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Compliance Certification Report
Federal Requirement 4.4


Last Updated August 2, 2004
(static edition)


Federal Requirement 4.4:

The institution demonstrates that program length is appropriate for each of the degrees offered.

The Institution Certifies Compliance: Yes

Compliance report completed by: Audit Team 15

Statement of Rationale for Judgment of Compliance:

Faculty in each discipline determine program length and establish credit hour requirements when a program is initiated or revised, subject to review and approval by the appropriate college or school and the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee or the University Council for Graduate Studies and Research. [1] New and revised programs are reviewed and approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and, in the case of new degree programs, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). Each credit hour awarded must consist of a minimum of 750 minutes of instruction. [2]

Baccalaureate degree programs require a minimum of 120 semester credit hours for degree completion. [3] A student may complete the requirements for the baccalaureate degree under the provisions of any valid UofM Bulletin, provided the effective date of that Bulletin is not earlier than the student’s initial admission to the UofM or some other accredited institution of higher learning. The degree requirements are valid for seven years from the beginning of the academic year to which the Bulletin applies. [4]  

Master’s degree programs require 30-36 semester hours of coursework, although some programs require more. All requirements for the degree must be completed within six years, or eight years in programs that require 36 hours or more. [5]

Doctoral degree programs require a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. Doctoral degrees must be earned within twelve consecutive years. All coursework must be completed within ten years of admission to the doctoral program with another two years allowed for completion of the dissertation. [6]

In the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, a student must complete graduation requirements for the Juris Doctor within six calendar years of the student’s initial enrollment. [7]

Degree programs that require specialized accreditation are reviewed and approved by the appropriate accrediting body. [8] Degree programs not dependent on accreditation are subject to external peer review. [9] These reviews ensure that program length is consistent with best academic practices of both the discipline and higher education, with other TBR schools, and with minimum THEC and TBR standards.


Relevant Organizational Unit(s):

Provost; Vice Provost for Academic Affairs


Supporting Documentation and Evidence:

[1] UofM Curricular Procedures Handbook, Approvals
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[2] UofM Curricular Procedures Handbook, Credit Hours
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[3] TBR Policy 2:01:00:00 Undergraduate Degree Requirements
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[4] UofM Undergraduate Bulletin, Bulletin Applicability
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[5] UofM Graduate Bulletin, Master's
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[6] UofM Graduate Bulletin, Doctoral
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[7] The UofM Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law Bulletin
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[8] Accreditation Bodies
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[9] Peer Review Calendar
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