Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. degree is research-oriented and all graduate students engage in independent research projects, including the Ph.D. dissertation.

Currently, most students admitted into the Ph.D. program aspire to academic careers as scholars and teachers, with some pursuing professional careers in government, non-profit organizations or the private sector. The program currently admits only full-time students who are funded by teaching assistantships, administrative assistantships and/or university fellowships. Check out the Admissions Ambassadors page to learn more about our current graduate students and explore our graduate student placement here.

Graduate Student Handbooks

Good Standing/Satisfactory Progress Towards Degree

M.A. Criteria for Good Standing

  • Maintaining minimum of 3.0 GPA.
  • Filing approved plan of study by semester of 6th credit (first semester for full-time students).
  • Submitting all work specified within an incomplete contract by the end of the semester following the awarded incomplete unless otherwise specified in the contract.
  • Not found responsible for breaching ethical principles of scholarship (e.g., violations of academic integrity and/or intellectual property rights or non-compliance of protocols for protection of human subjects).
  • See M.A. Handbook for “Procedures for Good Standing/Satisfactory Progress Review.”

Ph.D. Criteria for Good Standing

For Students Entering Ph.D. Program with B.A./B.S. Degree

  • Maintaining minimum of 3.0 GPA and B or better (including B-) for courses that are required.
  • Filing approved plan of study by semester of 12th credit (second semester for full-time students).
  • Submitting all work specified within an incomplete contract by the end of the semester following the awarded incomplete unless otherwise specified in the contract.
  • Finalizing coursework by the end of the 5th semester is encouraged; finalizing coursework by the end of the 6th semester is required.
  • Taking the comprehensive examination by the semester following completion of coursework in approved plan of study; passing comprehensive examination by second semester following completion of coursework in approved plan of study.
  • Defending a dissertation prospectus by the second semester following completion of the comprehensive examination.
  • Passing the dissertation examination within four years following advancement to candidacy and nine years following matriculation.
  • No judgment of breaching ethical principles of scholarship (e.g., violations of academic integrity and/or intellectual property rights or non-compliance of protocols for protection of human subjects).
  • See Ph.D. Handbook for “Procedures for Good Standing/Satisfactory Progress Review.”

For Students Entering Ph.D. Program with M.A. Degree

  • Maintaining minimum of 3.0 GPA and B or better (including B-) for courses that are required.
  • Filing approved plan of study by semester of 6th credit (first semester for full-time students).
  • Submitting all work specified within an incomplete contract by the end of the semester following the awarded incomplete unless otherwise specified in the contract. Finalizing coursework by the end of the 3rd semester is encouraged; finalizing coursework by the end of the 5th semester is required.
  • Taking the comprehensive examination by the semester following completion of coursework in approved plan of study; passing comprehensive examination by second semester following completion of coursework in approved plan of study.
  • Defending a dissertation prospectus by the second semester following completion of the comprehensive examination.
  • Passing the dissertation examination within four years following advancement to candidacy and nine years following matriculation.
  • No judgment of breaching ethical principles of scholarship (e.g., violations of academic integrity and/or intellectual property rights or non-compliance of protocols for protection of human subjects).
  • See Ph.D. Handbook for “Procedures for Good Standing/Satisfactory Progress Review."

Timelines

These timelines contain both department and graduate school deadlines. Completing appropriate paperwork by these times is necessary to maintain satisfactory progress and graduate as scheduled.

Ph.D. Degree

DATE/DEADLINE ACTION DUE FORM

For students entering Ph.D. program with BA/BS: Semester of 12th credit (second semester for full-time students)

For students entering Ph.D. program with M.A.: Semester of 6th credit (first semester for full-time students)

Approval of advisor and advisory committee Request for appointment of program advisor and advisory committee (Department form list)

For students entering Ph.D. program with BA/BS: Semester of 12th credit (second semester for full-time students)

For students entering Ph.D. program with M.A.: Semester of 6th credit (first semester for full-time students)

Approval of plan of study Plan of Study and approval (Department form list)
Anytime Change in plan of study Request for change in plan of study (Department form list)
Final semester of coursework in plan of study Approval of plan for comprehensive examination Plan for comprehensive examination (Department form list)

2nd through 4th weeks of fall and spring semesters

Must complete comprehensive examination by 2nd semester following completion of coursework in plan of study to maintain satisfactory progress

Written portion of comprehensive examination (12 hours total) Place copy of written answers in graduate file
Fridays of 7th, 8th and 9th weeks of fall and spring semesters reserved for Graduate Student  Committee meetings

Oral portion of comprehensive examination

(2 hours)

Following oral: Report of Advisory Committee on Comprehensive Examination (Department form list)

After passing comprehensive examination

Admission to candidacy must occur within 5 years of admission into program and no later than 6 weeks prior to dissertation defense

Application for admission to candidacy Application for admission to candidacy (Graduate School form list)
At least 6 weeks before anticipated defense Approval of dissertation advisor and examining committee

Request for appointment of dissertation advisor and dissertation prospectus committee (Department form list)

AND

Nomination of thesis or dissertation committee (Graduate School form list)

No earlier than 2 weeks after submitting the prospectus to the dissertation prospectus committee.

Scheduled at discretion of student and committee but must be confined to fall and spring semesters

Prospectus meeting Following prospectus meeting: Report of dissertation prospectus committee on dissertation prospectus meeting (Department form list)
Announcement must be circulated no later than 5 days prior to scheduled defense and no earlier than 2 weeks after submitting dissertation to examining committee Announcement of dissertation defense Sample copy of announcement (Department form list)

Approximately 2nd week of semester student plans to graduate

Consult Graduate School for deadline

Application for graduation Application for graduation (Graduate School form list)

Typically 3 weeks prior to commencement

Consult Graduate School page for deadline

Submit dissertation electronically to registrar Directions for electronic submission (Graduate School form list)

Typically 3 weeks prior to commencement

Consult Graduate School page for deadline

Approval of dissertation sent to Graduate School by advisor Report of dissertation examining committee to registrar (Graduate School form list)