Ph.D. and dissertation requirements

Doctoral students are required to complete annual Individual Development Plans (IDPs) and annual Ph.D. reviews. This regular goal setting and feedback, along with the student's unique Plan of Work (POW), helps guide the student through doctoral milestones and graduate within a reasonable timespan. Failure to complete the annual IDP and review can result in an academic hold and delay any financial compensation.

  • The Plan of Work (POW) establishes a plan for academic coursework and program milestones. It's a formal document established during the first year of doctoral studies; after approval from the student and advisor, the POW is submitted to the Graduate School. An approved plan is a requirement for Ph.D. candidacy.
  • Individual Development Plans (IDPs) assist doctoral students in developing career plans and trajectories. The IDP is designed to plan professional and career development activities as a companion to the Plan of Work, which focuses on academic coursework and program milestones.
  • All Ph.D. students are required to receive a written review of progress (Ph.D. Annual Review) toward completing the requirements for their degree. Reviews are conducted on an annual basis. The evaluation should indicate the degree to which students are progressing satisfactorily in their programs. Performance in coursework, scholarship, teaching and other significant activities should contribute toward assessment of progress. Strengths and weaknesses in these areas should be described. In particular, areas of concern along with recommendations for improving performance need to be clearly articulated.
  • All Ph.D. students must form a dissertation committee that consists of at least two members of their home department with graduate faculty status. Please check your departmental website and the Graduate School for more information.
  • All Ph.D. students must take the Preliminary and Qualifying Examinations. Please check your departmental website and the Graduate School for more information.
  • The Conflict of Interest form must be turned in twice, once with the Prospectus and again with the pre-defense paperwork (Final Report Form).
  • The Safe Assign form must be turned in three weeks prior to the Dissertation Defense.

For more information on Ph.D. timelines and thesis requirements, please visit the Graduate School website.

Helpful links

Below is a generic timeline for Ph.D. students in the College of Engineering. Please check your departmental Ph.D. timeline, which is available on their website.

Year 1
Milestones: Identify Advisor & File Plan of Work

Fall / Winter / Spring
10cr/ 10cr / 2cr
Core and Elective Courses
 
Confirm Faculty Advisor
File Plan of Work
Qualification Exams
Annual Review
Individual Development Plan

 

Year 2
Milestones: Prospectus and Candidacy

Fall / Winter / Spring
10cr/ 10cr / 2cr
Core and Elective Courses
Form Dissertation Committee
Prospectus and Candidacy
Annual Review
Individual Development Plan

 

Year 3
Milestones: Present at Conference and Publish in Academic Journal

Fall / Winter / Spring
10.5cr / 10.5cr / 2cr
9991/9992
Dissertation Committee Meeting
Present at Conference
Publish in Journal
Annual Review
Individual Development Plan

 

Year 4
Milestone: Dissertation Defense

Fall / Winter / Spring
10.5cr / 10.5cr / 2cr
9993/9994
Register for Dissertation Defense Dissertation Defense
Submission of Dissertation
Annual Review
Individual Development Plan