Academic definitions and terminology

Degrees and awards

Roosevelt University currently offers a variety of master's degree programs, three doctoral programs, and three certificate programs at the graduate level. Each specific degree offered in a college has its own unique requirements for completion. Students should refer to requirements listed for their chosen academic program.

Master’s degree

The U.S. Department of Education defines a master’s degree as requiring the successful completion of a graduate program of study of at least the full-time equivalent of one, but not more than two, academic years of work beyond the bachelor's degree. Master’s degrees at Roosevelt typically require the successful completion of between 33 and 39 credit hours and include coursework taken at Roosevelt as well as any coursework accepted for transfer by the graduate program. Transfer credit is generally limited to 6 credit hours at the master’s level.

Doctoral degree

The Department of Education defines a doctoral degree as one requiring advanced work beyond the master's level. The doctoral degree is awarded after a period of study that typically equals at least six full-time equivalent academic years.  Completion of the doctorate requires successful completion of either a dissertation based on original research, an original project, or coursework required for professional practice. Specific requirements for Roosevelt’s doctoral degrees are detailed in the catalog sections for those programs.

Certificates and diplomas

Certificates and diplomas certify satisfactory completion of a post-secondary education program. All Roosevelt certificates meet the regulatory requirements of the Department of Education, the Higher Learning Commission, and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

  • Post-baccalaureate certificates require completion of an organized program of study beyond the bachelor's degree. They are designed for those who have completed a bachelor’s degree, but they do not meet the requirements of a master's degree.
  • Post-master’s certificates require completion of an organized program beyond the master's degree, but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 

Dual degree

A dual degree refers to a student completing the requirements of two distinct degree programs, usually, but not always at the same academic level, simultaneously. Students in dual-degree programs must fulfill all requirements for both degrees as well as any prerequisite or other requirements associated with both/either degrees. Typically this requires more credit hours than either degree alone. An example of a dual degree is:

  • Students completing both a Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and a Master of Business Administration.

Academic program definitions


A concentration provides a thematic focus of study through 9 credit hours or more of interrelated courses in a subject area.  Courses applied as a concentration must be identified and pre-approved by the college.  Students pursuing a concentration must be enrolled in a degree program and must officially declare the concentration for it to appear on their academic record and transcripts.