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All University Park employees, graduate and undergraduate students supported on wage payroll, and students supported on graduate assistantships must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8, per federal vaccine mandate. Read more >>

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Prior to First Semester

  • Identify academic/research advisor

First Semester

  • Take formal coursework. Credit load may vary depending on time commitments for teaching or research assistantships
  • Develop a plan of study in conjunction with advisor and submit to advisor
  • Identify potential areas for thesis research
  • In conjunction with advisor or field experience supervisor, determine opportunities for experiences relative to research interests

Second Semester

  • Take formal coursework
  • Schedule and complete candidacy examination
  • Establish a doctoral thesis committee. Discuss coursework taken and proposed courses with committee
  • Identify areas of research that will be addressed in proposal

Third Semester

  • Take formal coursework/research credits
  • write a detailed proposal of research to be undertaken. Submit proposal to thesis committee. In conjunction with input from your committee, finalize objectives of your research, methods of procedure and begin thesis research as early as possible
  • Prepare for comprehensive examination

Fourth Semester

  • Finalize formal coursework as required to complete plan of study
  • Continue thesis research
  • Schedule and complete comprehensive examination
  • Inform thesis committee of progress and problems with research

Fifth and Later Semesters

  • Complete thesis research
  • Write thesis and prepare manuscripts for submission to journals
  • Schedule public seminar and final oral defense of the dissertation with the committee

During the summer, students are expected to pursue thesis research and participate in Regional or National technical meetings as appropriate.

Students are expected to attend Departmental Seminars and are encouraged to attend other seminars that are of interest.

Students are expected to prepare and deliver Graduate Program Seminars per requirements of the major.