May 27, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

10000 College of the Arts

Go to College of the Arts Schools and Programs 

Graduate programs in the College of the Arts are described in detail in this chapter. See subsections for specific program information as well as policies and procedures.

10010 General Information

The College of the Arts consists of three schools, one center, and the Rialto Center for the Arts. The college has approximately 2,700 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate students.

The liberal arts education offered by the College of the Arts prepares students for professional careers and provides the foundation for lifelong learning. Programs in the liberal arts promote the independent discovery of knowledge, an appreciation of the arts, and the ability to think critically and analytically.

Graduate programs offered by the College of the Arts prepare students for professional careers and provide them with the foundation for meeting the challenges of career development. For these purposes, the College of the Arts offers the Master of Arts, the Master of Music, the Master of Fine Arts, the Master of Arts in Teaching, the Master of Art Education, and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Within the framework of the various degree offerings, specific programs have been designed for students who wish to pursue a career in teaching.

10020 Office of the Dean

35 Broad Street, Suite 400

Wade Weast, Dean
Maria Gindhart, Associate Dean

10020.10 Office of Academic Assistance

35 Broad Street, Suite 400

Sekeia Harris, Director
Tony Davis, Assistant Director

The Office of Academic Assistance in the College of the Arts supports schools in providing academic advisement for students in the college, primarily those who have earned 90 credit hours. Students with fewer than 90 credit hours are advised through the University Advisement Center (see The Office of Academic Assistance prepares evaluations of transfer work done at other institutions as well as academic program reviews for each major offered through the college. It also assists with course selections and schedule revisions and provides information concerning college and university policies. Students are advised by appointment or may walk in for brief consultations. During the academic year, the office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students seeking a degree in the College of the Arts should become familiar with the academic regulations of the university.

Although the College of the Arts will endeavor to provide timely and accurate advisement, it is the responsibility of the student to know and to satisfy the degree requirements of their academic program. The College of the Arts encourages its majors to build relationships with the graduate support personnel in their major school. This position reflects the belief that a strong graduate program is possible only if there are frequent opportunities for students to discuss their academic work and career goals with one of their major professors. In a large urban institution such as Georgia State University, contact is essential if students are to receive individual attention and enjoy the full benefits of a liberal arts education.

10020.20 Academic Resources and Services

Creative Media Center (CMC)

460 Art and Humanities Building

The Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design’s Creative Media Center (CMC) offers access to cutting-edge digital technology and equipment checkout for students who are currently enrolled in courses within the school. The CMC maintains an array of Macintosh computer workstations and functions as both a digital classroom and computer laboratory, offering Open Lab access during scheduled times. The CMC checkout cage also gives students the opportunity to check out specialized equipment and hardware related to photography, graphic design, lighting, sound, and video.

Music Media Center

400 Haas Howell Building

The School of Music’s Music Media Center provides students with a valuable resource for music study through the use of the Bobbie Bailey Technology Classroom, consisting of 18 workstations that facilitate music composition, music production, and audio recording; a multi-media seminar room; and the Charles Thomas Wurm Circulation area with access to 16 listening-keyboard computer workstations.

10020.30 Center

Center for Educational Partnerships in Music

Patrick K. Freer, Director

The Center for Educational Partnerships (CEPM) unites music faculty and music students with the education community in a collaboration that advances the role of music in school and culture. It prepares influential leaders to teach in diverse and interdependent contexts. Drawing on Atlanta’s unique community resources, the relationship created by the center fosters relevant and engaging music-making for learners throughout their lifespan.

10030 Academic Programs

The College of the Arts offers the following graduate degrees:

  • Master of Art Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching in Art Education
  • Master of Arts in Art History; Communication, with a concentration in Film, Video and Digital Imaging
  • Master of Fine Arts - Studio Art, with concentrations in Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Textiles, and Digital Filmmaking
  • Master of Music, with concentrations in Performance (Orchestral Instrument, Guitar, Organ, Piano, and Voice), Conducting (Orchestral, Wind Band, and Choral), Composition, Piano Pedagogy, Jazz Studies, and Music Education
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Communication, with a concentration in Moving Image Studies


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degrees

A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree with a major in Curriculum and Instruction and a concentration in Art Education or Music Education is offered by the College of Education & Human Development in conjunction with the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design and the School of Music, respectively, in the College of the Arts.

