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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2017-02-28

Research Administration MRA

Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:


Graduate Student Orientation

The School of Public Administration hosts a graduate student orientation at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. The orientation focuses on subjects that are specific to your program and your career as a graduate student in the College of Health and Public Affairs. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the orientation as it supports successful transition into the master-level program and student success. Students receive an e-mail notice of the date and time of the orientation shortly before the semester begins. The DPA Graduate Student Orientation is open to both new and continuing master's students. 

Course of Study

The Master in Research Administration program is offered completely online in a lock-step and cohort-based model.  Students take two courses each semester and complete the degree program in two years (six semesters). In the final course students complete an evaluation project as a culminating activity that engages them in the application of theory, research policy, regulatory frameworks, ethics, and professional standards and practices within their area of focus. 

Graduation Requirements 

The Master in Research Administration program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Students must achieve a grade of "B" (3.0) or better in every course listed under required courses. Students must maintain a graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher.


For the most up-to-date information on course offerings, please see the UCF Graduate Catalog at 

Graduate Plan of Study 

The Graduate Plan of Study (GPS) is a listing of courses agreed to by the student and the School of Public Administration specifying the courses the student must satisfactorily complete in order to fulfill the degree requirements for the MRA and be eligible for graduation. The GPS must be defined during a student’s first semester of enrollment. Once created, the Plan of Study may not be altered solely due to poor academic performance and the student must maintain satisfactory progress as defined above in all courses in the Plan of Study. 


The master’s program is committed to providing the support that our students need to ensure a successful journey to completion of their degrees.  To that end, you may request to meet with your graduate adviser or the Academic Services Coordinator at any time. 


It is the student’s responsibility to keep abreast of all program requirements needed for graduation. Program regulations will not be waived because a student pleads ignorance or claims the adviser failed to keep them informed. Please review the “General University Policies” as well as the “General Graduate Policies” in the UCF Graduate Catalog ( 

In addition to the academic advising and student support provided by the School of Public Administration, the College of Health and Public Affairs also provides the COHPA Graduate Services Office (GSO). The GSO’s purpose is to provide support specifically to graduate students and graduate programs in the college. The Graduate Office is available to answer student questions and provide assistance with many of the processes involved in the university system. They can provide information about the application, registration, graduation and appeals processes in addition to many other requirements and policies affecting graduate students.

Office location: HPA 1, Suite 222.  Phone: 407-823-3179

Transfer of Coursework from Other Institutions 

Students should discuss the transfer of graduate credits from other institutions or from another graduate degree program with an adviser. The final decision on the acceptance of transfer credit rests with the MRA Program Director. To facilitate the evaluation of transfer credit, the student should provide a syllabus and a catalog course description. In addition, students must have official transcripts on file with UCF for the institution attended. Approved transfer credit is rarely substituted for existing core requirements, but may be considered as part of the elective requirements. No more than nine credit hours may be transferred into your plan of study. 



The Master in Research Administration program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. The program is offered completely online in a lock-step and cohort-based model. Students take two courses each semester and complete the degree program in two years (six semesters). In the final course students complete an evaluation project as a culminating activity that engages them in the application of theory, research policy, regulatory frameworks, ethics, and professional standards and practices within their area of focus. 

Required Courses—36 Credit Hours

Research Administration Concentration Core Courses—27 Credit Hours

  • PAD 6742 Introduction to Research Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6748 Governance and Regulatory Issues for Sponsored Programs (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6743 Leadership and Organization Models in Research Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6744 Financial Management in Research Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6745 Contracting for Sponsored Programs (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6746 Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and Commercialization (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6747 Audits in Research Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6741 Research Integrity for Research Administrators (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6327 Public Program Evaluation Techniques (3 credit hours)

Additional Required Courses—9 Credit Hours

  • PAD 5850 Grant and Contract Management (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6417 Human Resource Management (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6335 Strategic Planning and Management (3 credit hours)

Additional Program Requirements

  • Students must achieve a grade of "B-" (80%) or higher in all Research Administration concentration courses (PAD 67XX level and PAD 6327).
  • Students must maintain a program of study and graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher and can only graduate with a graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Cost Per Credit Hour

For the Master of Research Administration program, the cost per credit hour is $655.62.*

*Fee is subject to change

Graduate Student Associations

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

Professional Development

Teaching and Learning

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. They offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

  • GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)
    This training provides information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.

  • Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program
    This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.

     For more information: > Events > GTA Programs or call 407-823-3544.

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit

Graduate Research Forum

The Graduate Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines.  It is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see the College of Graduate Studies website


For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their Awards.

For grant-proposal writing resources:

Job Search

UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at


  • College of Graduate Studies Forms
    A listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Graduate Petition Form
    When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student. Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
  • Traveling Scholar Form
    Required form of graduate students who would like to take advantage of resources available on another campus, but not available at UCF; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections.


Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).


The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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