The course work component of the doctoral program consists of approximately 60 credits hour. The majority of the total hours are comprised of the core requirements, with the remainder coming from guided electives identified to develop the candidate’s specific research area and quantitative/research methods courses.
The comprehensive examination is normally administered at the end of the second year, late in the summer term. It is designed to test a student’s knowledge of research in their chosen discipline. Students may retake comprehensive exams once. Retakes are given no sooner than six months after the first attempt.
Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examinations each candidate must work closely with his/her dissertation chair and committee in the development of a dissertation proposal. Upon receiving the consent of the committee the candidate will present his/her dissertation proposal to the appropriate department’s faculty. After the dissertation proposal is accepted the candidate must carry out the proposed dissertation research project. When the candidate has completed the project to the satisfaction of his/her dissertation chairman and committee a final dissertation defense is scheduled. Successful defense of the dissertation research project and results is the final step in the completion of the Ph.D. program.