer to our ETD FAQs sheet.
Submission Methods for Required Documents:
Signed Outcome Form & Title Page Submit to Advisor
Signed Acceptance Page COGADOCS@ku.edu
ETD Release Form COGADOCS@ku.edu
Application for Graduation Enroll & Pay
Submission of Final Electronic copy of Thesis UMI/Proquest

For more information on UMI/Proquest formatting and submission, please visit Graduate Studies Thesis Formatting.

Thesis Submission

University Policies:

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