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The Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy is a research degree designed to prepare students to discover, integrate, and apply knowledge as well as to communicate and disseminate it. The degree emphasizes development of the capacity to make significant original contributions to knowledge within the context of free inquiry and expression. The student pursuing this degree is expected to develop the ability to understand and to evaluate the literature of his or her field and to apply appropriate principles and procedures to the recognition, evaluation, interpretation, and understanding of issues at the frontiers of knowledge. In contrast to the PhD, other doctorates such as the Doctor of Education, the Doctor of Audiology, and the Doctor of Musical Arts are designed for professional training or focus on applied rather than basic research.

Course Requirements

No specific number of semester hours has been set for attainment of the Doctor of Philosophy degree, although advanced coursework is an integral part of a doctoral candidate’s preparation. All the completed coursework that is included in a degree program at the time of admission to candidacy for a doctoral degree must have been taken within the preceding six years (exclusive of a maximum of three years of military service). All doctoral work is subject to review by the graduate dean.

In addition to courses and research in a field of specialization, additional work is taken to broaden or supplement the field. This supporting work may consist of coursework in one area or several; it may be in conference, laboratory, or problems courses; or it may be a supervised activity off campus relevant to the major interest. Normally, some or all of the supporting work is outside the major area, unless that area covers more than one department; at least three courses or the equivalent from outside the major area are generally proposed.

Foreign Language Requirement

The Graduate School has no foreign language requirement. However, many graduate programs require the study of one or more languages. These requirements are given in chapter 4 or are available from the graduate adviser.

Graduate Studies Committee Requirements

The Graduate Studies Committee specifies the coursework the student must complete, the qualifying examinations (written or oral or both) he or she must pass, the conditions under which he or she may retake all or part of an examination, and the procedures he or she must follow in developing a dissertation proposal.

In consultation with the graduate adviser, the student proposes a Dissertation Committee to advise or direct the student on the research and writing of the dissertation. The student selects the chair of the Dissertation Committee, with the consent of that person.

Admission to Candidacy

Each student seeking the PhD must be admitted to candidacy on the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee in the major area. Students may not register for the dissertation course until they are admitted to candidacy, and completion of coursework does not in itself constitute admission. Formal admission to doctoral candidacy consists of the submission and approval of the following:

  1. Program of Work. The Program of Work comprises a list of courses taken and proposed, the prospective dissertation title, and similar information. The Graduate Studies Committee must approve the Program of Work. The Dissertation Committee may, in a review of the Program of Work, recommend additional course requirements to the Graduate Studies Committee.
  2. Dissertation Committee. The membership of the Dissertation Committee, proposed by the student with the consultation and approval of the graduate adviser, is submitted to the Graduate School for approval by the graduate dean. The committee consists of at least five members, at least one of whom must be from outside the major program.
  3. Dissertation Proposal. A brief statement of the proposed dissertation must be submitted.

The Dissertation Committee

The Dissertation Committee advises the student on the research and writing of the dissertation, conducts the final oral examination, and approves the dissertation.

The chair of the Dissertation Committee ordinarily serves as the supervisor of research. Other members of the committee should be consulted as appropriate. Occasionally, a research scientist, research engineer, or faculty member who is not a member of the Graduate Studies Committee may be recommended by the Graduate Studies Committee to serve as the research supervisor for a specific dissertation. When the research supervisor is not a member of the Graduate Studies Committee, a member of the Graduate Studies Committee will be appointed as cochair of the Dissertation Committee.

The Dissertation

The student must register for dissertation courses for a period of more than one semester or summer session. The dissertation research course (-99R) must precede the dissertation writing course (99W) and may not be repeated. A dissertation is required of every candidate. It must be an original contribution to scholarship, the result of independent investigation in the major area, and must be approved by the Dissertation Committee.

The dissertation is normally written in English. Requests for permission to write in another language pertinent to the research are granted when there are circumstances warranting an exception. An insufficient command of English is not justification for an exception. The formal petition from the graduate adviser should include assurance that faculty members competent both in the language and in the field are available and willing to serve on the Dissertation Committee. The request must be approved by the graduate dean when the student is admitted to candidacy. The abstract and a substantial summary and conclusions section in English must be submitted with the dissertation.

