The Closure Exercise

Master’s degree candidates are required to complete a closure exercise demonstrating mastery of some area within their field of study. Closure exercise options vary across degree programs, and can include theses, applied projects, comprehensive examinations and capstone courses. The exact nature and format of the closure exercise is determined by the academic department offering the degree program; however, all closure requirement options must have an identifiable academic focus and must include a written component.

Plan Ahead

Graduate students typically find closure exercises challenging because they involve the integration and application of knowledge and skills that you’ve acquired as well as considerable self-discipline in terms of planning and organizing the work involved. Students are strongly encouraged to learn about their program’s closure requirements and options early in their degree work, and to begin planning by discussing the closure requirements with their academic advisors.

Continuing Enrollment Requirement

UIS has a continuing enrollment policy, which requires that once a student begins a closure exercise, they must continue to enroll in the closure exercise each fall and spring semester until the exercise is complete. (Summer semesters are not subject to the continuing enrollment policy.) The continuing enrollment requirement applies even when a student “stops out” of other courses. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may submit a petition requesting the academic department to grant a leave of absence for one semester. If the petition is approved, the student will be exempted from the continuing enrollment requirement for one semester. Requests for exemption can only be approved on a semester-by-semester basis; a separate petition is required for each semester of exemption requested.