Skip to main content

Steps to the PhD

First Year


  • Orientation 

-Guidance and Speak Exams 

-Register for courses 

  • F all Semester  

-Courses – grad and equivalents to guidance exam 

-Explore divisions and groups 

  • Spring Se mester 

-Courses – grad and equivalents to guidance exam 

-Select research advisor and division 

-Pass all guidance areas by end of semester 

  • S ummer 

-Begin intensive research efforts 

Second Year

  • Fall Semester 

-Graduate courses 

-Select Research Committee, file Plan of Study 


  • Spring Semester 

-Graduate courses 


  • Summer 


Third Year

  • Defend original research proposal 

-Abstract to research committee for approval 

-Write proposal and provide to committee 

-Oral defense to committee 

  • Research    

Fourth and Following Years

  • Research  
  • Satisfy GPA and hours/distribution requirements 
  • Write dissertation or thesis 
- Must meet ETD submission standards 
  • Successfully present and defend to committee 
  • Revise as needed and submit