Culminating Academic Experiences Overview

 

Culminating Academic Experiences Overview



In keeping with the requirements of the New York State Department of Education, Utica College requires that all graduate students complete one or more of the following: a thesis based on independent research, an appropriate capstone project, or a comprehensive exam.
 
The New York State Education Department classifies master’s degrees as either “academic” or “professional” in nature. Master’s degrees classified as “academic” require “contributions to knowledge of the subject matter rather than specific applications of knowledge to professional practices.” A “professional” master’s degree “must have as [its] primary purpose knowledge for application in professional practice.” Research at the graduate level requires impartial gathering of information and the evaluation and interpretation of that information to reach objective conclusions or applications. “Academic” research for a “thesis” usually involves the creation of new knowledge or interpretations, while “applied research” for a professional “research project” focuses more on the practical application of knowledge and theories. In either case, graduate research requires the objective gathering information, analysis, interpretation, and judgment based on solid evidence. Research is not summarizing or repeating uncritically the ideas of others, unsubstantiated personal opinion, or paraphrasing or stringing together quotations from the works of others. 

 

Culminating Academic Experience (CAE) Options



EACH option must include objective gathering of information, analysis, interpretation, and judgment based on solid evidence.  Specific requirements are determined by each academic department.  Any of these options may include an oral presentation or defense, depending on the academic program.

Thesis *
  • Original, independent research with creation of new knowledge or interpretations, often in anticipation of pursuing a doctoral degree
  • May involve the use of human subjects (IRB approval needed)
  • Only one student author
  • Requires Graduate Thesis/Capstone Project Phase I, II, and III forms (Implementation, Modification**, Completion)
  • Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies via www.etdadmin.com/utica
  • Examples include:  empirical studies, case studies
 
Capstone Project *
  • Research focuses on the practical application of knowledge and theories and may involve the creation of new knowledge
  • Doctoral programs shall include the production of a substantial report on original research, the investigation of a topic of significance to the field of study, or the production of an appropriate creative work insofar as it prepares the student to discover new knowledge that has practical application in the field
  • May involve the use of human subjects (IRB approval needed)
  • May have one student author or multiple student authors
  • Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies via www.etdadmin.com/utica
  • Requires Graduate Thesis/Capstone Project Phase I, II, and III forms (Implementation, Modification**, Completion)
  • Examples include:  Program Plan or Evaluation, Curriculum Development, Policy Analysis, Meta Analysis, Threat or Technology Assessment, Internship with in-depth write-up
* Committees must be chaired by a Utica College faculty member and at least one additional reader, usually a subject matter expert.
** Phase II: Modification form only required if there has been a change in a student's research topic or in committee membership.
*** Programs which are noted on the chart as completing a thesis or capstone project must submit the Phase forms and follow the ETD submission process.
 
Comprehensive Exam
  • A written examination that focuses on testing the practical application of knowledge and theories
  • Requires Comprehensive Exam Application and Completion forms
 
Portfolio/Dossier
  • Students produce an artifact demonstrating competence in different areas of key standards within their profession
  • Components may include an explanation of why the particular artifact was chosen, research-based background information regarding the importance of the competency areas (similar to a Literature Review), a personal reflection on their experience, and an educational tool relevant to the professional field such as a presentation, program, or curriculum
  • Documented as met upon successful completion of a course(s) containing multiple components demonstrating competence

CAE Option(s) Based on Academic Program


 
At Utica College, individual graduate programs have program-specific research requirements. For complete information and requirements, students should obtain additional information from the program in which they are matriculated. Below is a table of current CAE options based on academic program; the options available are subject to change.

Graduate Academic ProgramThesisCapstone
Project
Comp
Exam
Portfolio/
Dossier
Cyber Policy (MPS)   X
Cybersecurity X  
Data ScienceXX  
Financial Crime and Compliance ManagementXX  
Education  XX
Health Care Administration  X X
Liberal StudiesX X 
MBA (all disciplines)   X
Occupational Therapy X X
Physical Therapy (campus-based DPT)   X
Physical Therapy (online-PPtDPT)   X

Graduate Certificate Programs are met by completing all of the course requirements.



The Portfolio/Dossier CAE option is met by successful completion of the following course(s), depending on the academic program:
  • Education - EDU 697 and EDU 698
  • MBA - Accountancy - MGT 619
  • MBA - Blended (all specializations) - BUS 679 and BUS 689
  • MBA - Fraud - MGT 619 and ECM 604
  • Occupational Therapy - OCT 668 
  • Physical Therapy (online-PPtDPT) - PHT 816

  

Contact

Office of Graduate Studies
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1600 Burrstone Road
Utica, NY 13502

(315) 792-3335
(315) 792-3170 (Fax)

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