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree with a major in Teaching and Learning and a concentration in Music Education is offered by the College of Education & Human Development in conjunction with the School of Music in the College of the Arts.

Descriptions of admission and program requirements are outlined in the College of Education & Human Development section of this catalog.

Dual Degrees

The College of the Arts offers dual degree programs within the college. These programs enable approved undergraduate students to take specified graduate courses that may count toward graduate degree requirements if the student is accepted into the affiliated graduate degree program.

Certificate Programs

The College of the Arts offers a professional certificate in Music, in addition to traditional graduate degrees. This certificate is outlined in the school’s section of this catalog and on the School of Music’s website.

Applicants not currently in a degree program in the College of the Arts must apply according to the general application instructions. Currently, active degree-seeking students who wish to add this certificate program to their academic curriculum must apply for the certificate but are exempt from the standard application fee.

10040 Admission Policies

A person seeking to pursue any of the programs of graduate study described in this section of this catalog must be admitted to Georgia State University through the College of the Arts. The requirements for admission stated in the following sections are those established by the University and the College. Additional requirements, if any, established by the separate schools can be found in the descriptions of their programs and on their respective websites.

There are four categories of admission to graduate study in the College of the Arts: Full Status, Special Status, Non-Degree Status, and Transient Status. A student must achieve Full Status in order to be eligible for a graduate degree. The category of Special Status is designed to accommodate, when practical, applicants with promise who may have certain limited deficiencies in admission requirements. Non-Degree Status is provided for non-degree-seeking students who wish to take a limited number of graduate courses. Transient Status is available for graduate students in good standing attending another institution.

Application Completion Deadlines

The college’s Office of Academic Assistance lists on its website the deadlines by which an application to degree programs must be completed. These are the dates that all materials required for admission must be collected in the Office of Graduate Admissions. Schools have different application deadlines, especially for applicants wishing to receive financial assistance. Applicants should check with the school to which they plan to apply for specific application instructions and deadlines.

International applicants must have all application materials submitted as early as possible in order to allow sufficient time for the application materials to be reviewed by the school and, if appropriate, for the preparation of necessary visa documents.

Application and Admission

The graduate admissions process is coordinated by the Office of Graduate Admissions. The College of the Arts will remain responsible for graduate admissions decisions for relevant degree-seeking, non-degree, and transient graduate applicants.

The selection of applicants for admission to graduate study is competitive. Given limited university resources, even applicants with strong credentials may not gain admission to a specific graduate program. Admission is based upon a variety of factors among which is the quality of the applicant’s undergraduate record, achievement on required admissions tests, the degree of preparation for the specific academic program to be pursued, and available space in the program. In addition to these general criteria, individual schools may consider additional factors in making admission decisions. Applicants should be aware that exceptional performance in an undergraduate or a graduate program in one discipline does not guarantee acceptance into another graduate program.

A prospective student seeking admission must be a graduate of an accredited college with a four-year baccalaureate degree or the equivalent that reflects superior quality work at the undergraduate level. Each applicant must complete and submit the application for admission to graduate study, any required application materials, and the application fee. The College of the Arts requires all prospective students to submit applications and supporting documents electronically.

Application materials required for admission to graduate study include the following:

