Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education

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(Graduate Handbook 4.5)

Minimum Requirements (Graduate Handbook 4.5.A)

Students in doctoral programs are responsible for fulfilling the requirements outlined below, as well as those established by their department.

Minimum Credit Hours (Graduate Handbook 4.5.A.1)

Students must complete a minimum of sixty (60) graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree or ninety (90) graduate credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. Of those hours, a minimum of sixteen (16) must be dissertation research hours.

Comprehensive Examination (Graduate Handbook 4.5.A.2)

To be admitted formally to candidacy for the doctorate degree, students must pass a comprehensive examination. This examination evaluates students’ work and qualifications for further work and research. Note: Doctoral students must have a 3.00 graduate grade point average or better and must not have grades of incomplete to be eligible to take the comprehensive examination and advance to candidacy.

Dissertation Requirement (Graduate Handbook 4.5.A.3)

Because the doctoral degree is primarily a research degree, students must demonstrate the capacity for independent research by writing an original dissertation on a topic in their major field of study. Students must complete a minimum of sixteen (16) hours of Dissertation Research.

Final Examination (Graduate Handbook 4.5.A.4)

After completing their dissertation students must pass a final examination (aka dissertation defense), which evaluates their work on the dissertation and competence in the major field of study.

Guidelines for Forming Doctoral Examining Committees (Graduate Handbook 4.5.B)

Comprehensive Examination Committee (Graduate Handbook 4.5.B.1)

A committee consisting of five (5) or more graduate faculty members will administer the comprehensive exam. The committee is chaired by a Graduate Level A faculty from the student’s major department and may be the dissertation advisor. At least one (1) additional Graduate Level A or B faculty from the student’s major department and one (1) Graduate Level A faculty from outside of the department serving as the Graduate School Representative must be on the committee. The remaining members must be Graduate Level A or B faculty and may represent the student’s major department or a related discipline. The Graduate School Representative is not required to provide questions for the written comprehensive, but does play a role in ensuring rigor and quality of the written part and participates in the oral part of the examination.

Final Examination Committee (Graduate Handbook 4.5.B.2)

The Final Examination Committee consists of at least four (4) Graduate Faculty with Level A or B Standing. The Director of the Dissertation must hold Level A Graduate Faculty Standing. One (1) member must be from outside of the major department and must also hold Level A Graduate Faculty Standing. This outside?the?department member is normally the same faculty member who served on the Comprehensive Examination Committee.

Role of the Outside-the-department Member (Graduate Handbook 4.5.B.3)

The Dean of the Graduate School, with recommendation from the chair of the department concerned, will select a member of the Graduate Faculty (Level A) to represent the Graduate School at the oral part of the Comprehensive Examination, at the presentation of the student’s prospectus for the dissertation, and on the Final Examination Committee.

This faculty member, who is from outside the major department, will play a role to examine the rigor and quality of the written part and participate with vote in the oral part of the comprehensive exam, in approving the prospectus for the dissertation, and to participate with vote on the Final Examination Committee.

Procedures for Committee Approval (Graduate Handbook 4.5.B.4)

After a tentative doctoral examining committee has been chosen, the committee must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. Each department must complete the appropriate “Request for Appointment of Doctoral Committee” form (D-1 comprehensive exam, or D-3 final exam). Both forms are available on the Graduate School’s webpage under “Forms and Publications” and are described in Section 4.5.H.

The form, “Request for Appointment of Doctoral Committee” (Comprehensive or Final Examination), must be submitted to the Graduate School for the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School at least ten (10) business days before the date of the scheduled examination.

Comprehensive Examination Guidelines (Graduate Handbook 4.5.C)

Students must pass the comprehensive examination within seven (7) years after completing their first course in the doctoral program. This is a two-part examination: oral and written. Students must pass the written part prior to attempting the oral part and must take the oral part within four (4) weeks of taking the written part.

The student’s department should complete and send the Form D-1, “Request for Appointment of Doctoral Comprehensive Examination Committee” to the Graduate School for approval (Section 4.5.H.) at least ten (10) business days prior to the beginning of the comprehensive exam. The Dean of the Graduate School must give approval for a student’s comprehensive examination committee.

At the conclusion of the written and oral examinations, all committee members will vote to indicate whether the student passed the comprehensive examination. Students will pass the examination if no more than one (1) member casts a dissenting vote. If the student does not pass the comprehensive examination after the first attempt, the committee may grant the student permission to take a second examination, which will be given under the conditions stipulated by the committee. Students can take a second examination no earlier than 14 calendar days following the conclusion of the first exam.

The student’s department should complete and send the Form D-2, “Results of the Comprehensive Examination for the Doctoral Degree and Application for Candidacy” to the Graduate School for approval (Section 4.5.H.) no later than ten (10) business days after completion of the comprehensive exam.

Candidacy and Dissertation Requirements (Graduate Handbook 4.5.D)

After passing the comprehensive examination and being admitted to candidacy, students must complete a minimum of sixteen (16) hours of original dissertation research credit (850 level) in their chosen field of study. To begin their research, students must present the prospectus for their dissertation to a committee for approval. This committee, often the same as that for their comprehensive examination, will conduct the final examination when students complete the dissertation.

