Qualifying examinations (both written and oral) are to be taken within 9 months of the completion of course work. Upon successful completion of the qualifying examination and presentation of a satisfactory dissertation proposal, the student will be nominated to candidacy for the Ph.D.
The Dissertation Committee, which must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School, will be responsible for directing and evaluating the thesis. Students complete up to 30 credit hours of dissertation research and write and defend their dissertation. The dissertation defense serves as the final oral examination and will cover topics related to the dissertation and area of specialization.