  1. A copy of a transcript from each and every college or university, domestic or overseas, from which applicants received a degree, or where they were enrolled in a degree program for more than a single semester, will need to be uploaded by the applicant to the application. In addition, applicants should send transcripts from all institutions where they were enrolled in coursework relevant to the degree program for which they are applying. This may include courses taken in non-degree status, in transient status, or in post-baccalaureate status and is regardless of whether or not the courses led to a degree. Separate transcripts are not required for AP credit given for high school courses. As well, separate transcripts are not required for enrichment activities (e.g., summer abroad, summer internship, etc.) that did not involve enrollment in a degree program unless the work is relevant to the program for which they are applying. If offered admission, students are required to send one official transcript from each institution directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Transcripts should be received no later than the first day of the semester of entry. Admission will be conditioned upon submission of official transcripts that confirm the information provided on unofficial transcripts during the application process.
  2. For programs requiring the official records of scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE), or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) (see specific school requirements) must be directed specifically to Georgia State University from the relevant testing agency. Please note that applicants to the M.A. in Art History, the M.A. in Communications with a concentration in Film and Video, the M.F.A. in Art & Design, the M.F.A. in Digital Filmmaking, and the Master of Music with concentrations in piano performance, organ performance, orchestral instrument performance, voice performance, choral conducting, instrumental conducting, music education, piano pedagogy, and jazz studies are not required to submit national test scores.
  3. Any supplemental materials required by the major school beyond transcripts and test scores must be submitted via the online graduate application. These materials may include but are not limited to a statement of purpose, writing sample, cv/resume, letters of recommendation, and creative portfolios. Required supplemental materials vary greatly by program. Admission to the College of the Arts can only be granted by the Office of the Dean of the College of the Arts. Correspondence from individual schools, professors, or outside agents does not constitute official admission.

Special Status Admission

The use of Special Status admission is solely the prerogative of the school to which an application has been made. Special Status admission may be given to applicants who show promise but are not able to fulfill all the requirements for Full Status admission at the time they apply. Students admitted under the Special Status category are informed of expectations or conditions in the letter of admission. Students admitted to Special Status may be dismissed from their programs if their school feels that they are not making satisfactory progress toward promotion to Full Status.

A student must be in Full Status in order to earn a degree. At least 20 semester hours of graduate coursework must be completed after the student is admitted to Full Status to qualify for graduation.

Non-Degree Admission

Non-Degree Status is provided for students who wish to take a limited number of graduate courses (typically not more than two) that relate to their academic or professional backgrounds but do not lead to an advanced degree. A student seeking admission to Non-Degree Status should complete the online application form and submit the application fee, transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, and a list of courses they wish to take.

A student is admitted to this status at the discretion of the school and when adequate resources are available. Applicants for Non-Degree Status should consult the school director of graduate studies to learn about any additional requirements or policies that pertain to non-degree admission.

Admission to Non-Degree Status does not warrant or secure admission to any degree program. Some schools do not accept non-degree students. Please contact the school director of graduate studies for further information.

Transient Admission

An applicant seeking admission as a transient student must be a graduate student in good standing at another institution. Admission requirements include a complete application, application fee, a list of courses the applicant wishes to take, and a letter of good standing from either the graduate dean or the registrar of the student’s institution.

Admission to transient status is for one semester only on a space-available basis. A student who is not in good standing or who is ineligible to return to his or her institution will not be admitted. No guarantee is made that a transient student will be able to secure the courses desired. The reporting of grades earned to the student’s institution is the responsibility of the student.

The College of the Arts does not allow transient students to reenter. A complete application, application fee, list of courses, and a letter of good standing must be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions for every semester the transient student wishes to attend Georgia State University.

Deadlines for transient applications are as follows: Summer - May 15; Fall - June 15; Spring - December 1.

Changing Semester of Entry

Admission to a graduate program is valid only for the semester, degree, and major specified in the letter of acceptance. An applicant who is admitted and does not intend to enroll should notify the Office of Academic Assistance in the College of the Arts. If an accepted applicant wishes to defer entry within one year, the admitting school reserves the right to review the application materials again and decide if postponement is appropriate. Applicants wanting to change their date of matriculation must notify the school with this request.

Re-entry Students

Georgia State University students who are on Inactive Status, or who have received registration holds due to violation of the continuous enrollment policy, must complete a re-entry application and pay a fee. All materials should be submitted by the appropriate deadline for the semester they wish to re-enter. Students who have attended other colleges and/or universities since last registering at Georgia State must have official transcripts of all coursework sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions, prior to the re-entry deadline for the appropriate semester. Degree programs must approve all re-entry applications and may deny reentry for a variety of reasons such as a student’s previous academic performance, a student’s progress in the program, the length of time not enrolled, and availability of space in the program. Re-entry applications from students whose cumulative grade-point average is below 3.0 require a plan from the school’s director of graduate studies describing how the grade-point average can be improved to 3.0 or better within 18 hours of graded coursework over the next three consecutive terms.

