Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)

Steps to PhD Degree

    As a PhD aspirant, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. PhD students should have knowledge about various area of their Major. 

  2. Find a supervising professor and identify a research area (but not a specific topic at this point). In consultation with your advisor, choose three courses (in addition to your diversity course). Choose courses designed to prepare you for the research you plan to do. 

  3. Schedule a Research Preparation Exam. 

  4. Submit a Research Qualification (RQ) Document to the University. In the RQ document, the student: 
    • Provides evidence of satisfying the background requirements
    • Submits coursework with satisfaction of the GPA requirements
    • Provides evidence of completing the Research Preparation Exam
    • Formalizes dissertation advisor(s)
    • The RQ document must be filed by the end of the 1st year in the PhD program.
  5. After you Become PhD Candidate
    • With the assistance of your supervising professor (Guide), select a committee.
    • The Guide  must approve your committee prior to making final committee plans
    • Select a date and time when all committee members can be present for the proposal.
    • Pass the proposal exam.
    • After passing your proposal exam, you will need to complete an  Application for Candidacy
  6. Schedule and Pass the Final Defense 
    At least 4 members of the 5+ member committee must be present. Non-attending members must provide written explanation for their absence and must agree to read and comment on the dissertation by the time of the defense.

  7. Submit the Dissertation to the University

PhD Graduation Timetable

Milestone Time Since Admission
Completion of diversity courses 1 - 1.5 years
Submission of RQ proposal 1.5 - 2 years
Admission to candidacy 2 - 2.5 years
Dissertation defense 2.5 - 5 years

Timeline and procedure will vary between universities, but above listed steps will give an overall idea about completing PhD and time required to complete Doctorate degree.

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