Candidates are generally required to complete the departmental research foundation (12 hours), core requirements in educational psychology (21 hours), an area of specialization (9 hours), a related area (9 hours), and 9-15 hours of thesis credit for a total of 60+ hours beyond the master’s degree. Areas of specialization and related areas are planned cooperatively by the student, the advisor, and the advisory committee. Coursework must be completed in a five-year period. In addition to completing their coursework, doctoral students are expected to gain experience and expertise in research, writing, teaching, leadership, and service.
Graduate students in educational psychology or gifted education cannot include courses in which they earned a grade lower than a “B” on their plan of study.
Students are responsible for filing their plan of study prior to appointing their preliminary examination committee. They must be currently enrolled in order to file the plan of study. All courses on the student’s plan of student must be completed within the last five years to be considered current. An approved plan of study is a requirement for scheduling the preliminary examination. It is recommended, but not required, that students complete their coursework prior to taking their preliminary examinations.
The graduate school requires doctoral students to satisfy 90 hours of residency. This can be accomplished several ways. Please see your advisor to be sure that your plan of study meets this requirement.
Total Credits = 63+
Preliminary examinations for candidacy must be taken by all Ph.D. students near the end of their course work prior to beginning their dissertation research. The purpose of the preliminary examination is to assess the student’s readiness to proceed with independent research and writing that will lead to satisfactory completion of a doctoral dissertation. Preliminary examination committees generally consist of 3 faculty members, two of whom must be from the West Lafayette campus. The student is responsible for selecting and appointing the committee members in consultation with his/her advisor. The committee determines the form of oral and written examinations, and the content to be covered. The oral examination is generally conducted after written prelims have been completed. The oral examination must be formally scheduled in advance through the graduate office at a time when all committee members can be present. The student must be enrolled during the session in which the examination is held and the preliminary examinations must be completed at least two sessions before the student’s expected graduation date. After successfully completing formal coursework and the preliminary examination, students will continue to be evaluated each semester on progress toward completion of their dissertation. Leaving campus prior to completion of the dissertation is strongly discouraged.
The culmination of a doctoral program involves completion of a research project under the guidance of a faculty committee. Generally, this phase of the program takes 1-2 years. The first step in the dissertation process is the development of a written research proposal in consultation with the advisor and committee members. The dissertation committee must include at least four members, and at least three of them must be from the West Lafayette campus. The dissertation proposal consists of a relatively complete critical review of the literature providing a theoretical rationale for the study, research questions/hypotheses, and proposed methods for investigating those questions/hypotheses. The student submits drafts of the dissertation proposal to his/her advisor and the advisor determines when the proposal is ready to present to the committee. At that time, the student schedules a proposal meeting with all committee members. The purpose of the proposal meeting is for the student to (a) present his/her dissertation proposal, (b) provide a rationale for the study, (c) engage in a discussion with the committee members, and (d) obtain an agreement with the committee about the final study. All committee members participate in the proposal discussion. If a member cannot be present at the meeting, he/she provides feedback to the student’s major advisor. The approved dissertation proposal, signed by all committee members, is filed in the Graduate Studies Office, School of Education. (Note: This material was adapted from the Department of Educational Studies Dissertation Proposal Policy.
After the dissertation proposal is approved, students complete their research, write their dissertation in consultation with their major advisor and committee. After the advisor determines the written thesis is ready to present to the committee, the student must appoint an examining committee (usually the same as the advisory committee) and schedule a thesis defense. Prior to submitting the formal request for appointment of the examining committee, students must have received format approval for their thesis. Also note that students must be enrolled during the session in which an examination is held. The final examining committee must be composed of at least four members of the graduate faculty and may be identical to the advisory committee. More than 50% of the committee members must be from the West Lafayette campus. To schedule the thesis defense the major advisor submits a Request for Appointment of Examining Committee form at least three weeks prior to the desired examination date.
Students are responsible for ensuring that all graduate school deadlines are met in time for their proposed date of graduation.
All Ph.D. students select an advisory committee of at least three faculty members in addition to their major advisor. More than 50% of the committee members must be from the West Lafayette campus.
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