Please visit the Bauer Doctoral Program website for current PhD Program requirements.
A faculty committee within the department of interest will evaluate applicants to the PhD program on several factors, including academic achievement as evidenced by transcripts from each college or university the applicant has attended, standardized test scores, career objectives, research interests, and the department’s ability to match the student’s aims and the available faculty.
Admission is a two-part process, meeting the technical requirements of the university and meeting the standards of the specific program a prospective student wants to enter. Enrollment in each program is limited, and meeting the university’s admission requirements is thus not sufficient. Prospective students are strongly advised to e-mail the PhD Coordinator for the program of interest for information about the program.
Conditional admission to the PhD program is not possible, nor is part-time enrollment. These are programs solely to educate prospective university faculty members.
Admission requirements and information can be found on the Doctoral Programs webpage.
The program requires continuous, full-time enrollment.
Program of Study
The program of study fosters development in the primary areas of teaching and research that each student selects. All degree candidates must complete the following minimum requirements: 21 semester hours in the major field, twelve semester hours in the support field, nine semester hours in research, comprehensive examinations in the major field, an oral defense of the dissertation proposal, a minimum of 18 semester hours devoted to dissertation and research, and an oral defense of the dissertation.
Prior graduate-level elective course work may be applied toward the required course work if approved by the student’s advisory committee. A maximum of 12 hours of prior graduate credit may be applied in total to the supporting field, major field, and research requirement.
The major field is the area in which a student elects to take primary course work and to complete the dissertation research. Major fields are offered in accountancy and taxation, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. A minimum of 21 semester hours is required in the major field, including a maximum of 12 hours applied from the elective courses in a completed master’s program. Each major field has at least three hours of research seminar, which must be included in the program. The selection of specific courses will be determined by students and their advisory committee, consistent with departmental requirements, and subject to a maximum of six hours of special problems (independent study) courses.
The secondary area of interest is called the supporting field. Supporting fields are offered within the college as well as in areas of study from outside the C.T. Bauer College of Business to augment the student’s dissertation research in the major field. Such areas might include, but are not limited to, economics, anthropology, industrial engineering, law, mathematics, political science, computer science, psychology, and sociology.
Students must complete a minimum of nine semester hours in the supporting field. C.T. Bauer College of Business supporting fields must consist of 7000- and 8000-level courses. Selection of specific courses to fulfill this requirement will be made by the student, subject to the approval of the advisory committee. The department offering the supporting field may also have policies governing course selection to fulfill this requirement.
Students must complete a minimum of twelve hours of research courses, including three hours of research in the major field. These courses must have either research methodology or statistical data analysis as their major emphasis, must meet all specific requirements of the department offering the major field, and must be approved by the advisory committee. Courses fulfilling this requirement cannot be double-counted toward fulfillment of the major field or supporting field course work requirements. Prior graduate credit may be applied toward this requirement, but is subject to the advisory committee’s approval and to the limitations set forth under the section on program of study.
The comprehensive examination consists of a written and oral section in the major area. In addition to the following policies governing this examination, each major field within the C.T. Bauer College of Business has specific written policies and procedures governing the design, the administration, the timing, and the evaluation of exams. These policies and procedures will be made available to students at the time doctoral-level course work begins.
The responsibility for designing, administering, and evaluating written and oral examinations in the major area rests either with the faculty in that area or a subset of those faculty members, as determined by departmental policy.
The Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs will determine candidates’ eligibility to sit for the comprehensive exam. The department must obtain a written statement of eligibility before candidates can sit for the exam. To be eligible, students must (1) have successfully completed all course work in the degree plan, (2) have successfully completed all additional departmental requirements, and (3) file a “Request for Comprehensive Examinations” form with the Bauer College Director of Registration and Academic Records in 262 Melcher Hall before the first day of classes in the term in which the exams are to be taken.
A student eligible to take the comprehensive exam must be offered the opportunity to do so within six months of becoming eligible and must sit for the exam within that time period in order to remain in good standing.
