First year doctoral students must also take the three-credit course, DSES-6900 Seminar in DSES Research, through which they are introduced to the research environment, identify the prospective research adviser, and prepare a proposal for dissertation research. These proposals are reviewed by the faculty as part of the doctoral qualifying requirements. Additional doctoral program requirements include:
Doctoral candidacy examination: Each student must take an oral candidacy examination after meeting doctoral qualifying requirements but before completing 45 credit hours of graduate work beyond the Master’s degree. This examination tests the candidate’s background for the proposed research, appropriateness of the thesis research, and the ability of the candidate to successfully complete the research. The thesis research proposal must contain at least one result that meets journal publishing standards.
Doctoral dissertation and defense: Each student must write a doctoral thesis and give a formal oral public defense.
Apart from the seminar in DSES research and the first year course requirements, there are no additional course requirements for the doctoral degree. However, the student is expected to develop in-depth knowledge in his/her dissertation area through appropriate course work, as well as supervised research. A Plan of Study is required, which must be approved by the thesis adviser and the DSES doctoral program director.