An academic advisor is assigned to each student at the start of their program to provide guidance and assist in planning their studies until the student identifies a dissertation advisor and supervisory committee members.
Plan of Work
The plan of the sequence of study is initiated by the student and completed with their advisor. Fifty-seven graduate credits beyond the MS degree are required, including 39 hours in coursework and 18 hours in dissertation research and preparation.
The assigned advisor and the student’s committee will prepare a review of the student’s progress at the end of each academic year. Goals for the upcoming year will then be developed with the student.
Written Candidacy Exam
The main objective of the written candidacy exam is to assess the student’s progress and confirm their ability to proceed to advanced curriculum. Students must take the candidacy exam after completing HRMA 8303 (Multivariate Analysis), HRMA 8304 (Qualitative Design) and one approved data analysis course and at the end of their first year of the program. The student must be enrolled full-time for the semester in which the exam is administered and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be eligible to take the exam. The candidacy exam questions will be prepared by a standing committee and will consist of two main sections: 1) Methodology and 2) Data Analysis. The exam will be one work day in length and will be administered once annually in the second or third week of May.
The standing committee will evaluate the results and will submit their recommendation to the graduate programs office. If the student passes the exam at a satisfactory level, they will be recognized as a PhD candidate, will be allowed to proceed to the second year of the program, and will officially select a dissertation advisor and committee members. If the student fails the initial exam, they are required to retake the exam in the first week of August or to complete appropriate course work in the following semester and retake the exam at the end of that semester. If the student fails the candidacy exam a second time, they will not be allowed to continue the PhD program.
Dissertation Supervisory Committee
The student selects a dissertation advisor and committee to guide them through their dissertation research and preparation after passing the candidacy exam and before beginning classes in their second year of the program. The naming of a dissertation advisory committee is a requirement for PhD candidacy.
Comprehensive Written Exam
The purpose of the comprehensive written exam is to evaluate the student’s progress in the academic development process, to assess the possible need for additional coursework, and to ensure their readiness to begin a dissertation. Students must take the comprehensive written exam by their second year in the program and after fulfilling a set of competencies in their focus area that are determined by their second semester. An appropriate date will then be set for completion of the comprehensive exam. The student’s supervisory committee can extend the date of the exam to beyond the second year if they determine that the student needs additional study. The standing and dissertation supervisory committees will be responsible for writing the comprehensive exam questions. The standing committee will submit questions for the Research and Statistics section of the exam, and each supervisory committee member will write four (4) one hour questions in the student’s focused area of research. Students will take the comprehensive exam upon approval by the supervisory committee. and must be enrolled for a minimum of nine (9)hours in the semester in which the exam is administered.
The examination must be completed within a two-week period. The student will provide copies of all responses to each committee member for evaluation. The committee will evaluate the answers within 14 business days. The associate dean for graduate studies will be responsible for obtaining feedback from all committee members. The composition of the supervisory committee will not be changed before a final decision is reached on the result of the comprehensive exam. If a student successfully passes the two areas of the written exam, the head of the supervisory committee will schedule an oral examination. The student will be allowed to retake the exam one time. Students are required to wait a minimum of 60 days before their second attempt if they are unsuccessful in their first attempt. A second failure of the comprehensive exam will result in dismissal from the program.
Comprehensive Oral Exam
The purpose of the oral examination is to verify understanding of the written exam questions and to facilitate further discussion of the student’s dissertation topic. The oral comprehensive exam will be scheduled a maximum of two weeks after the successful completion of the written comprehensive exam. After the student has successfully completed the oral exam, the head of the supervisory committee will submit the comprehensive written and oral exam questions and responses to the graduate programs office. The student will deliver a signed original ballot of the results to the graduate programs office. At this point, the student will be allowed to register for dissertation credits.
Doctoral Dissertation Registration
The PhD candidate is required to register for dissertation credit hours and will submit a description of their proposed research and dissertation topic for approval by their supervisory committee.
The dissertation presents original scholarship or research completed by the student. A dissertation format check by the graduate programs office is required before the dissertation public lecture and presentation of results.
Dissertation Public Lecture and Presentation of Results
The student will present and defend their dissertation in a public lecture. The results of the defense are conveyed to the graduate school via the defense final report form.
Submission of Approved Dissertation
The student will submit the approved dissertation electronically and must complete the paperwork required at this final stage.