UPV Graduate Program Manual

















Art. 1. This document shall be known as the “University of the Philippines Visayas Graduate Program Manual”. Hereinafter referred to as the Manual, it provides information on the organization, policies, rules, and regulations governing the administration of graduate programs of the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV).


Art. 2. The organizational structure in Annex 1 shows the relationships among the Office of the Chancellor (OC) the Office of Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA), the Graduate Program Council (GPC), the Graduate Program Office (GPO), the Graduate Standing Committees (GSCs) and the graduate faculty of academic units offering graduate programs.


Art. 3. The Graduate Program Council (GPC) is the policy-making body that formulates standards, policies, rules, and regulations pertaining to the implementation of graduate degree programs of UPV. It shall be composed of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA) as Chair, the Deans of academic units, the Chairpersons of the Graduate Standing Committees (GSCs), the University Registrar, and the Director of the Graduate Program Office (GPO) as Secretary.

Art. 4. The GPC shall provide leadership for the promotion of academic excellence in the graduate programs and shall set directions to promote quality graduate education at UPV.

The GPC shall perform the following functions:

  1. Formulate policies and guidelines governing the administration of graduate programs;

  2. Determine new directions in graduate education and program strategies of the degree-granting units; and

  3. Review the graduate programs and recommend revisions as needed to the University Council (UC).


Art. 5. Five (5) Graduate Standing Committees (GSCs) of the GPC shall be created:

  1. Committee on Fisheries and Biological Sciences

  2. Committee on Professional Education

  3. Committee on Management

  4. Committee on Social Sciences and Humanities, and

  5. Committee on Physical Sciences and Mathematics.

The chairs of the standing committees shall be members of the GPC. Other committees that the GPC deems necessary may also be organized.

Art. 6. Each GSC shall have at least three (3) members including the Chair. They shall be drawn from the graduate faculty of the college/school concerned and shall be appointed by the Chancellor upon the recommendation of the GPC.

Art. 7. The Chair and members of the standing committees shall serve for a period of two (2) years, without prejudice to reappointment.

To provide continuity at the initial organization of the GSC, one member will serve for one year and the other member for two (2) years. Thereafter, all members shall be appointed for a period of two (2) years.

The heads of all degree-granting units shall regularly report all matters related to plans and operations of their graduate programs to the GPO and the Office of the University Registrar (OUR).

Section 3. The GPO Director

Art. 17. The GPO shall be headed by a Director who shall be appointed by the Chancellor from among the graduate faculty.

Art. 18. The term of office of the Director shall be three (3) years without prejudice to reappointment.

Art. 19. The Director shall perform the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Manage and supervise the administrative activities of the GPO;

  2. Recommend to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs actions on graduate student-related matters and concerns;

  3. Initiate discussion/dialogues on new directions in graduate program development, evaluation, and revisions; and,

  4. Act as secretary of the GPC.

The Director shall be assisted by the GPO staff.



Section 4. The Academic Calendar

Art. 20. Graduate programs at UPV operate on either of two modes of the academic calendar.

For any program, the academic year is made up either of two (2) terms or semesters, or, three (3) terms or trimesters. The academic year for semestral programs starts in June; trimestral programs start in July.

Section 5. Application and Admission

Art. 21. Applications for admission shall be addressed to the Dean of college/school offering the degree program.

Applications may be submitted at any time throughout the year and accompanying documents should be received one (1) month before the start of the academic year to provide enough time for consideration and processing.

Applicants notified of their acceptance for admission should inform the Dean of the college/school concerned of their decision to enroll or not, as soon as possible.

Art. 22. For foreign students from countries where English is not the medium of instruction and/or not the native language, a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) rating of 500 or equivalent is required. This is in addition to other requirements of specific graduate programs of UPV.

Those who fail in this requirement upon their application for a degree program may first seek admission into the University as non-degree students. However, they should pass the prescribed English course(s) at UPV or other valid English proficiency examination within the first year of their initial enrollment.

Section 6. Grading System and Retention

Art. 23. Grades of “1.0” to “3.0” are passing marks in the UP System. A “4.0” is conditional and a“5.0” is a failing grade.