Re-entering students are subject to the regulations of the Graduate Catalog and the degree program current at the time of re-entry.

Deadlines for re-entry applications are as follows: Summer - April 1; Fall - June 1; Spring - November 1.

10050 International Students

Georgia State University encourages the enrollment of students from other countries. Applicants needing a student visa are required to provide proof of financial support for at least the first year of their degree program. International students with a student visa are required to carry a full course of study during every semester except the summer semester. Applicants requesting a student visa may not be considered for Non-Degree Status.

In addition to meeting the regular admission requirements, prospective international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by taking either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants with a score under 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, 80 on the internet-based TOEFL, or 6.5 on the IELTS cannot be considered for Full Graduate Status; they may, however, be considered for Special Status admission. See section 1110.05  for additional ways to demonstrate English proficiency.

Prior to starting classes for the first semester, all newly admitted international students must take the Georgia State Test of English Proficiency (GSTEP) offered by the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language unless they have received a TOFEL score of 100 or higher or an IELTS score of 7.5 or higher. For further information contact Students with acceptable scores on the examination may proceed with their regular academic coursework. Students whose scores indicate a lack of English proficiency will be required to take one or more ESL courses as a regular part of their graduate coursework. Any ESL courses required under this provision will be considered part of the student’s normal course load but will not count toward the total hours of coursework a student must take in order to obtain a degree.

GSTEP scores for each student will be sent by the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language to the Office of Academic Assistance in the College of the Arts along with a recommendation regarding the additional language course(s) that the student should take. The recommendation will then be sent to the appropriate school director of graduate studies, who will ensure that the student takes the recommended ESL course(s).

Academic credentials must be original documents with authorized signatures, seals, stamps, etc. Whenever possible, these should be sent by the institution responsible for issuing such documents. In cases where it is impossible for an applicant to have these credentials sent from such institutions, the applicant should forward a duly “notarized” or “attested to” copy. The notarization should be done by the proper institutional official or by the Ministry of Education in the home country. Documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by translations. Translations should be made by the home country embassy or an appropriate official, and the original copies of the translations, acceptably notarized as described above, must be provided. As a general rule, documents translated by the Office of the American Friends of the Middle East (AFME), the Institute of International Education (IIE), the student’s home embassy, the American embassy, or the language faculty of a regionally accredited U.S. college or university will be acceptable. Students who have already attend school in the U.S. can arrange to have their institutions certify photocopies of original documents, and students in the Atlanta area can arrange for the Office of Graduate Admissions to certify photocopies of required foreign academic credentials.

10060 Graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships

Each school in the College of the Arts offers opportunities for qualified students who have been accepted into one of the graduate degree programs to work as an assistant. Graduate assistants work as tutors, aid faculty members in research projects, supervise laboratories, and teach undergraduate courses. Assistantships normally are awarded only to students enrolled full-time in their degree programs. For the expected level of enrollment, see “Courses and Course Load ” in section 10100 below. Students interested in graduate assistantships should contact the director of graduate studies in their school for specific information.

Students receiving assistantships as well as financial aid should be aware that receiving an assistantship can reduce the amount of financial aid awarded.

Graduate Assistantship Deadlines

Most schools have early deadlines for graduate assistantships. If you would like to be considered for an assistantship, please consult the appropriate school section of this catalog or school website to obtain the deadline for the program to which you plan to apply.

Graduate Study Funding

In addition to graduate assistantships, the college and university offer a variety of fellowships, scholarships, and other sources of financial support for graduate education.

10070 Calculation of Grade-Point Average

In schools where a new application is required from the master’s to the doctoral program, master’s and doctoral cumulative grade-point averages will be calculated separately. All credits earned while a student is in Non-Degree Status that are approved for, and used to fulfill requirements of, the master’s degree will be calculated into the cumulative master’s grade-point average. In order to qualify for graduation with a degree from the College of the Arts, a student must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0.