Written examinations shall be administered in the fall and spring terms. The department of the major area, at its option, may schedule a third examination opportunity between May and August, inclusive.
Students must successfully complete the written examination in the major field before taking the oral examination. The oral exam must occur within four weeks of notification that the written examination has been passed. The oral examination is designed and administered either by the faculty of the major area or by a subset of those faculty members. The supporting field representative to the advisory committee will be given an opportunity to question students during the oral exam. All faculty in the C.T. Bauer College of Business will be notified of the oral examination at least five days prior to its scheduled time and will be invited to attend.
Notification of Results
Notification of results of the written exam in the major field will be provided to students in writing within two weeks of completion of each exam. The letter must be prepared in accordance with written departmental policies, and copies will be sent to the Office of Student Services and the major field PhD program coordinator.
Written notification of results of the oral examination will be provided to the student within 24 hours of the exam. In the case of student failure of either the written or oral examinations, the letter will cite the specific deficiencies that resulted in failure.
In order to pass the comprehensive examination, students must pass the written examination in the major field and the oral examination. Failure of the written exam will prevent the scheduling of an oral exam.
Students have only two opportunities to pass the comprehensive examination. Any retake of the examination must occur at the next scheduled occasion that exams are offered. Students who fail the re-examination will be dismissed from the program.
A student may be exempted from retaking a portion of the comprehensive exam if written departmental policies specify a mechanism for such exemptions. In the absence of such policies, failure of a portion of the examination will require that the entire examination, both written and oral sections, be repeated.
The dissertation consists of significant scholarly research in the major area of study and represents the culmination of the doctoral studies. After successful completion of the comprehensive examination, students are allowed four years to complete the dissertation. If this requirement is not met, students must retake the comprehensive examination.
Designation of a Dissertation Chair
It is the student’s responsibility to form a dissertation committee composed of faculty agreeing to supervise the student’s work. No faculty member is obliged to serve. The selection of a dissertation chair will occur only after a student successfully completes the comprehensive examination. Students shall nominate as chair a faculty member having a tenure track appointment in the student’s major field. The nominated faculty member will then prepare a brief description of his or her own research accomplishments demonstrating competence in research and scholarship and adequate qualifications to direct doctoral dissertations. Students must then petition the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs to have the nomination approved. An approved dissertation chair must be selected within two months of the completion of the comprehensive examination.
Students select the remaining committee members in consultation with the dissertation chair. The committee must be composed of at least four tenure track faculty members, at least two of whom must be from the major field, including the dissertation chair. An outside member may, under some circumstances, be a faculty member affiliated with another college or university.
Members of the dissertation committee must also be approved by the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. This approval may occur at the same time the chair is approved; however, concurrent approvals are not a requirement. Approval must precede the scheduling of a dissertation proposal defense.
Changes in Committee Membership
Any changes in the composition of a dissertation committee must be approved by the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs.
A member of a dissertation committee who leaves the active employment of the University of Houston must be replaced if:
- the member is the dissertation chair,
- the member does not agree to further advise the student,
- the member cannot participate either in the proposal or the dissertation defenses, or
- the dissertation is not successfully defended within the next long (i.e., fall or spring) term of the member’s termination of active employment at the University of Houston.
The last condition does not apply if the member can qualify as an outside member of the committee.
Registration for Dissertation Credit
A minimum of 18 hours of academic credit is required for completion of the doctoral dissertation. Dissertation hours acquired before candidacy (i.e., before successful completion of the comprehensive examination) cannot be applied to this total.
Candidates will defend the dissertation proposal at an open meeting. The PhD program coordinator of the major field will distribute abstracts of the proposal to all faculty members in the college two weeks before the defense; a copy of the completed proposal will, at that time, be placed in the departmental office for inspection. All C.T. Bauer College of Business faculty and doctoral students will be invited to the defense. The formal conduct of the defense is the responsibility of the dissertation committee. The final decision to approve the proposal rests solely with the committee. While the committee may wish to take into consideration input from other members of the graduate faculty, they are under no obligation to do so. For students to pass the proposal defense, the committee must approve the proposal unanimously. A record of substantive criticisms and/or required modifications must be provided to students in writing.
