Frequently Asked Questions

Master’s Project

Advisor, Committee, & IRB

Q: What is an advisor or major professor? How is this determined?

A: Faculty advisors play a crucial role in acquiring the MS degree.  Your faculty advisor will direct your final project.  Students should select an advisor who has some research expertise or interest in the area of study the student wishes to pursue. Students should contact potential advisors well in advance of starting their project or thesis to request a faculty serve as major professor. At the mid-point of your graduate studies (approximately 20 earned semester hours), you should select a Thesis Advisor. Once you have a Thesis Advisor and have established a general project topic, you will need to establish a thesis committee with at least two other faculty members.

Q: What is a project committee? How is this determined?

A: Once you have a Project Advisor and have established a general project topic, you will need to establish a committee with at least two other faculty members. This committee is responsible for the review of your project and for providing input into your comprehensive examination. This is similar to the thesis committee. In this case, however, your committee will also be charged with the creation and grading of your comprehensive examination.

Q: Why must my research project be reviewed by UGA’s IRB?

A: As you think about your project, you need to be aware of UGA’s IRB.  Regardless of how simplistic or harmless your research project is, if it involves humans (like the use of interviews) or animals, it will require IRB approval.  The research MUST be approved prior to scheduling any interviews or the sending out questionnaires, etc.  It is best to assume that your project, if it involves human or animal subjects, requires IRB approval UNTIL you get permission from UGA IRB telling you otherwise, i.e. you get an exemption. You should work with your major professor on this process.

Q: I found a link that does not work, yet I need to access to that material or document. What do I do?

A: Some of the links and URLs listed on these pages go to other UGA departments, like the UGA Graduate School or IRB Offices. The RS Office makes every attempt to keep our pages up-to-date; however, we have no control over these websites. If you find a broken link, 1) please alert the RS Department and 2) then, go to the UGA Graduate School’s site, or other appropriate department, and search for that page. A broken link on our departmental pages does not absolve you of the responsibility for ensuring that proper UGA documents are submitted or proper procedures are followed.

Comprehensive exam

Q: What can I expect from the comprehensive examination?

A: A written comprehensive examination, administered during the student’s last semester, tests the student on three topical areas of regulatory affairs, determined by the student’s advisory committee. This examination is designed to provide students with an opportunity to display a comprehensive understanding of the discipline of Regulatory Affairs.  Students must be able to effectively integrate course work from their program of study into their responses to the questions.  The comprehensive examination may not be taken prior to the last semester of course work.  Students will apply to take the examination in advance, normally during the first two weeks of the semester/term in which they desire to take the examination.  Each exam will be graded by at least two program faculty, and the student’s answers will be assigned one of three grades:  pass with distinction, pass, or fail.  Students failing the comprehensive examination on the first attempt may retake it a second time.  If a student fails the examination a second time, the student’s committee shall decide if remediation of coursework is applicable and/or feasible, or if the student should be dismissed from the program.

This test will be administered using the University’s course management system.


Q: How does the Graduate School know that I am ready to graduate?

A: All graduate students must submit an application for graduation on Athena by the deadline posted for the semester that graduation is anticipated. The application is submitted electronically. Be sure to print the confirmation page for your records.

Q: What forms do I need to submit for graduation?

A: For Project students, you have a total of 3 forms to submit. They are 1) Apply for Graduation (online), 2) Program of Study form, and 3) Advisory Committee form. For complete details see the Graduate School Forms page.  Requests for services should be made directly to the R.S. Office.

Upon completion of Project Presentation and Comprehensive exams, the Program of Study form along with a departmental letter of completion will be sent to the Graduate School.

Q: How do I change my graduation date?

A: You must email to request deletion of your graduation date in Athena. Once your graduation date has been removed, you will be sent instructions on reapplying for graduation in Athena.

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