Degree Requirements

Requirements for the PhD Degree

The PhD degree requires core graduate credits, a minimum of 24 course credits and 24 doctoral thesis credits. Students design their program with the guidance of their advisors.


Students must pass one written preliminary examination and one preliminary oral examination before writing the dissertation.

The final oral examination for the PhD is a defense of the thesis. This must be done within five calendar years after passing the preliminary oral examination.

Requirements for the MS Degree

The MS Degree has three required courses and the remainder of the program is designed with the guidance of the advisor.


  • Additional academic course work (at least nine additional credits). Courses are determined by the student and advisor. 
  • Two papers of publishable quality; one paper must include a research component in which there is analysis of data.
  • A final oral examination for degree completion. The basis of the oral exam is defense of the MS Degree papers.