Completing your Ph.D. examination and dissertation
Ph.D. preliminary examination
Students who have filed their program of study with the Graduate School and have completed at least 21 of the 30 hours of coursework with a GPA of 3.33 or better are eligible to take the preliminary written examination, which covers the student’s field(s) of specialization, as defined by the student's doctoral committee. Performance on the examination must provide evidence of the student’s mastery of the subject matter in three sub-fields, knowledge of related literature, an understanding of research theory, and an understanding of research methods. Successful completion of the preliminary examination is required for the student to become a doctoral candidate.
Dissertation prospectus defense
During the third semester, a first draft of the student's dissertation proposal will be written and the student's doctoral committee will provide written feedback. After successful completion of the preliminary examination and revisions to the prospectus, the student will make an oral defense before the doctoral committee, other faculty, and students.
Writing the dissertation
The Ph.D. student will complete 30 credit hours of ENVD 999 (Dissertation Research). The dissertation will be comprehensive, original, and an independent contribution to scholarship. The research will be performed under the guidance of the major professor and the supervisory committee and must be deemed acceptable by them. The dissertation must follow guidelines outlined by the Graduate School.
A final oral examination in defense of the dissertation will be conducted and evaluated by the doctoral committee. Two weeks prior to the dissertation defense, the written dissertation will be available for review by the doctoral committee, other faculty, and graduate students. Other faculty and students are encouraged to attend the defense.