Academic Information for Master's Degree Students

Goals for Graduate Study at UIS

A graduate student should develop intellectual autonomy within a chosen field and demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate relevant knowledge. The graduate student, furthermore, assumes some responsibility for increasing and/or applying knowledge within the chosen field.

Graduate education assumes the acquisition of specific content knowledge, and encompasses comprehension of the intellectual history, methods of inquiry, and standards of judgment used in a given field. 

Students should also understand the ethical standards of research in a discipline or a profession.

A student receiving a master’s degree will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Analyze ideas in a logical manner by breaking down material into constituent parts, organizing ideas and relationships among ideas, expressing these relationships, recognizing unstated assumptions, distinguishing facts from hypotheses, and distinguishing statements of cause from statements of effect.

  • Synthesize diverse ideas to form an integrated whole relevant to a field of study by arranging and combining elements and parts into patterns or structures. The parts to be integrated may, to the extent necessary, come from a variety of disciplines.

  • Make judgments about the value of relevant material, including the appropriateness and adequacy of any qualitative and quantitative methods used in its compilation, by employing a standard of internal and/or external appraisal. In evaluating evidence or arguments, a student will use an integration of theories, works of recognized excellence, and facts and generalizations germane to a field.

  • The student will be able to develop a proposal or plan of work that includes ways of testing hypotheses, analyzing the factors involved, modifying the hypotheses based on new factors or considerations, and then making generalizations based on findings. The student will then have the ability to communicate both this process and subsequent findings to others.

  • Please consult academic departments for specific learning objectives for graduate degree programs.