- 60 points of approved course work and six residence units (the equivalent of three years of full-time study)
- Teaching assistant for two courses
- Regular paper and poster submissions to national conferences beginning the first year
- Conference attendance
- Mid-semester reports
- Yearly meetings with advisory committee
- Regular meetings, either individually or in a group, with research adviser
- Two preliminary examinations
PhD Preliminary Examinations
Students must pass two preliminary oral examinations before reaching candidacy. The first oral exam is generally taken the summer of the second year and the second oral exam is taken after the student has identified his or her dissertation topic. The dissertation proposal defense must take place within six months after passing the second oral exam. Students receive the MA and MPhil degrees, respectively, after obtaining the requisite residence units and passing the first oral (for the MA) and second oral (for the MPhil) examinations. Upon earning the MPhil degree, the student has reached candidacy.
Research is the primary focus of the doctoral program and represents more than half of the required points, and students are expected to receive an “A” or above in research every semester. Grades below that may result in program dismissal. Students are expected to work a minimum of 25 hours per week on research in the first year, increasing to 60 hours by the third year. Research should be the primary occupation of the student’s time during the summer, due to the absence of course work. The doctoral dissertation is the culmination of the student’s research activity.