Review of Progress

The Graduate Studies Committee reviews the progress of students who have not completed the doctoral degree by the end of three years from admission to candidacy; the committee reviews each student’s progress annually thereafter. The committee may recommend that the student take additional courses or examinations or that the candidacy be terminated. Since annual reviews must be made after the first review, the committee will recommend extensions of only one or two semesters. Recommendations are forwarded to the graduate dean for approval.

Final Oral Examination (Defense of Dissertation)

A satisfactory final oral examination is required for the approval of a dissertation. The exam is open to all members of the University community and the public, unless attendance is restricted by the Graduate Studies Committee. The Office of Graduate Studies publishes the time and place of this examination for students who have given consent.

Not less than four weeks before the date on which the student intends to defend the dissertation, a copy of the final draft of the dissertation, reviewed for technical and grammatical correctness by the supervisor, should be submitted to each member of the dissertation committee. Two weeks before the defense, a written request to hold the final oral examination must be submitted to the Graduate School. This request signifies the receipt of the doctoral dissertation for the purpose of giving the examination. The committee’s decision to examine a dissertation must be unanimous.

The examination covers the dissertation and the general field of the dissertation and such other parts of the student’s program as the committee determines. If the members of the committee are satisfied that (1) the dissertation is an independent investigation in the major field and itself constitutes a contribution to knowledge, (2) the student has passed the final oral examination, and (3) the student has submitted for publication in Dissertation Abstracts International an abstract approved by the committee, they indicate approval on the Report of Dissertation Defense. The Report of Dissertation Defense and individual reports on the dissertation are filed within two weeks following the defense.

The decision of the committee must be unanimous. In the event that a committee cannot agree on a single decision, the matter is referred to the graduate dean for review. The dean’s recommendation concerning the dissertation must be approved by a majority of the dissertation committee. The results of the review are communicated to the student, the graduate adviser, the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee, the committee members, and the department chair, if applicable.

Submission and Publication of the Dissertation

After defending the dissertation, the student must submit it in an approved electronic format to the Office of Graduate Studies. The dissertation is retained by the University Libraries. Information about format requirements is available from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Dissertations must be made available to the public. A list of ways of doing this is available from the Office of Graduate Studies. The student may request that the graduate dean delay making the dissertation available to the public for one year in order to protect patent or other rights. This request must be supported by a written recommendation from the dissertation supervisor.

The student may arrange for registration of copyright, at his or her own expense, by completing a form available in the Office of Graduate Studies or through an arrangement with a publisher of the student’s choice.

Approval of the Degree

Upon approval by the Dissertation Committee of the dissertation and its defense, the Graduate Studies Committee certifies that the student has completed all degree requirements, has passed all required examinations, and is entitled to the award of the doctoral degree.

The Doctor of Education

The Doctor of Education (EdD) is a professional degree that emphasizes preparation for the highest levels of educational practice. It provides academic training and educational service experiences for individuals who will have leading roles in educational practice and who will help define the scope and functions of education in society. Programs are oriented toward the application of theory and research to issues of education and human development and to the development of skilled practitioners to fill a variety of roles in institutions that educate children, youth, and adults.

Students in educational administration complete a treatise; those pursuing the EdD in other fields complete a dissertation. Most policies affecting the EdD are similar to those described above for the PhD. Additional policies on admission to the program and to candidacy are given below.

Admission

In addition to the requirements for admission to the Graduate School, each department may require evidence of successful performance in an educational setting and evidence of interpersonal problem- solving skills and other skills useful for predicting success in professional educational roles. The applicant must hold a master’s degree from a regionally accredited United States institution or the equivalent.

Admission to Candidacy

In addition to the requirements listed above for the PhD degree, the curriculum must have a clear and predominantly applied focus. The student’s program normally entails an internship in an operational setting that is distinct from previous or concurrent work experience.

In addition to the requirements listed above for the PhD degree in regard to the Dissertation Committee, at least one member of the committee must be from outside the major program or from the field of practice represented by the dissertation.

The Doctor of Audiology

The Doctor of Audiology provides academic and clinical training for those who plan to enter the profession of audiology. The degree program involves preparation for the diagnosis and nonmedical treatment of hearing and balance disorders; it is designed to prepare audiologists to meet the standards for Texas state licensure in audiology.

