Timeline and Requirements

Ph.D. Program Timeline and Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

YEAR 1
  • Students take a total of six courses; three courses each semester.
  • Students demonstrate competency in one research-appropriate language (other than English) by the end of the year, and at the latest prior to the start of Year 2.
  • Students secure the agreement of a Center faculty member to serve as dissertation director.
  • Students complete a cogent, 3-4 page “proto” dissertation proposal. This may serve as the basis for determining the potential for a constructive, long-term mentoring relationship between student and advisor.
YEAR 2
  • Students take a total of six courses.
  • Students demonstrate competency in a second research-appropriate language (other than English) by the end of Year 2, and at the latest prior to the start of Year 3.
  • Students complete a preliminary dissertation proposal in consultation with their advisor.
  • Students secure their oral comprehensive examination panel and their dissertation committee.
YEAR 3
  • Students are required to pass comprehensive exams in three fields of study. The first semester of the third year is typically devoted to preparation for these oral examinations.
  • Dissertation proposals (12-15 pp.) are due by the middle of Year 3. Students schedule their dissertation proposal defense after they have passed their oral comprehensive exams. They must defend their proposal by the last day of spring term classes. The dissertation and oral comprehensive exams committees are not necessarily comprised of the same faculty.
  • Students begin full-time research after they have passed their oral comprehensive exams and successfully defended their dissertation proposal.
YEAR 4
  • The entire year is typically devoted to dissertation research.
YEAR 5
  • Students develop a production schedule with their advisor and submit chapters to the other committee members according to their wishes.
  • Students planning to receive the Ph.D. at the May Commencement must adhere to the University’s schedule. The doctoral program is expected to take a full five years to complete, however.  Thus, it is anticipated that candidates will defend their dissertations in the fall, five years after they began their studies.