The student who removes his/her conditional mark of “4.0” within the academic year that a grade is obtained may only receive a final grade of “3.0” or “5.0”. An incomplete (“INC.”) mark implies a passing average for a student who has not completed all course requirements, although a “4.0” may occur upon completion. Nevertheless, a student may complete the course requirements within the academic year – i.e., within three (3) removal periods – that the “INC.” grade is incurred.

Art. 24. The graduate student’s general weighted average (GWA) is computed when s/he has completed 50 percent of the prescribed total number of course units for his/her degree program. The student will be disqualified from the program if his/her GWA is below "2.0”.

A grade lower than 3.0 in any of the prescribed courses automatically disqualifies the student from any of the graduate programs.

Section 7. Academic Load and Cross-Registration

Art. 25. A graduate student on full-time study should take 9-12 units a semester/trimester as prescribed in the study plan of his/her degree program. Unless specified in his/her particular program, a student who takes less than 9 units in an academic term is considered a part-time student.

Under meritorious circumstances, the student may be allowed more than the prescribed academic load by the college/school Dean.

Art. 26. Cross-registration within the University shall require the graduate student the written permission from the Dean of the college/school where s/he is primarily enrolled (UP Form 5-B).

The total number of credit units in which a student may register in two or more colleges/schools shall not exceed twelve (12) units per term.

Art. 27. A graduate student who is registered in any other institution with which the UP System has an existing agreement may be admitted as a non-degree student in the University.

A written permit from the Dean or Registrar of his/her home university that states the courses to be taken is required.

The total number of units taken as a non-degree student shall not exceed nine (9).

Art. 28. A UPV graduate student may cross-register at another institution upon the recommendation of his/her Dean and the approval of the VCAA. The written authorization shall specify the courses to be taken.

Subjects taken outside UP are subject to validation.

Section 8. Residence, Leaves, and Readmission

Art. 29. The graduate student is in residence when he/she is officially enrolled – whether he/she is on campus for course work requirements or off-campus for his/her research work. In the latter case, approval of his/her Thesis/Dissertation Committee is necessary.

The student should be enrolled for residency at least one (1) year prior to the conferment of his/her degree.

Art. 30. A graduate student may request in writing for a leave of absence (LOA) for at least a semester/trimester from the Dean of the college/ school concerned. Approval of LOA is granted for not more than one (1) year at a time.

The student who leaves his/her work during an academic term without such formal permit is considered absent without leave (AWOL) and loses his/her registration privileges.

Any leave period of a graduate student is accounted for as part of his/her residence in the program pursued. To graduate within the allowed residence period of their respective programs, the total leave time of any student should not exceed two (2) academic years.

Art. 31. A student who withdraws without a formal LOA for at least one academic term must apply for readmission into his/her graduate program at the appropriate division/department/institute.

Art. 32. Upon returning from any leave for one or more academic term, a graduate student who has not completed the prescribed program requirements within the allowed residency period needs to apply for readmission.

For those returning from AWOL status, readmission requires payment of the appropriate fee; no payment is required for those returning from approved leaves.

An application for a waiver of the residency rule is further required of those who would be beyond the allowed residency period upon their return from leaves.

Art. 33. To be eligible for readmission, the master’s student must have a GWA of "2.0" or better in all graduate-level courses taken in the program.

Art. 34. If the student withdraws after ¾ of the total number of hours prescribed for the course has already elapsed, the graduate faculty submits a grade of “5.0” for him/her if his/her class standing up to the time of his/her withdrawal is below “3.0”.

Section 9. Advance or Transfer Credits

Art. 35. A graduate student may apply for a maximum of nine (9) units of advance or transfer credits for work done at another institution with the appropriate division/department/institute within the term of his/her initial enrollment in the degree program pursued.

Such units should have been earned with grades of 2.0 (or its UP equivalent) or better within the last five (5) years and have not been credited to a previously earned degree.

The validation examination(s) required shall be conducted within the first year of enrollment of the student.

Art. 36. Advance credits, which are subject to validation, may be earned from courses taken at institutions outside of the UP System.

Transfer credits may be directly earned from courses taken at other UP units. Courses taken that may be considered equivalent to those required in the program pursued are subject to substitution by the division/department/institute concerned.

