The Doctor's Degree

The requirements set forth in this section are in addition to those listed under "Policies and Regulations."

Admission to Doctoral Study. Admission to doctoral study is restricted to applicants whose backgrounds show definite promise of success on this, the highest level of academic endeavor. The formal requirements for admission to the doctoral program are a distinguished record in previous work (undergraduate and graduate) and an acceptable score on the GRE or GMAT. Each doctoral department has additional requirements which applicants must satisfy for admission. It is essential that the student communicate with departmental advisors on this matter.

Years of Study. A minimum of three years of graduate study beyond the bachelor's degree is required for the doctorate. Work completed for the master's degree may be considered as a part of this period if it forms a logical sequence in the entire program. Ordinarily, credit will not be given for work completed more than seven years prior to admission to the doctoral program at Texas Tech University. Exceptions to this policy will require written justification through the student's department and approval by the Graduate Dean.

Work completed in the doctoral program of another recognized graduate school will be considered on the recommendation of the departments concerned, but no assurance can be given that such work will reduce the course or residence requirements here. In no case can transferred credit reduce the minimum residence (see below).

Doctoral study cannot be calculated solely in terms of credit hours, but the program for the doctorate normally requires the completion of 60 or more semester hours of work beyond the bachelor's degree, exclusive of credit for the dissertation.

Major and Minor. The doctorate requires at least 60 semester hours of graduate work, exclusive of the dissertation. The Graduate School does not require a formal minor. However, the student may pursue a minor or one may be required by the student's advisory committee or by the program faculty in which the major is taken. If a minor is taken, it must include at least 15 graduate hours in a program outside the student's major. The minor will be declared in the student's Program for the Doctoral Degree (see section on Filing a Degree Plan). If a minor is taken, the major requires a minimum of 45 semester hours.

Courses listed for the major will be primarily in one academic program. However, courses from other academic programs may be included (other than courses for a minor, if one is declared) if they provide coherent support for the program courses in the major.

If a formal minor is declared, it must be represented on the student's doctoral committee (see section on Advisory Committee) and must be covered on the qualifying examination (see section on Qualifying Examination).

Programs at variance with this description may be approved in exceptional circumstances. Such proposed exceptions must be approved by the advisory committee and the program faculty before they are submitted to the Graduate School for consideration.

Residence Requirement. Regardless of the amount of graduate work that may have been completed elsewhere, every candidate for the doctorate is required to complete at least one year of graduate study beyond the master's degree (or beyond the first 30 hours if the student proceeds directly to the doctorate from a bachelor's degree). The aim of this requirement is to ensure that every doctoral candidate devotes a substantial period of time to the doctoral program.

The residence requirement is fulfilled by the completion of a full schedule (at least 12 semester hours) of graduate course work in each of two consecutive terms. Students holding half-time graduate assistantships may satisfy the requirement by taking at least 9 hours of course work in each of the two long terms and 6 hours in the summer. Other patterns require approval of the Graduate Dean.

The plan for fulfilling the residence requirement must be indicated on the doctoral program form submitted to the Graduate School in the first year of doctoral study and must be approved in advance of the beginning of the residence year. (For any program variations in this requirement, see the college or department sections that follow.)

Filing a Degree Plan. Early in a student's doctoral studies a formal evaluation will be made of his or her background preparation in the major field. This evaluation may vary according to the academic unit involved; in some cases it may consist of a formal written or oral exam, in others, a review meeting with a committee or graduate advisor, in still another, the successful passing of a key course or courses. On the basis of this evaluation, whatever form it takes, the student's course of study will be projected and submitted to the Graduate School on the appropriate form. This evaluation will occur during the student's first year of doctoral study and the "Program for the Doctoral Degree" will be submitted to the Graduate School before the second year of work is begun. Revisions of the plan are permitted as needed.

Annual Review. The Graduate School strongly encourages faculty in each doctoral program to conduct a formal review of their students' progress at least once each year. From the third year onward, such review is required. Any student not making satisfactory progress may be placed on probation and given conditions to meet in order to stay in the program. Continued unsatisfactory progress in any area of a student's work will be cause for dismissal.

Languages and Tool Subjects.