The program requires a minimum of eighty-two semester hours of coursework and is designed to be completed in four years. All preprofessional students in audiology complete the same set of core courses and basic clinical practicum. Students may choose from a set of electives based on their specific interests. Research experiences are part of the curriculum, but a dissertation is not required.

The Graduate Studies Committee in communication sciences and disorders oversees the AuD degree program. More information about the program is available from the graduate adviser in communication sciences and disorders.

The Doctor of Musical Arts

The Doctor of Musical Arts degree allows for three majors: performance (including conducting, opera, and voice pedagogy emphases), composition, and music and human learning (including conducting and piano pedagogy emphases). Candidates for this degree must pass a comprehensive examination. They must demonstrate outstanding professional competence, artistic maturity, and exceptional knowledge of the historical and practical aspects of their major field. Each candidate must prepare a scholarly treatise in a field appropriate to the major or complete the alternative requirements of the nontreatise degree option. For composition majors, a musical work replaces the treatise. A jazz emphasis is available in each of the three majors.

Further information about requirements in various areas of concentration is available from the graduate adviser.

Graduation

The University holds commencement exercises at the end of the spring semester. Those who graduate in the preceding summer session or fall semester are eligible to attend along with those who graduate in the spring semester. In addition, the Graduate School holds a Convocation at the end of the fall semester and at the end of the spring semester at which master’s and doctoral degree candidates are recognized.

Graduation under a Particular Catalog

Degree requirements may be changed from one catalog to the next. The student is normally bound by the requirements of the catalog in force at the time of his or her first registration; the student may choose, however, to fulfill the requirements of a subsequent catalog. If the student does not fulfill the requirements within six years of his or her first enrollment in the Graduate School, he or she is then bound by the requirements of a subsequent catalog. The student may choose the catalog in effect in any year in which he or she is enrolled in the Graduate School, within the six-year limit.

Procedures of Graduation

Candidates for Master of Business Administration and Master in Professional Accounting degrees should consult advisers in their programs for graduation procedures. All other degree candidates must follow the procedures below. More detailed guidelines, deadlines, and forms are published by the Office of Graduate Studies.

Master’s Degree Candidates

  1. Be registered in the Graduate School in the semester or summer session in which they plan to graduate.
  2. File the Master’s Graduation Application Form, including the Program of Work, with the Office of Graduate Studies.
  3. Submit the thesis or report to the supervising committee by the deadline the committee establishes.
  4. Submit the thesis or report to the Office of Graduate Studies for final approval by the graduate dean no later than the published deadline. The thesis or report may be submitted in electronic or printed format, but the format must follow the guidelines published online.
  5. Submit the Master’s Degree Certification form, signed by the graduate adviser, to the Office of Graduate Studies by the published deadline. Candidates in thesis or report options must attach a signature page with original signatures of the supervising committee, a copy of the title page, and an abstract.

Doctoral Degree Candidates

  1. Have completed the Intellectual Property (Copyright) Tutorial. If the candidate’s research involves human subjects, he or she must have provided evidence of ethical review by the departmental review committee and, if appropriate, by the University Institutional Review Board. The Institutional Review Board form should be attached to the Statement of Research with Human Participants form.
  2. Be registered in the Graduate School in the semester or summer session in which they plan to graduate.
  3. File the Doctoral Graduate Degree Candidate Form in the Office of Graduate Studies by the published deadline; if the student’s graduation is postponed, he or she must file a new form.
  4. Provide each member of the Dissertation/ Treatise Committee with a copy of the dissertation or treatise for evaluation.
  5. Schedule the final oral examination with the Office of Graduate Studies.
  6. Pass the final oral examination. The candidate’s Dissertation/Treatise Committee will report the successful result of the exam to the Office of Graduate Studies on the form Report of Dissertation Defense.
  7. Upload the final dissertation in electronic format to the submission site by the published deadline.
  8. Submit the Committee Certification of Approved Version (signature page) and all required forms and fees associate with degree certification by the published deadline.

Other Components of the University of Texas System

For information about graduate programs and courses at the following components of The University of Texas System, consult their current catalogs.

  • The University of Texas at Arlington
  • The University of Texas at Brownsville
  • The University of Texas at Dallas
  • The University of Texas at El Paso
  • The University of Texas - Pan American
  • The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • The University of Texas at Tyler
  • The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
  • The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas Health Center at Tyler
  • Graduate Catalog, 2007-2009

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