Units for undergraduate courses cannot be credited for graduate work.

Art. 37. The substitution of courses in the student's approved program of study shall be in accordance with University rules and regulations.


Section 10. Admission into the Master’s Programs

Art. 38. An applicant for admission to the master’s degree program must have a bachelor’s degree or its academic equivalent from any institution recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Art. 39. The applicant must submit to the college/school concerned the following requirements in addition to those in the General Provisions of this Manual:

  1. A duly accomplished application form;

  2. A copy of the official transcript of academic records and, when necessary, accompanied by certified English translation and/or mark sheets of examination taken;

  3. Payment of the application fee in cash, bank draft, or money order; and

  4. Two (2) letters of recommendation from former professors and/or recognized authorities in the discipline/area of specialization.

  5. Other requirements as may be prescribed by the college/school for specific degree programs. 

Art. 40. An applicant seeking admission into a master’s degree program shall take and pass the entrance examination, except in programs that do not require entrance examinations. This examination may be directly administered by the academic unit concerned or by the GPO.

Art. 41. Upon the recommendation of the designated Admissions Committee of the respective degree-granting units, the Dean shall act upon the admission of graduate students.

Section 11. Residency in the Master’s Program

Art. 42. The maximum residence rule (MRR) states that: Students have five (5) academic years from their initial enrollment in the program to fulfill all requirements for a master’s degree. The five-year maximum time of program completion includes all leave periods.

A student who is not able to complete the requirements of the program within five years may apply for a waiver of the MRR.

Subject to the approval of the Chancellor, requests for extension of residence may be considered on meritorious cases. A maximum of two (2) years extension may be allowed for thesis students; for non-thesis students, the maximum extension allowed is for one (1) year.

Section 12. The Master’s Program of Study

Art. 43. A master’s program may or may not require a thesis.

The thesis program requires the student to complete a specifically prescribed number of units of course work and a thesis of six (6) units. Some programs may also require a comprehensive examination before thesis work commences.

The non thesis program requires the student to complete a specifically prescribed number of units of course work and pass a comprehensive examination.

Art. 44. A thesis program requires a minimum of 24 units of courses, all of which must be of the 200 level. The master’s thesis shall have an equivalent of six (6) units of graduate credit.

Art. 45. For the non thesis program, a minimum of 36 units is required, all of which must be of the 200 level.

Instead of a thesis and in addition to the comprehensive examination, a program may require the completion of a seminar, practicum, or research project in light of an identified special problem.

Section 13. The Master’s Program Adviser

Art. 46. At the time of the student’s admission, a Program Adviser shall be provided by the division/department/ institute concerned to advise and monitor the student in the course work and other requirements of the degree program.

Only full-time members of the graduate faculty shall serve as program advisers.

Art. 47. Within the first semester/trimester of his/her residence, the thesis-program student shall confer with his/her Program Adviser and draft his/her specific program of study.

Before the end of the academic term, the Program Adviser shall endorse the plan of study to the head of the division/department/institute concerned for action by the college/school Dean. The Director of GPO and the Registrar shall be furnished copies of the students’ approved program of study.

Section 14. The Master’s Thesis

Art. 48. The student enrolls in the master’s thesis only once, and he/she shall be given a grade only upon completion of all the thesis requirements. At the end of each semester, the student shall be marked ‘in progress” until such time that he/she has completed all requirements.

Art. 49. A student may be authorized to work on his/her thesis proposal after earning at least 50 percent of the course work in the prescribed program of study with a GWA of “2.0” or better, except when the degree program requires the completion of all required courses with an average grade of "2.0".

Art. 50. The student’s Thesis Committee shall be constituted upon his/her completion of required units prescribed by the degree program and other requirements as determined by the home division/department/institute concerned.

The student shall select a Thesis Adviser from his/her home unit who has published as senior author of at least three (3) articles in peer reviewed journals. The Thesis Adviser shall chair the student’s Thesis Committee.

Two (2) other committee members, selected by the student in consultation with the Thesis Adviser, may or may not have such publication record as the Thesis Adviser; however, at least one of them should also belong to the student’s home unit.