Final Examination Guidelines (Graduate Handbook 4.5.E)

A final examination (aka dissertation defense) to evaluate candidates’ work on the dissertation and competence in the field will be conducted by an examining committee consisting of at least four (4) members of the graduate faculty as described in Section 4.5.B. The committee must include the director of the dissertation, two (2) readers, and a member from outside the department to serve as the Graduate School Representative.

The student’s department should complete and send the Form D-3, “Request for Appointment of Doctoral Final Examination Committee” to the Graduate School for approval (Section 4.5.H) at least ten (10) business days prior to the final examination. The Dean of the Graduate School must give approval for a student’s final examination committee.

All committee members have responsibility for the conduct of the examination and must also certify the fairness of the examination. Students will pass the examination if no more than one (1) member casts a dissenting vote. All members of the Graduate Faculty are eligible to participate, but not vote, in the examination. If the student does not pass the final examination after the first attempt, the committee may grant the student permission to take a second examination, which will be given under the conditions stipulated by the committee. Students can take a second examination no earlier than 14 calendar days following the conclusion of the first exam. The final examination shall be passed no later than five (5) years after admission to candidacy.

The student’s department should complete and submit the Form D-4, “Results of the Final Examination and Certificate for Awarding the Doctoral Degree” to the Graduate School for approval (Section 4..5H) at least ten (10) business days before the appropriate commencement date.

Dissertation Submission Guidelines (Graduate Handbook 4.5.F)

Students must pass their final examination and submit their dissertation electronically within five (5) calendar years after being admitted to candidacy and at least ten (10) business days prior to the commencement when the degree is to be awarded. If they do not meet this time limit, students may be required to complete additional coursework or pass another examination.

When preparing the dissertation, students must follow the guidelines established by the Graduate School in the Guide for Writing Theses and Dissertations contact the Graduate School at etds@miamioh.edu. It is required that students use the Graduate School’s dissertation front matter template, and the template may be obtained by emailing etds@Miamioh.edu or on the Graduate Student Association’s Canvas site.

The student’s dissertation committee and the Graduate School must approve the dissertation before electronic submission. Students’ departments may also require a copy or copies of the dissertation.

Students completing a dissertation must do the following:

  1. Follow the thesis preparation guidelines established by the Graduate School to receive the doctoral degree and use the dissertation front matter template.
  2. Have the format and style of the dissertation checked and approved by the Graduate School prior to submission.
  3. Submit the Form D-4, “Results of the Final Examination and Certificate for Awarding the Doctoral Degree” to the Graduate School for approval (Section 4.5.H) at least ten (10) business days before the appropriate commencement date.
  4. Submit to the Graduate School a fully executed Form D-5 “Certificate for Approving the Dissertation” at least ten (10) business days before the appropriate commencement date (Section 4.5.H). The form is the first page of the required front matter for the dissertation
  5. All students must submit their dissertation electronically through OhioLINK.  Submission to OhioLINK must be completed in accordance with the Graduate School’s deadlines. Additional help and information regarding formatting and electronic submission of the document can be obtained from the Center for Information Management (CIM) at King Library.
  6. Students must also apply for graduation and pay a commencement fee by the application deadline in order to graduate (Section 4.10).

Time Limits for Degree Completion (Graduate Handbook 4.5.G)

Students must complete coursework, pass the comprehensive examination, complete their dissertation and pass the final examination within ten (10) years of completing their first course in the doctoral program.

Required Forms for Completing the Doctoral Degree (Graduate Handbook 4.5.H)

The following paragraphs describe the forms to be completed by the appropriate graduate faculty in the examining process for each doctoral student. These forms (D-1 to D-5) cover procedures from nominating faculty members for service on the Comprehensive Examination Committee to approving the dissertation. The forms are available on the Graduate School’s website at http://www.miamioh.edu/graduate-studies/forms-publications/index.html.

FORM D-1:  Request for Appointment of Doctoral Comprehensive Examination Committee

This form is used to nominate faculty for service on the Comprehensive Examination Committee. The department chair completes this form and then submits it to the Graduate School. Nominations must be received and approved by the Graduate School at least ten (10) business days before the date of the examination.

FORM D-2:  Results of the Comprehensive Examination for the Doctoral Degree and Application for Candidacy

This form records the results of the comprehensive exam and application for candidacy. The committee completes this form, and the chair submits it to the Graduate School. The form is available by contacting the Graduate School at 513-529-3734.

FORM D-3:  Request for Appointment of Doctoral Final Examination (Dissertation) Committee

This form is used for nominating faculty, both departmental and the outside member, for service on the Final Examination Committee. The department chair completes this form and submits it to the Graduate School.

FORM D-4:  Results of Final Examination and Certificate for Awarding the Doctoral Degree

This form certifies faculty approval for awarding the doctoral degree. The examining committee completes this certificate, which is then forwarded to the Graduate School. The certificate must be received by the Graduate School at least ten (10) business days before the appropriate commencement date. The form is available by contacting the Graduate School at 513-529-3734.

FORM D-5: Certificate for Approving the Dissertation

This form is the first page of the required front matter in the dissertation. It must contain the approval signatures of all graduate committee members, specifically identifying the major advisor(s), the readers, and the Graduate School Representative.


Revised 2017; Revised 2016

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