Graduate programs in LSU’s School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development are designed to develop leaders in the field of workforce development. LSU is the only institution in the state offering comprehensive graduate work in workforce education. The School is involved in research activities which aim to improve workforce development in the state as well as beyond state boundaries. The responsibility of conducting and disseminating research is taken seriously because of the land-grant status of the University and the relationship of research and graduate education.
The program has a broad scope of offerings in professional workforce development designed to fulfill individual career goals as well as meet selected requirements in workforce development programs. The availability of numerous supporting courses in other disciplines, opportunities for professional improvement through selected workshops carrying graduate credit, excellent computer facilities and library accommodations for research, and the opportunity for employment as a University graduate assistant, provide a well-rounded educational experience. The program offers an opportunity for professional study and advancement for persons interested in leadership positions which cut across the various program areas of workforce development.
The Master’s degree is available with both thesis and non-thesis options. The thesis option requires a minimum of 30 semester hours, at least 24 hours of which must be coursework and a thesis which must carry a minimum of 6 semester hours credit. The non-thesis option requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of coursework and a comprehensive examination. At least half of the hours must be in coursework numbered 7000 and above. Each of the degree programs consists of three components; (1) a workforce development and technology core; (2) a research block; and (3) a content specialization.
The research block will consist of selected coursework designed to build research skills appropriate to the Master’s degree. The non-thesis option focuses on the utilization of research while the thesis option focuses on the production of research appropriate to the discipline.
The workforce development core will include coursework offered within the School. This core will develop and strengthen competencies in the field of workforce development and technology. Selection of coursework will depend on the student’s background, experience, and career objectives.
The content specialization will be individualized to effectively meet the needs of the student. That may entail further study within their discipline, expansion into the broader workforce development and technology field, or a combination of both.
The Master of Science Degree
The School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development offers Master of Science degrees with both thesis and non-thesis options.
Thesis Option. The program of study for the master’s degree with the thesis option requires a minimum of 30 semester hours including 24 hours in graduate course work and six hours of thesis credit. The total number of credit hours and specific distribution will be determined by the student’s graduate committee.
Thesis credit hours consist of identifying a problem, conducting meaningful research in that area, and reporting the findings. The student will identify and refine his/her research topic in consultation with the members of his/her graduate committee and major professor. The topic, an appropriate review of literature, and a tentative methodology will be developed into a thesis proposal and presented to his/her graduate committee for approval. Once approved, the student may proceed with the study under the guidance of his/her major professor.
As a student in the thesis option one must also satisfactorily pass a final oral defense of his/her thesis research work. The oral defense will be conducted by the student’s graduate committee.
Non-thesis Option. The non-thesis option for the master’s degree requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of course work with at least half of the hours in courses numbered 7000 and above. In this option, one must satisfactorily complete a written comprehensive examination. An oral exam usually will follow the written examination. While the minimum requirement for this degree is 36 hours, the specific distribution of hours within the degree and the total number of hours will be determined by the student, his/her major professor and graduate committee.
Both the thesis and non-thesis options consist of a workforce development core and a content specialization. The workforce development core will include course work offered within the school. This core will develop and strengthen competencies in the field of workforce development. Selection of course work will depend on the student’s interests, education or work background, and career objectives. The research block consists of selected course work designed to build research skills appropriate to the master’s degree. The non-thesis option focuses on the utilization of research while the thesis option focuses on the production of research appropriate to the discipline.
The content specialization will be individualized to effectively meet the needs of the individual. It may entail further study within the discipline, expansion into the broader workforce development field, or a combination of both.
In summary, for both the thesis and non-thesis options, half of the required hours must be in courses numbered 7000 and above. Each program consists of a workforce development core, a research block, and a content specialization. Both options require a comprehensive exam.
The Doctorate represents the highest degree customarily conferred by the University. The Ph.D. degree in the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development represents a rigorous extension of graduate work beyond the Master’s level. Individuals seeking to undertake work towards this degree should have the ability and desire to conduct quality research and seek new and innovative methods for providing leadership in workforce development. Nothing in the minimum standards should be interpreted as an assurance that a degree will be awarded simply on the basis of completing all work outlined. The graduate program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree will consist of a minimum of 90 semester hours above the bachelor’s degree. The basic requirements are twofold:
- The student must provide evidence of a mastery of the broad range of subject matter indigenous to the discipline of workforce development.
- The student must demonstrate the ability to complete a significant program of research related to the field of workforce development. The student will conduct appropriate research, prepare a dissertation relative to the research, and pass a final examination relative to his/her work. This effort should make a significant contribution to the profession and evidence considerable skill in all aspects of the work.
Completion of a Master’s degree is normally required for entry into the doctoral program. However, students with exceptional backgrounds and/or research experience may be accepted for the doctoral program without having completed the Master’s degree first. Such acceptance is subject to the approval of the appropriate school/departmental admissions committee.
There are normally four steps in the process leading to the doctoral degree: (1) completion of all coursework; (2) general examination (oral and written); (3) completion of the dissertation; and (4) the final examination.
Coursework within the degree will be divided into a research block, a workforce development core, and one or more minors.
The basic research block will consist of a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work including the dissertation. The exact makeup of this block will be determined by the student and his/her major professor and graduate committee. The research block will contain coursework in research design, statistical procedures, and interpretation of data.
The workforce development core will consist of a minimum of 18 semester hours of coursework available within the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development. Following the guidelines of the School, the core will be composed of coursework selected to ensure a broad understanding of the field.
Minors may be drawn from a discipline either within or outside of the school. Parameters relative to the minor will be consistent with LSU Graduate School regulations.
The final coursework requirements will be determined by the student and his/her graduate advisory committee. The student will work with his/her chairperson to determine recommended coursework. Coursework to remove deficiencies may count as part of the student’s program. Serious deficiencies may require work, that although necessary, will not be counted towards the degree requirement. All recommendations will be presented to the student’s advisory committee for final approval.
The dissertation is a significant part of the doctoral program. The student and the major professor, in consultation with the student’s graduate committee, are responsible for identifying and developing a tentative dissertation topic. This topic is then developed into a complete proposal and presented to the graduate committee. The final examination, conducted by the graduate committee, is held no sooner than one academic year after the general examination. This is an oral examination which is primarily focused on, but not limited to, the dissertation and related problems.
In summary, the doctoral degree, the highest degree awarded by the University, consists of at least 90 semester hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. There are normally four steps required in the Process leading to the (1) completion of all course work, (2) the general examination, (3) completion of the dissertation, and (4) the final examination.