Art. 51. The head division/ department/institute concerned shall recommend both the student’s thesis topic and the composition of his/her Thesis Committee for action by the college/ school Dean.

The student’s thesis topic should be within the primary discipline or field of the degree program pursued.

Any change in either the committee composition or the topic selected shall be acted upon by the Dean.

Art. 52. The student shall obtain approval of his/her thesis proposal by the Thesis Committee before starting the actual research work.

Art. 53. The student may conduct his/her thesis work off-campus with the approval of the Thesis Committee. When his/her thesis entails off-campus work for at least an academic term, the student should be enrolled and should make periodic progress reports to his/her Thesis Adviser.

Art. 54. Copies of the student’s complete thesis draft favourably assessed by the Thesis Adviser shall be forwarded to other members of the Thesis Committee for further evaluation and suggestions.

Section 15. The Master’s Thesis Examination

Art. 55. Upon the favorable assessment of the student’s draft by the Thesis Committee, s/he shall apply for the thesis examination.

 The schedule for the oral presentation and defense may be set upon the favourable action of his/her Thesis Committee, the division/department/institute concerned, and the head of the academic unit.

Art. 56. The Thesis Adviser shall chair the committee for the thesis examination.

The student shall present his/her thesis in a public forum attended by all members of his/her Thesis Committee.

Immediately following this public forum, the Thesis Committee examines the candidate in an executive session.

Art. 57. To pass the thesis defense in oral examination, the student must receive not more than one (1) negative vote from the committee members.

The Thesis Committee Chair shall report the results to the Dean within one (1) week after the examination.

Art. 58. After the acceptance by the Thesis Committee of the final thesis manuscript, eight (8) bound copies of the thesis must be submitted to the college/school on or before the following deadlines:

  1. For summer graduates, on the day before the first day of regular registration for the succeeding first semester/trimester;

  2. For first semester/trimester graduates, on the day before the first day of regular registration for the succeeding second semester/trimester; and,

  3. For second semester/trimester graduates, on the day before the college/school faculty meeting to decide on the graduation of students.

Art. 59. The eight (8) copies shall be distributed as follows: one (1) copy each for the student, the major department, the Thesis Adviser, the University Library, the National Library, and the GPO, and two (2) copies for CHED regional office concerned.

Art. 60. A student who fails the oral thesis examination may be given a re examination not earlier than one (1) month, but within twelve (12) months after the first examination.

With the approval of the college/school dean, the student has the option to select a newly constituted Thesis Committee.

Art. 61. Failure to pass the second oral examination shall disqualify the student from earning the degree.

Section 16. The Comprehensive Examination for Non-thesis Programs

Art. 62. After completing all academic course requirements, students in non thesis program shall apply for the comprehensive examination.

All applications must be submitted within one (1) month prior to the scheduled date of the comprehensive examination and must be endorsed by the division/department/institute for action by the head of the academic unit concerned.

Art. 63. To qualify for taking the comprehensive examination, the student must obtain a weighted average grade of "2.0" or better for all courses prescribed for both the general and the special fields of the program concerned.

Art. 64. The comprehensive examination for non-thesis programs shall be in the written mode. An oral component of the examination is an option for specific programs.

The examination shall test the student's competence in integrating and applying knowledge in the general and the special fields of the programs concerned.

Art. 65. A grade of "2.0" or better in both the general and special fields is required in order to pass the comprehensive examination.

Art. 66. A student who fails in one or both fields of the comprehensive examination may be given only one (1) re-examination, preferably within twelve (12) months of the first examination.

The re-examination should cover the entire range of the general or special field concerned.

Art. 67. Failure to pass the second try on the comprehensive examination shall permanently disqualify the student from the degree program.

Art. 68. The Chancellor appoints the chair and members of the Comprehensive Examination Committees (CEC) upon the recommendation of the respective Deans.

The CEC is responsible for the formulation of questions and the marking of the test papers. Each committee shall be composed of three (3) faculty members/lecturers who were active when the concerned students were pursuing their course work. Lecturers may only participate as members of such committees.

The committee chair shall submit to the Dean, through the division/department/ institute head, the examination results within six (6) weeks from the date of the examination.

Art. 69. There shall be a minimum number of three (3) examinees per field of the comprehensive examination.