Doctor of Philosophy. Each department offering a doctoral program determines its language requirements, subject to the approval of the Graduate Council. Language requirements, if any, are described in the sections of this catalog devoted to instructional departments. In order to qualify for admission to candidacy in those programs which have a language requirement, applicants must demonstrate their competence in one of the following ways:

1. Students may fulfill the reading knowledge requirement by passing, with a C- or better, the second course of the sophomore sequence of the required language. Those seeking to present a high level of competency will pass with a B- or better any literature course at the third-year level or beyond.

2. Students may satisfy the standard competency level by enrolling in one of the special 6-hour programs for graduate students offered in French, German, and Spanish by the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures. The second half of such a program must be passed with a grade of B- or better.

3. The third method of fulfilling the language proficiency requirement is by passing a standardized examination in French, German, Spanish, or Latin given in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, or one of the examinations in French, German, or Spanish, furnished by the Educational Testing Service, which are administered by the University Testing Center. Arrangements for these examinations should be made in the applicable unit. The Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures will administer the examinations in any other foreign language in which instruction is offered by the department. Arrangements for testing for other foreign languages will be approved by the Graduate Dean.

Students majoring or minoring in foreign languages in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures are subject to higher performance levels in satisfying the doctoral requirement; students should consult the graduate advisor of the appropriate language for guidelines.

Some departments require a tool subject in lieu of, or in addition to, the language requirement. (For information on this requirement, where it exists, see appropriate departmental section of this catalog.) Where this provision is satisfied by formal courses, a grade of B or better is required, either in a single course or in the last of a sequence of such courses passed not more than seven years prior to the student's approval for doctoral work.

Doctor of Education. In order to qualify for admission to candidacy, applicants for the Ed.D. degree are required to show competency in educational research methods and educational statistics, and also a foreign language if their research requires such competency.

Advisory Committee. As soon as an applicant's program has been determined, an advisory committee of at least three members of the graduate faculty (including the minor area, if a minor is declared) will be appointed by the Graduate Dean on the recommendation of the advisor concerned. This committee will meet as often as necessary with the applicant and will direct his or her work at all stages. Either the chair or the co-chair of a student's committee must be a regular member of the department or program faculty from which the student will receive the doctorate.

Qualifying Examination. The Qualifying Examination for Admission to Candidacy for the doctor's degree is one of the major features of the doctoral program and will be administered in both the major and minor areas of study (if a formal minor has been declared). The examination requires a synthesis and application of knowledge acquired during the course of study for the doctoral degree; consequently, satisfactory performance in course work does not necessarily guarantee successful performance on the Qualifying Examination. A student is eligible to stand for this examination after receiving approval of the doctoral degree plan from the Dean of the Graduate School and completing all language and tool requirements and most of the course work prescribed by the approved plan. Students must take this examination within one calendar year of completing all requirements listed on the degree plan. Failure to do so will be cause for dismissal from the program.

The Qualifying Examination normally is prepared and administered by the candidate's advisory committee and any other professors the committee or the Graduate Dean may consider necessary. In some instances the examination may be administered by the department or college concerned. The major portion of the examination is ordinarily of a written type, of at least six hours' duration. It usually includes also an oral examination under the supervision of the committee and any other professors who may be invited to participate.

Procedure When the Examination Is Satisfactory. If the Qualifying Examination is considered satisfactory and the requirements in languages (including English) and/or tool subjects have been met, the chairperson of the advisory committee will send to the Graduate Dean, for consideration by the Graduate Council, a formal written recommendation that the applicant be admitted to candidacy for the doctor's degree. (The letter should also state the date of the examinations and whether or not the student passed both the major and minor portions if an official minor is involved.) This recommendation should be forwarded as soon as possible after all the above requirements have been met.

Procedure When the Examination Is Not Satisfactory. If the Qualifying Examination is not satisfactory, the chairperson of the advisory committee will so notify the Graduate Dean, in writing. An applicant who does not pass the Qualifying Examination may be permitted to repeat it once, after a lapse of at least four months, and not more than twelve months from the date of the unsatisfactory examination. Failure to pass the Qualifying Examination within the specified time will result in dismissal from the program irrespective of performance in other aspects of doctoral study.

Admission to Candidacy. Authority for admitting an applicant to candidacy for a doctor's degree is vested in the Graduate Council. Upon receipt of a recommendation from the advisory committee, the Graduate Dean will submit it to the Graduate Council for approval.

By written communication, the Graduate Dean will transmit the results of the council's action to the applicant, to the chairperson of the advisory committee, and to the chairperson of the department concerned.

