Authorized by the State Board of Education, Troy University, then known as Troy State College, offered its first master’s degree program in 1957 and awarded the first master’s degree in education in 1958. Since that time, Troy University has continued to meet the needs of its graduate students, and now the Graduate School offers advanced degrees in the colleges of education, business, the arts and sciences, and health and human services.
The purpose of the Graduate School is to provide quality, accessible degree programs that respond to the needs of the University’s constituency for professional development and educational enrichment. The degree offerings reflect a wide range of master’s degrees and a selected number of specialist programs that serve students and practitioners throughout this region and at site locations globally.
A purpose further exists to provide educational services for the larger community, especially graduate and advanced education for adult students.
Through the various degree programs, the Graduate School provides an academic environment conducive to the maximum development of students. This unit of the university provides quality programs to students and the larger community through the utilization of staff and facilities and through research, superior teaching, scholarship, and public service.
The goals of graduate study are:
to develop the professional skills and academic competencies of students;
to prepare students for research and further graduate study;
to promote the development of intellectual inquiry and the desire for life–long learning.
The Graduate School of Troy University is under the general supervision of the Graduate Council. The Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School serve as ex officio members of the Council. The Council is organized to provide for systematic examination, approval, and evaluation of all curricular offerings and degree requirements. All policies and regulations affecting graduate curricular and degree programs are formulated by the Graduate Council.
Members of the Graduate Council are elected from the graduate faculty in the five colleges of the University.
The basic purposes of the University are determined by the Alabama State Legislature and the University’s Board of Trustees. While the past history of the University reflects an institutional purpose that was dedicated to teacher education, there has been in recent years broadening dedication to the advancement of the arts and sciences, business, communication and fine arts, and health and human services.
The faculty and administration of the University recognize that changes in technology, urbanization of the region, advances of science, greater participation by working students, national and world economics, international relations, and advancement of democratic processes, along with the preservation and advancement of the cultural heritage, will demand constant attention in determining the future purposes of the University.
Graduate level work differs appreciably from that of undergraduate programs. Graduate students will find that their programs are geared toward meeting certain criteria.
The first of these criteria is that the graduate student should understand the ramifications of research as well as the manner in which it is conducted. Research, the context of graduate study, is conducted in a systematic, thorough, critical, interpretative, and analytical manner—free of preconceived notions and receptive to new ideas; such research attempts to collate and synthesize new patterns of meaning, discover new truths, and correct past errors.
The second component of the graduate program requires that graduate students master their field of study. Such mastery would entail a thorough grasp of the subject matter, literature in the field, theory, and methodology related to the student’s field of interest.
Finally, every graduate program must give students the opportunity to demonstrate research skills, knowledge of the field, and opportunity to contribute to the field of study. Thus, a person who wishes to do graduate level work must be prepared to pass examinations, both written and oral, to write coherent papers that reflect the results of research as defined above, and to participate in course projects.