10080 Scholastic Warning & Scholastic Termination

Scholastic Warning

Graduate students are personally responsible for knowing and maintaining school and college academic standards. A graduate student whose cumulative grade-point average falls below 3.0 at the end of a semester or who fails to maintain the level of academic performance required by the major school will be sent a letter of scholastic warning from the Office of Academic Assistance in the College of the Arts. Some schools have additional requirements for academic performance and progress. In these instances, the school’s director of graduate studies will attempt to warn the student. However, the receipt or non-receipt of academic warning does not exempt the student from stated requirements. Students in Scholastic Warning Status must achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average within 18 hours of graded coursework over the next three consecutive terms.

Scholastic Termination

A graduate student is subject to scholastic termination from the degree program for the following reasons:

  1. Failure to achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average by the end of the next 18 semester hours of enrollment or next three consecutive terms in letter-graded courses after the grade-point average has fallen below a 3.0.
  2. Failure to maintain the level of academic performance and progress required by the major school.
  3. A second failure on the general examination in the M.A. or Ph.D. degree programs.

The student who may be subject to scholastic termination will be notified of termination by the College of the Arts.

10090 Foreign Language or Equivalent Research Skill Requirement

Some schools in the College of the Arts require students to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language or in an alternative research skill. An alternative research skill is a proficiency obtained in an adjunct area that is ordinarily not a degree requirement in the student’s degree program. Students should consult their individual directors of graduate studies for specific school requirements.

An international student whose native language is not English and who demonstrates proficiency in English to the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language may be exempted from the foreign language requirement. Exceptions to this policy may be allowed only with school approval and by means of approved substitutions of equivalent research skills. The English for Foreign Language Requirement Exam (EFLRE) requires students to perform satisfactorily on the GSTEP, including the oral interview.

International students who will be using English to satisfy the foreign language requirement will take the EFLRE, and the result will be sent to the student’s academic school. Because GSTEP results are considered by the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language to be current for two years, students who wish to satisfy the foreign language requirement within the first two years of their arrival at Georgia State may use the GSTEP results already on file in the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language if those results are satisfactory. If students were not required to take the oral interview section of the GSTEP when they arrived, they will need to contact the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language to take it to fulfill the EFLRE requirement. Students who wait longer than the two-year period will be required to take the complete EFLRE, which means retaking all sections of the GSTEP.

Courses taken to satisfy the foreign language requirement will not count toward the total hours of coursework a student must take in order to obtain a degree.

10100 Requirements and Time Limits

Program requirements are established based on the Graduate Catalog active at the time of the student’s initial acceptance and matriculation (first registration). All credits presented for the master’s degree must have been earned within seven calendar years of the date of the degree. All credits presented for the doctoral degree must have been earned within ten years of the date of the degree.

Continuous Enrollment

Students in all graduate programs must maintain enrollment totaling six hours (or more) overall in any consecutive three semester period (including summer). In other words, the total enrollment of the current term plus the two terms preceding it must add to six hours or more at all times. The status of all students will be checked by the midpoint of each term for compliance with the continuous enrollment requirement. Any student whose enrollment is out of compliance will receive a registration hold preventing all current and future registration. Those students will be notified by an e-mail message sent to their official Georgia State University e-mail account.

To resume their programs, students with continuous enrollment holds must file for re-entry by the published deadline and must enroll at a level sufficient to satisfy the continuous enrollment criterion. That is, their enrollment in the re-entry term plus the two terms preceding it must total to six hours or more. The maximum required enrollment level for the re-entry term is six hours. For more information on the re-entry process, see section 10040.

Limits to Financial Aid

For purposes of financial aid and compliance with federal regulations, graduate students may receive aid for a maximum of 90 hours unless they are receiving a graduate assistantship. Ph.D. students are exempted from the Satisfactory Academic Progress process. Students receiving financial aid and receiving graduate assistantships may be subject to reduced financial aid awards.

Students’ Responsibility

Graduate students must assume full responsibility for knowledge of the rules and regulations of the college and university, as well as those school requirements concerning their individual curricula. Enrollment in a graduate program in the College of the Arts constitutes a student’s acknowledgment that they are obligated to comply with all academic and administrative regulations and degree requirements.

Academic Advisement

It is the responsibility of the student to know and to satisfy any and all conditions that pertain to admission and to the satisfactory completion of degree requirements. Students may obtain advisement from the appropriate graduate faculty advisor or from the school director of graduate studies. Advisors are also available in the Office of Academic Assistance in the College of the Arts to assist with admissions and other administrative actions related to admission and graduation.