A student must be admitted to candidacy for the doctorate at least four months prior to the proposed graduation date.

Dissertation. A dissertation is required of every candidate for a doctoral degree. This requirement is separate and apart from other requirements in doctoral programs; consequently, successful performance in other areas does not necessarily guarantee the acceptance of a dissertation. The dissertation work must earn a grade of at least B in order to qualify the student for graduation. The Graduate School strongly recommends that each student be required to present and defend a dissertation proposal before his or her committee early in the course of the research.

The subject of the dissertation must be approved by the advisory committee and the Graduate Dean at least four months before the candidate's proposed date of graduation. The dissertation must demonstrate a mastery of the techniques of research, a thorough understanding of the subject matter and its background, and a high degree of skill in organizing and presenting the materials. The dissertation should embody a significant contribution of new information to a subject or a substantial reevaluation of existing knowledge, presented in a scholarly style. The work on the dissertation is constantly under the supervision of the advisory committee and any other professors the committee or the Graduate Dean may consider necessary.

Available at CopyTech in West Hall is a manual entitled Instructions for Preparing and Submitting Theses and Dissertations. All manuscripts must conform to the published policies.

Three copies of the dissertation are required by the University. Additional copies may be required by the specific academic unit involved. They must be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 350 words.

Dissertation Fees. Early in the semester of graduation, the candidate will pay Student Business Services the appropriate dissertation fee. This fee covers microfilming of the dissertation and abstract as well as binding costs for the three required copies. Health Sciences Center students' fees are slightly higher because four copies of the dissertation are required. Students may have additional copies of their dissertations bound at the prevailing rate.

Grade Requirement. For the doctor's degree, the minimum requirement for graduation is an average of 3.0 in the major subject, exclusive of credits for the doctoral dissertation, and an average of 3.0 in all other courses taken for graduate credit outside the major. Individual departments and colleges may have higher standards than this minimum, school-wide requirement.

Time Limit. All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within a period of eight consecutive calendar years. Graduate credit for course work taken at Texas Tech more than eight calendar years old at the time of the final oral examination may not be used to satisfy degree requirements. Absent an extension, the student may be permitted to retake the qualifying examination, and, upon passing that examination, be readmitted to candidacy by the Graduate Council for some period of time not to exceed four years.

Final corrected copies of the dissertation must be received in the Graduate School no later than one year after the final examination or within the eight-year time limit, whichever occurs first. Failure to complete this step will result in the degree not being awarded.

Intervals Between Examinations. At least four months must intervene between the qualifying examination and the final examination.

Final Examination. A final public oral examination, usually over the general field of the dissertation, is required of every candidate for the doctorate. It may be scheduled a suitable time after the dissertation (not necessarily the final copy) has been read by the advisory committee. The examination may not be administered until at least three weeks have elapsed following the candidate's submission to the Graduate Office of the notification form giving the time, place, and other information pertaining to the examination. (This form is available from the Graduate Office.) The examination is conducted by the advisory committee and the Graduate Dean or a professor designated to act in place of the Graduate Dean. All members of the committee participate fully in the examination and cast a vote. Professors other than members of the committee, including the Graduate Dean's representative, may participate in the examination, but have no vote in determining the outcome. At the conclusion of the examination, the chairperson of the advisory committee will send a written notice to the Graduate Office, giving the result of the examination.

Publication of Student Work. Research is an integral facet of graduate study, and students are encouraged to seek publication of work done in pursuit of advanced degrees. Many theses and dissertations completed at Texas Tech are eventually published. In research where close collaboration with faculty advisors occurs, it is entirely appropriate in some disciplines for publications to be co-authored. In those disciplines where authorship order is not always alphabetical, the student will generally be first author in publications resulting from a thesis or dissertation. In cases of considerable revision or addition of other data, order of authorship should be subject to mutual agreement, based on the nature and extent of contribution by the parties concerned, and in accordance with accepted practice in the discipline.

In cases where the student was supported in full or in part by the University or through a faculty grant to do the research involved, or when a faculty member contributes to the work in a way that is substantially above and beyond that normally expected of a major advisor, and the student elects not to pursue publication within a reasonable time, the faculty member may choose to use the data in pursuing publication, listing the student as co-author according to the conventions of the discipline involved and the relative extent of contribution or additional work required.

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LAST UPDATE: 11-22-99