If there is less than the minimum number of applicants, the examination may still be administered on the merits of specific cases and circumstances, subject to the approval of the VCAA upon recommendation of the GPO Director.

Section 17. Graduation

Art. 70. A student shall be considered a candidate for graduation if s/he meets the following requirements:

  1. Must have a minimum weighted average of "2.0" for all the required courses taken;

  2. Must have passed the oral defense of his/her thesis and submitted the required number of approved copies of the thesis; or must have passed the comprehensive examination;

  3. Must satisfy all other requirements prescribed by the degree program pursued; and,

  4. Must have been in residence one (1) year immediately prior to graduation.

Art. 71. The student must file the application for graduation and diploma with the college/school concerned according to the schedule in the academic calendar.

Section 18. Second Master's Degree

Art. 72. A student who has earned a master's degree in UPV or any UP unit and wishes to earn another master's degree therein, must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. earn in the University at least eighteen (18) more graduate course credits in the second master’s degree in addition to the common course requirements of his/her first master's degree; and,

  2. complete all other requirements of the second master's degree.

Art. 73. In case of thesis programs, the additional units required for the second master’s degree are exclusive of the thesis. In the case of non-thesis programs, the additional units are exclusive of the comprehensive examination.

The additional course work in the program of study shall be in advanced courses that strengthen the area of specialization in the University.


Section 19. Admission into the Doctoral Programs

Art. 74. For admission into a doctoral program, an applicant must satisfy the following minimum requirements for admission in addition to those in the General Provisions of this Manual:

  1. possession of bachelor's degree or master's degree or equivalent degree or title from the University or from other recognized institutions of higher learning;

  2. satisfactory evidence of scholarship and quality of academic work as indicated by previous preparation;

  3. fulfilment of any special requirements for the major field that is chosen by the student;

  4. intellectual ability; and,

  5. demonstrated capability in research.

Art. 75. These requirements shall be assessed by an examination of the following:

  1. undergraduate and graduate credentials,

  2. recommendation of three (3) recognized scholars or practitioners  in the discipline or professional area concerned,

  3. interview with the applicant or other appropriate measure, and

  4. curriculum vitae.

Art. 76. A duly accomplished application form must be submitted to the college/school concerned together with the following requirements:

  1. Official transcript of records, in the English language, from each college previously attended;

  2. For baccalaureate degree holders, two (2) letters of recommendation from former professors are required and are to be sent in by separate mail. If with a master's degree, the third letter of recommendation must be from major professor;

  3. Non refundable application fee for Filipino citizens or foreign nationals in bank draft or money order remitted to UPV.

The correct major division/department/institute of the academic unit concerned should be properly indentified in the student’s application.

Section 20. The Doctoral Program of Study

Art. 77. A Program Adviser shall be appointed by the college/school Dean to formulate the program of study of the doctoral degree student (in Ph.D., D.Sc., Ed.D., or other program).

Only full-time members of the graduate faculty shall serve as program advisers.

Art. 78. The doctoral student’s program of study is based on his/her academic preparation and desired specialization.

The program of study shall be endorsed by the home unit concerned for action by the Dean of the academic unit. Changes in the program of study may be allowed upon the student’s written request as endorsed by the Program Adviser.

Art. 79. If the doctoral student already has a master's degree, the course work required for him/her shall consist of a minimum of 24 units. For the student with only a bachelor’s degree, the total course work required shall have a minimum of 45 units.

Art. 80. Specific doctoral programs may require proficiency in a foreign language outside of English and the language of the student.

         Section 21. Residency in the Doctoral Program

Art. 81. Maximum residence rule (MRR): All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within six (6) years from initial enrollment in the program.

An extension may only be allowed in highly meritorious cases, but in no case shall the extension be longer than two (2) years. Subject to evaluation, the extension may be granted one (1) year at a time.

Section 22. The Doctoral Committee and the Qualifying Examination

Art. 82. After the student’s completion of all course work requirements, a Doctoral Committee shall be formed for his/her qualifying examination, subject to the approval of the Dean of the college/school,

The Doctoral Committee shall be chaired by the student’s Program Adviser with three (3) other faculty members/lecturers who were active when the concerned student was pursuing his/her course work; one member of this committee may come from outside of the college/school.

