Advisory Committee Formation
Each Ph.D. student’s advisory committee composition is determined by the department in which the degree is offered. The committee will have a minimum number of voting members from predetermined departments or fields. The student is responsible for identifying, in consultation with the departmental chairperson or director and Dean or Associate Dean, a faculty member who is willing to chair his/her advisory committee. In consultation with the chairperson of the committee, the student is responsible for identifying the other faculty members required/desired and determining if they are willing to serve. Advisory committee is permitted to have more than the minimum number required. Normally one (1) faculty member will serve as the chair. If the proposed research work is interdisciplinary, or if the initial chair retires, experiences health problems, or for some other reason cannot continue to perform all of the duties of the chair, the student may request that a cochair be appointed. Changes in a Ph.D. advisory committee must adhere to all policies and procedures governing graduate study at the University, as contained in the Graduate Catalog and administered by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.
If a student is not able to identify a sufficient number and type of faculty who are suitable and willing to serve on his/her advisory committee, the student will be advised by the Dean that he/she should either change his/her area of research interest to more closely match those of the available faculty or consider selecting another major. Failure to be able to form a committee is a cause for transfer to nondegree status. Further regulations concerning the membership, appointment, and responsibilities of the advisory committee are given in other sections of the catalog, including the sections on “Organization of the College of Graduate Studies” and “Degree Requirements.”
Program of Study
Programs of study toward advanced degrees are less formal than for undergraduate degrees. Individual programs are planned for each student on the basis of educational background and career objective. Graduate degrees are not only awarded on the basis of completion of specific courses, but also on the basis of evidence of proficiency, scholarship, reasoning and investigation, and high attainments in the field of the student’s specialization.
Each proposed Program of Study must be approved by the student’s advisory committee, the departmental chairperson or program director, the Dean or Associate Dean, and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.
There will be a hold placed on a student’s registration if his/her Program of Study has not been filed in the College of Graduate Studies office by the semester in which 15 semester hours will be earned.
Before requesting that his or her major professor schedule a Comprehensive Examination, a student must:
- have achieved Full Standing in the program
- completed approximately 80% of the course work in his/her Program of Study
The method of test and deadlines may consist of written, oral, and/or presentations.
Details of this examination, including format, content, method of evaluation and timing, will be as prescribed by the departmental regulations. Successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam advances the student to candidacy.
Admission to Candidacy
Admission to candidacy is granted when a student successfully completes the comprehensive exam. The advisory committee chairperson will provide a memo documenting the success which will be signed by the student’s advisory committee, the departmental chairperson or program director, the Dean or Associate Dean, and then sent to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies
The candidate will continue research and prepare the doctoral dissertation
document and defense to fulfill all degree requirements.
Dissertation & Defense
Dissertation credit is made available in increments of 3, 6, or 9 semester hours during any given semester (and in some departments as one (1) hour credit). A graduate student shall be required to be registered for at least one (1) course appropriate to the student’s degree objective in order to have access to computer equipment, laboratories, library, and other university facilities and resources even if the student is working in absentia on research and thesis. A graduate student shall be enrolled during the term in which the degree is awarded. When a student makes satisfactory progress in research and dissertation, a grade of SP (Satisfactory Progress) will be assigned for credit earned. When satisfactory progress is not achieved, a grade of NP (No Progress) will be assigned; however, a grade of NP shall not be counted as having satisfied either program or degree requirements, and the student must register again for additional dissertation credit. Only grades of SP and NP shall be used to indicate a student’s progress in dissertation credit.
The College of Graduate Studies has published the Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations which serves as the official guide for all theses or dissertations. Also provided is a “Thesis/Dissertation Checklist” which outlines formatting requirements.
Although examples in this manual are recommended for making footnotes, endnotes, and giving bibliographical references, each department is encouraged to use those systems of citations that are most commonly used in its own discipline or profession. Any other departure from this manual must have the prior approval of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. The manual may be accessed online.
A student must submit the final error-free copy of his/her thesis or dissertation electronically (through eTD ProQuest) to the College of Graduate Studies at least two (2) weeks prior to the close of the semester in which the degree is to be conferred (or at an earlier date if such is specified in the University calendar). Please see Office personnel regarding requirements for electronic submission. Any thesis/dissertation that does not meet the required standards will be returned to the student who will have one (1) week maximum to make corrections and resubmit. Failure to do so will result in ineligibility for graduation. All theses/dissertations that meet the required standards will be forwarded on for publication and the students will be eligible for graduation.
The graduate student is expected to consult frequently with the major advisor during dissertation preparation. At the time the final rough draft has been completed, the dissertation should be in electronic form. The only revisions to be made should be those suggested by the advisory committee. The student should allow ample time for the committee to review the dissertation, usually no less than two (2) weeks.
Transfer and Other Credit
A maximum of master’s semester hours of graduate credit in acceptable areas of study may be transferred from other accredited institutions to a doctoral program. The maximum is set by the degree granting department. For a list of accrediting agencies recognized, refer to the U.S. Department of Education website.
Doctoral semester hours of graduate credit in acceptable areas of study may be transferred from other accredited institutions to a doctoral program. The number of hours accepted is at the discretion of the department.
Credit by special examination is not permitted at the graduate level; however, special examinations to determine competency or proficiency in courses where credit has already been earned but is currently out-of-date may be permitted during a period of up to three (3) consecutive semesters immediately following the eight-year time limitation. Special examinations may also be permitted to validate transfer credit, but the credit must be originally earned as graduate credit and not undergraduate credit.
Credit counted in the total degree hours, but not transferred, are not required to have been taken within the eight-year term period.
Graduate credit will not be given for correspondence courses.
Limitation on Financial Aid
It is expected that a Ph.D. Engineering student should be able to achieve candidacy within the first three (3) calendar years after enrollment. After year three (3), a student will not be eligible for an assistantship if he/she has not attained candidacy. Under unusual circumstances, an exception may be granted by the Associate Dean of Engineering for Graduate Studies and Research.
Graduation / Hooding
No doctoral degree candidate is permitted to participate in commencement until all requirements for the degree are successfully completed.