Candidates must successfully pass the proposal defense within one year of completing the comprehensive examination. Failure to do so will require students to repeat the comprehensive examination process.
Candidates will defend the dissertation at an open meeting. The PhD program coordinator of the major field will distribute abstracts of the dissertation to all faculty members in the college two weeks before the defense; a final draft of the completed dissertation will, at that time, be placed in the departmental office for inspection. All C.T. Bauer College of Business faculty and doctoral students will be invited to the defense. The formal conduct of the defense is the responsibility of the dissertation committee. The final decision to approve the dissertation rests solely with the committee. While the committee may wish to take into consideration input from other members of the faculty, they are under no obligation to do so. For candidates to pass the final defense, the committee must approve the dissertation unanimously. A record of substantive criticism and/or required modifications must be provided to students in writing. Minor changes to the dissertation may be stipulated by the committee without requiring an additional dissertation defense.
Certification of Form
Written certification that the dissertation is complete and meets all the college requirements of format and style must accompany the dissertation at the time of its submission for binding. (See “Instructions for the Preparation and Submission of the PhD Dissertation, C.T. Bauer College of Business.” This document is available in the Office of Student Services.) Certification is obtained from the Office of Student Services and must be requested at least two working days before the university dissertation filing deadline. Failure to meet this deadline will cause graduation to be delayed one term.
The Doctor of Philosophy degree is the mark of highest achievement in preparation for scholarship and research and as such requires continuous full-time enrollment. Only through exclusive commitment and interaction with faculty and other graduate students can the individual benefit from the PhD experience.
Each student must select, with the approval of the PhD program coordinator of the major field department, an advisory committee. Students who enter the program with the foundation course work requirements completed must appoint this committee during their first term. If the committee has not been established before the end of the first term, students will not be allowed to pay registration fees for the next term. Students who enter the program with either partial or no credit toward the foundation requirements must form the advisory committee before the end of the term that follows the one in which the students complete the three foundation courses in DISC and economics. The advisory committee must consist of at least two faculty members from the major field and at least one faculty member from the supporting field. The committee will advise students on course selection and other decisions that affect students before candidacy. Prior to the formation of an advisory committee, this responsibility rests with the PhD program coordinator. The advisory committee is dissolved upon completion of the comprehensive examination.
Members of the advisory committee may be changed with the approval of either the doctoral program coordinator of the student’s major field or the department chair.
Each student must file a degree plan that outlines the schedule and timing of course work in the PhD program. The degree plan must be filed with the Office of Student Services after being approved by the advisory committee and the PhD program coordinator of the major field.
The degree plan must be filed within one term of forming the advisory committee, or students will not be allowed to pay registration fees for the next term.
The degree plan may be modified with the approval of the advisory committee and PhD program coordinator; however, such changes must be approved and filed before students deviate from an existing degree plan.
Between May 1 and June 30 of each year, student progress will be evaluated in accordance with departmental policy. The evaluation will include one of four recommendations:
- The student’s progress is satisfactory in all regards, and the student should be retained in the program.
- The student’s progress has been unsatisfactory in some regards, and the student should be carefully counseled and monitored to eliminate these deficiencies.
- The student’s progress gives cause for serious concern, and the student should be placed on probation with a specified time for correcting the noted deficiencies.
- The student’s progress does not warrant continuation in the program, and the student should be dismissed from the PhD program. The annual evaluation will be transmitted in writing to students with a copy to the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. If a student is to be dismissed, the Associate Dean will take that action.
The department, at its option, may evaluate student progress at additional times throughout the academic year.
Grade Point Average
Students must achieve a grade point average of 3.25 (A=4.00) in all work applied toward the foundation course work requirement. Moreover, students must achieve a grade point average of 3.25 (A=4.00) in all graduate work attempted at the University of Houston, excluding courses taken to satisfy the foundation course work requirement and excluding dissertation credit. The student must achieve a grade of B- or better in each of the three courses counting toward the supporting field. Moreover, the student must achieve an overall grade point average of 3.25 (A=4.00) in the supporting field. A grade of at least B- must be achieved in the dissertation hours of the student’s graduating term.
