Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is the program best for?

This program is designed for working safety and health professionals.

Is this degree accredited?

What is the emphasis of the online program?

Currently the on-campus MS degree in occupational safety and health has three options, safety management, industrial hygiene and environmental. The only option currently offered online is safety management.

Is there a required comprehensive examination?

No, there is no comprehensive examination. There is an extensive research project that is incorporated into one of the courses.

Is the GRE required for admission?

No GRE is required.

How is the internship handled?

An internship is required as per accreditation requirements. For working safety professionals this requirement will be completed during your first summer and can be completed while doing your regular job and submitting specified documentation.

Is there an orientation for new students?


What can I do with this degree?

This degree prepares you for a career in organizations related to human services. The concentration area is designed to provide more in-depth knowledge and skills related to a more specific career field. The core courses in this degree offer a broad scope of leadership knowledge that can be applied to many careers.

How long will it take me to complete this master’s program?

We have designed this program to meet the needs of working safety & health professionals. Please realize that graduate courses are more rigorous and demanding than undergraduate courses. You will take two classes each semester completing the courses just under 24 months.

Are the classes traditional or online?

This program is totally online.

Can I work at my own pace?

 Online courses can be much more convenient, but the courses are not designed to be self-paced. Due to semester administrative requirements courses have specific beginning and ending dates with assignments, projects, exams, etc. due as the course syllabus states.

Is there any special equipment needed?

At a minimum, you must have a computer with reliable internet access (preferably broadband), an active Murray State e-mail address, a current browser, Microsoft Office or compatible program and a webcam and microphone.

What if I have technical questions or need help with email, myGate, textbooks, etc?

Many such questions as this can be answered on this web page.

Who will be my advisor?

Your advisor will be the program coordinator.

How many hours can I transfer to this program?

Twelve hours can be transferred if the student is currently in a similar master’s program. All transfer courses from another institution must have a grade of A or B.A grade of D does not count for graduation but is calculated in the GPA. The second grade does not replace the first. Both/all grades are used in the GPA calculation at the master’s level.

If due to circumstances beyond my control, can I complete work for one semester the next semester?

A grade of “I” is an “Incomplete” and can be given if only a couple of assignments have not been submitted by the end of the semester. Check with the instructor of the specific class about this. Although discouraged, “I” or Incomplete grades can be given but university policy states that you only have until mid-semester of the following semester to complete course requirements and update the “I” grade.

What is the basic organization of the online degree?

Students will work in a cohort. What that means is that each August a new class will start and those students will continue through the program together.

Are there any electives?

No. There are ten courses required with no electives necessary. A specific course will only be offered one semester per year.

What happens if I have to drop out a semester?

We strongly discourage doing this but we realize that life events can force such a move. If you have to drop a semester you will have to pick up with your cohort the next semester and then complete the missing course with the next cohort when it is offered next (one year later).

What are the grade and hour requirements for graduation?

To qualify to continue in the program after admission, you must have a 3.0 GPA in the first 9 hours of the program. Graduation from the master’s program requires a 3.0 GPA in Murray State course work. There are 30 hours of course work required to graduate.

How do I apply for graduation?

Degree applications can be completed through myGate or the form can be printed online and submitted with a check. Be sure to check the academic calendar that posts important dates/deadline each semester. There is a link to these calendars at the top of the Murray State homepage. Submit your degree application at the beginning of your last semester of classes or at the beginning of the semester in which you plan to graduate. Submit your application at the same time to take the comprehensive exam. Click here to view the online Degree and Comprehensive Exam Applications.

What if I need help with writing?

Master’s programs are usually writing intensive with research papers required in many classes. As a professional, it is essential that your writing skills are excellent and the courses provide the foundation to enhance your writing skills. If your written department application and/or your submitted writing assignments indicate a lack of proficiency in writing ability, you will need to seek help and document that you are improving your writing.
  1. Murray State on-campus resources: Racer Writing Center is in Murray State's Waterfield Library. Staffed by faculty and graduate students, the writing center gives students one-on-one instruction during directed appointments where students can receive guidance on how to improve their writing skills. They offer a grammar hotline at 1-877-900-0114.
  2. A great writing/grammar resource is available at The Purdue OWL.
  3. The University of Delaware has information on topics like commas and semicolons, apostrophes, etc.
  4. Another resource is from the Capital Community College Foundation and includes powerpoints, interactive exercises, etc.