Courses and Course Load

Courses numbered 6000 and above are normally open only to graduate students (see exceptions below). Each graduate course will carry three credit hours of academic credit unless otherwise indicated. Twenty-five credit hours is the maximum student load per semester; twelve credit hours is considered to be the normal load for graduate students with a graduate assistantship in the College of the Arts, while nine credit hours is the load for defining a full-residence semester for most financial aid and loans. Students who wish to register for more than twenty-five hours of coursework must obtain the approval of the school’s director of graduate studies.

Policy on Allowing Undergraduates to Take Graduate Courses

Under one of the following conditions, an undergraduate student may be permitted to take a graduate course:

  1. Dual Degree Enrollment: The student has been formally accepted into an official university dual degree program that links an undergraduate degree program with a graduate degree program. Students in dual degree programs are granted permission to enroll in specified graduate courses when they reach a designated program milestone. Students who are accepted into the affiliated graduate program upon completion of the undergraduate degree may count specified coursework toward fulfillment of the graduate degree requirements.
  2. College Approval of Enrollment: The Office of Academic Assistance in the College of the Arts will determine a student’s eligibility for admission into a graduate course. To be eligible, an undergraduate student must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or higher, be within 18 semester hours of graduation, and be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. Eligibility does not guarantee permission to take a graduate course. Once a student’s eligibility is determined, permission must be granted by the instructor for the course, the school’s director of graduate studies, the director of the school offering the course, and the Office of Academic Assistance. The request form is available in the Office of Academic Assistance. Approved graduate courses can be used to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements. Please note, graduate courses taken by an undergraduate student cannot be applied toward fulfillment of graduate degree requirements unless the student has been formally accepted into an official university dual degree program.

(This approval process does not apply to post-baccalaureate students. Post-baccalaureate students wishing to take graduate courses must be admitted as non-degree seeking students.)

Transfer Credit

A maximum of six credit hours of approved graduate credit from other institutions may be accepted toward a master’s degree program, and a maximum of three credit hours of approved graduate credit from other institutions may be accepted toward a graduate certificate program. Transfer credit must be approved no later than the end of the second semester in Full Status. Transferred credits will be included in the time limitations placed on credits applicable to graduate degrees. For the policy concerning application of work taken at other institutions in the doctoral program, see the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the Film, Media & Theatre section of the graduate catalog.

Please note that the acceptance of transfer credit is not automatic; it must be approved and documented by the school director of graduate studies.

Responsible Conduct in Research

All undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs involved in empirical research at Georgia State University are required to undertake Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) education and training as part of their requirements for graduation or employment. As part of this educational requirement, web-based training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) has been made available to meet this requirement. More information on the university’s RCR training requirement can be found at

The College of the Arts currently has an RCR requirement waiver for all degree programs except the M.A.Ed. in Art Education and the M.Mus. in Music Education, although students in those programs who are not performing research that falls under RCR guidelines are also exempt from the RCR requirement.

10110 Degree Requirements

Candidates for graduation in a degree program offered by the College of the Arts must be officially registered for classes the semester of completing all academic requirements, including thesis/dissertation defense, performance, or gallery show. Schools may determine the extent and type of hours that must be taken by the candidate during the concluding semester. Every candidate for completion must apply at least two semesters in advance of expected graduation with the Graduation Office of Enrollment Services/Registrar’s Office. These regulations are explained in the general university-wide section of this catalog. The semester of completion is defined as extending until the last day of the semester on the academic calendar as published by Enrollment Services.

While the provisions set forth in this catalog will ordinarily be applied as stated, Georgia State University and the College of the Arts have the right to change any provision, including, but not limited to, academic requirements for graduation, without actual notice to individual students. Every effort will be made to advise students of any such changes. It is especially important that each student note that it is the individual student’s responsibility to keep apprised of current degree requirements for their particular program.

