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Contact Information

Graduate Studies
Sharon Paranto, Director

or Tammy Griffith, Program Assistant 


Spafford Hall 204A
1200 S. Jay St.
Aberdeen, S.D. 57401
Phone: 605-626-2558
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Northern graduate and faculty at commencement ceremony
Components of Graduate Studies
1. Selection of major professor and graduate committee is to be conducted between the completion of 6 credits but not more than 10 credits for 32-credit programs, 8 credits but not more than 12 credits for 36-credit programs, and after the completion of 10 credits but not more than 16 credits for the 50-credit programs.
2. Candidacy application and packet review process will be conducted after completion of 6 credits but not more than 10 credits for 32 hour programs, after completion of 10 credits but not more than 16 credits for the 50-hour counseling program, and 8 credits but not more than 12 credits for the 36- hour e-learning programs. Selection of committee members, review of candidacy packet, recommendation of credit accepted in transfer, and formulation of program of study are completed during this process. This process must be completed at least 2 weeks before the end of the semester.
3. Course requirements according to the plan formulated during the candidacy packet review process must be completed. Any changes from the plan must be approved by the chair of the student's graduate committee and submitted to the Graduate Office for approval.
4. Portfolio requirements as specified by the student's graduate committee during the candidacy packet review process are completed with appropriate reviews by the committee chair. The portfolio binder, with dividers, is available in the NSU bookstore. The portfolio will be made available to the committee at least 2 weeks before the final oral examination.
5. Internship experience is supervised by a university faculty member in the program area. Students should notify the Graduate Office of their intent to register for the internship by midterm of the preceding semester so that supervision can be arranged. Students of 32-hour programs must have at least 20 hours of their program completed or concurrent enrollment to register for internship. Except for counseling and the e-learning programs, internships are 4-credit experiences totaling a minimum of 160 hours and may be taken as 2 credits each for two successive semesters. Students not working full time may take all 4 credits during 1 semester.
6. Field-based research project will be completed, ordinarily during the internship experience (counseling may complete this requirement during other phases of the program). Students will write a paper on the research project using the typical format of a scholarly journal article to be included in the student portfolio. The topic of the research project must be approved by the committee chair and the director of graduate studies.
7. Final writing examination will be conducted the last period of enrollment. Students are responsible for scheduling this examination through the Graduate Office at least 2 weeks but not more than 4 weeks before the oral examination. Summer students complete the written examination on one of the scheduled dates. The final written exam will serve as partial basis for the oral examination.
8. Final oral examination is conducted. Students must pass the oral examination no earlier than 6 weeks and no later than 3 weeks before the end of the semester in which they intend to graduate. Summer students must pass the oral examination no later than 1 week before the end of the second summer session. The oral examination will be based on the student's field of study, the writing examination, and the graduate student portfolio, including the field-based research project.
9. Graduation should be applied for no later than 8 weeks before the end of the academic year term, or 1 month before summer session graduation. If any of the above requirements are not completed, graduation will be delayed.