Grades of Incomplete
Courses taken by doctoral students, while rigorous and demanding in nature, are structured so that course requirements can be met within the allotted time. Accordingly, grades of incomplete are seldom awarded. A grade of incomplete (excluding dissertation) must be changed within one year or less, at the instructor’s discretion, or the grade will automatically become an F.
Doctoral students who receive a grade of C+ or lower in three courses (nine semester hours), whether or not in repeated courses, are ineligible to continue in the program.
Continuous Full-Time Program Enrollment
Doctoral students must maintain continuous full-time enrollment. Full-time is defined as enrollment in 9 semester hours of course credit during both the fall and spring terms. Full-time enrollment (a minimum of six hours) is also required during the summer if the student uses the university’s resources at any time during the summer or if the student is on the college’s financial support. Students should refer to the Graduate Student Policies for further information in regard to full-time enrollment.
Part-time enrollment is possible during the period in which students complete prerequisite or foundation course work; however, courses that a student takes during a term in which he or she takes less than a full load cannot be used to satisfy any of the doctoral course requirements in the major field, the supporting field, and research activities. Moreover, after any course is taken to fulfill a requirement other than either a prerequisite or a foundation course, full-time enrollment is required in all subsequent terms.
Candidates who have completed the requirement for enrollment in dissertation hours and who have lost in-state residency status for tuition purposes may satisfy the full-time enrollment requirement by registering for three hours of dissertation credit in each long term.
Following either the completion of the three college foundation courses in DISC and economics or the completion of an accredited master’s degree, at least one year of full-time course work at the University of Houston (including six hours of study during the summer) must be accomplished to be eligible to sit for the comprehensive examination.
Students may also fulfill the residency requirement through full-time enrollment in three consecutive long terms.
Program Time Limitation
In addition to the requirement that the dissertation be completed within four years of the comprehensive examination, a limitation exists on the total length of study. Students who fail to successfully defend a dissertation within six years of completing the three college foundation courses (DISC and Economics) must retake the comprehensive examinations.
Doctoral Program Coordination
Each department will formalize a mechanism for administering the doctoral program. A PhD program coordinator, appointed by the department chair, will act on behalf of the department in admissions, advising, comprehensive examinations, committee formation, and progress monitoring.
Doctoral Information System
The Office of Student Services maintains the official file that monitors the progress of each doctoral student. Upon completion of a milestone, students’ advisory committee chair or dissertation committee chair (or, in the absence of a chair, the PhD program coordinator) shall notify the Office of Student Services in writing that the milestone has been completed. Copies will be sent to students, all committee members, and the PhD program coordinator for the major area.
All doctoral students are required to participate in research and teaching activities as an integral part of this doctoral program. In order to participate in teaching-related activities that require oral communication with students in spoken English, international students for whom English is a second language must take the Test of Spoken English (TSE), the SPEAK, or the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Oral Interview and obtain a minimum score of 50 on the TSE or SPEAK, or 17 (out of 25) on the FSI interview. Students who fail to satisfy this requirement will not be able to teach until it is satisfied.
Other Governing Documents
University policies take precedence over all policies contained in this document. Departments within the C.T. Bauer College of Business provide students with written policies that govern the administration of comprehensive examinations within that department. This document may also contain policies that specify requirements in addition to those described here. In case of direct conflict, however, college policies take precedence over departmental policies. College policies on doctoral candidates are outlined in the “Graduate Student Policies for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree, C.T. Bauer College of Business.” This document is available in the Office of Student Services.
Students are required to graduate under the degree provisions in effect at the time of first registration after having been admitted to the PhD program. Two exceptions to this rule apply:
- A student who is required to reapply to the program shall be governed by the appropriate degree provisions in effect at the time the student reenters the university.
- In the event the degree provisions affecting the student are modified, the student may choose to meet the modified provisions; however, the student must select either the old or the new provisions in their entirety.