Art. 83. To be eligible for the qualifying examination, the doctoral student must obtain a GWA of "1.75" or better for all required courses in his/her study plan.

Art. 84. The qualifying examination consists of an oral and a written component. The examination tests the student's ability to integrate and apply the knowledge obtained from his/her doctoral program of study.

Art. 85. The written component of the qualifying examination for doctoral students shall not be longer than 15 hours. There should be at least a three-hour session for each of the major and cognate fields, with at least a one-day interval between these sessions.

Art. 86. Failure at a second try on the qualifying examination shall permanently disqualify the student from the doctoral program.

Art87. After passing the qualifying examination, the student shall be considered as having been advanced to candidacy for the degree and shall prepare for his/her dissertation.

Section 23. The Doctoral Dissertation

Art. 88. The doctoral dissertation shall be enrolled only once. At the end of each semester, the student shall be marked ‘in progress” until such time that he/she has completed all requirements.

Section 24. The Dissertation Adviser and the Dissertation Committee

Art. 89. The doctoral candidate shall select a Dissertation Adviser from his/her home unit who has published as senior author of at least five (5) articles in peer reviewed journals.

In consultation with the Dissertation Adviser as Chair, the candidate selects his/her dissertation topic and three (3) other members of his/her Dissertation Committee, subject to the action of the Dean of the academic unit concerned. Only one of these members should be from outside the student’s college/school. The Critic/External Examiner is appointed as the fifth member of the candidate’s Dissertation Committee in time for the student’s defense in the final oral examination.

 The Dissertation Committee shall guide the student in the preparation of the dissertation which must embody an original and independent research and be a worthwhile and significant contribution to scholarship in the field pursued by the student.

Section 25. The Preliminary Oral Examination

Art. 90. As a doctoral candidate, the student submits a research proposal to the Dissertation Committee for evaluation. Upon the committee’s assessment of the readiness of said proposal, the student defends it in a preliminary oral examination that may last between three (3) to five (5) hours.

The preliminary oral examination evaluates the student's comprehension of the basic principles related to the dissertation problem and his/her preparedness to undertake the proposed research.

Section 26. The Final Oral Examination and the Defense Panel

Art. 91When Dissertation Committee has determined the completeness of the candidate’s dissertation manuscript for the final defense, a Critic/External Examiner from outside of the home college/school is appointed by the Chancellor, on recommendation of the Dissertation Committee.

The Defense Panel that includes the Critic/External Examiner as the fifth member of the Dissertation Committee shall set the schedule of the final oral examination.

Art. 92. The final oral examination conducted by the Defense Panel may last between three (3) to five (5) hours.

The examination assesses the student's ability to present scientific data in a systematic and scholarly manner as well as his/her capacity to define potential areas from the research process and its outcomes.

Art. 93. To pass the final oral examination, the doctoral candidate must not obtain more than one (1) negative vote from the members of the Defense Panel. If there is no unanimous approval, the defense panel should reach a consensus or the decision of the majority should prevail.

Art. 94. Failure at a second final oral examination given within twelve (12) months of the first one shall permanently disqualify the candidate from earning the degree.

Section 27. Candidacy for Graduation

Art. 95. The doctoral candidate should satisfy all other requirements prescribed by the degree program pursued.

Art. 96. To graduate, the doctoral candidate shall pay the prescribed graduation fee and submit eight (8) bound copies of the final dissertation.

The bound volumes should be signed by the appropriate University officials and shall be distributed as follows: the original to the University Library, one copy each for the student, the home division/department/institute, the head of the academic unit, the GPO, and the National Library, and two (2) copies for the CHED regional office concerned.



Art. 97. All pertinent academic rules and policies governing graduate programs that are amended by the UC shall automatically form part of the Manual.

Art. 98. Other new policies, rules and regulations may be laid down in the Manual upon approval of the UC.

Art. 99. Any provision of the Manual may be amended by action of the UP President and the BOR.


Art. 100. The Manual shall take effect on the academic year immediately subsequent to its approval by the UPV-UC.

Augusto Serrano,
Nov 27, 2011, 8:19 PM