Graduation Requirement

All students must be enrolled in the term in which they complete the requirements for their degree. Normally, this is the term in which they will graduate. However, if the requirements are completed after the deadline for graduation in a term, but before the first day of classes in the subsequent term, then it is not necessary to enroll in the subsequent term. If the continuous enrollment criterion is not met in the term in which degree requirements are completed, then it must be met in the term of graduation.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Communication Studies, concentration in Moving Image Studies, is awarded in recognition of the attainment of independent and comprehensive scholarship in film/media studies. The Ph.D. emphasizes research in conjunction with the mastery of a substantial body of knowledge. Specific degree requirements may be tailored by the faculty to meet the needs of the individual student.

In order to qualify for the Doctor of Philosophy degree, the student must fulfill the following general requirements:

Residence: Four semesters of residence are required, two of which must be consecutive; during all four semesters the student must register for at least six hours of coursework. A Doctor of Philosophy degree shall be conferred only on that student who holds a distinguished record of academic achievement and has maintained a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 for a minimum period of three academic years of post-baccalaureate study. On the recommendation of the School of Film, Media & Theatre and with the approval of the Office of Academic Assistance in the College of the Arts, up to one-half of the residence requirement may be waived on the basis of competence obtained through coursework completed elsewhere.

Comprehensive Examination: Students must pass a comprehensive examination administered by the School of Film, Media & Theatre. An Examination Committee shall be appointed by the director of the school. The committee shall consist of a minimum of three members, at least two of whom shall be on the faculty of the school. The comprehensive examination shall be both written and oral. The examination may be repeated once following a minimum interval of six months either with the original committee or a duly constituted new committee. The examination must be passed at least one academic year prior to the conferral of the degree. The student who fails the examination for the second time will be subject to termination.

Admission to Candidacy: In order to be admitted to candidacy, the student must have passed the comprehensive examination, and must have a dissertation prospectus. Graduate students who have completed these requirements except for their dissertation and related defenses may be admitted into ABD (all but dissertation) status. This title will be based on the positive recommendation of the school’s director of graduate studies and following successful review and certification of other doctoral program requirements by the Office of Academic Assistance. This designation does not change any time limits or registration requirements for completion of the degree program.

Dissertation: A dissertation is required of all candidates for the doctoral degree. A Dissertation Committee, of which the dissertation advisor shall be chair, shall pass on the acceptability of each dissertation. The committee shall be nominated by the student and appointed by the director of the school. If more than one member of the committee does not recommend that the dissertation be accepted, then the dissertation will not be accepted as a fulfillment of the degree requirements. Currently dissertations are uploaded to the university’s ScholarWorks database. The student, with the approval of their Graduate Director and Associate Dean, may stipulate that access to the dissertation be delayed or limited. A student may choose to have the dissertation copyrighted. Each student must register for a minimum of 20 credit hours of dissertation research.

Dissertation Defense: This examination shall be administered by the Dissertation Committee.

Master of Arts

The requirements stated below are the minimum requirements established by the College of the Arts for the awarding of the Master of Arts degree. In addition to any other school requirements, the student seeking a Master of Arts degree must fulfill the following general requirements.

  • Coursework: A minimum of 27 semester hours of graduate coursework with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 is required. At least 20 hours of graduate coursework must be completed after admission to Full Status. In addition, students taking the thesis option must successfully complete at least six credit hours of thesis in the major school. If desired, up to 6 semester hours of the 27-hour requirements may be taken in a related field or fields of study. Foreign Language: Some schools require students to demonstrate a reading proficiency in a foreign language or an approved equivalent research skill.
  • General Examination: Some schools require students to pass a school-administered general examination.
  • Demonstration of Research Competence:
    • Thesis: Ordinarily a thesis is required of all candidates for a master’s degree. Contact the school’s director of graduate studies for more information.
    • Non-thesis: A non-thesis option is available in some schools. In lieu of the thesis, research competence is generally demonstrated on the basis of a research paper or a creative project.

10120 Student Exception Procedure

The grievance and appeals procedures for students enrolled in courses or academic programs in the College of the Arts is available on the university website at

Students may request deviations from the regulations in the College of the Arts section of this catalog by applying for approval to the college’s Academic Review Board. Students considering such a petition should consult the Office of Academic Assistance in the College of the Arts to determine procedures and to obtain appropriate forms. This petition procedure does not apply to school-based regulations.