PhD Course of Study

Each student shall be assigned a faculty advisor at the beginning of his or her program; the advisor will help the student identify interests, select coursework that will develop those interests, and locate appropriate professional opportunities in research and teaching.

Consistent with individual interests and preparation, and with the assistance of the academic advisor and other faculty as appropriate, students select programs of coursework and other experiences that provide them with broad training as well as more specialized background in areas of individual research interest.

Students will be involved in organized research as early in their program as preparation permits. Research may be conducted in a variety of modes and settings: through independent study with faculty, collaborative work with faculty and/or other students, and paid research assistantships. By the third year, students are expected to identify and develop a substantive area of research expertise, as well as the methodological skills necessary to conduct original research, and demonstrate that expertise in the comprehensive examination (see below). This preparation culminates in the identification and development of a major research problem, on which the student conducts original research to be reported in the doctoral dissertation.
For students who plan to enter college and university teaching, a supervised experience in teaching is available and encouraged.