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Doctoral Studies

Doctoral Majors and Degrees Offered

Objectives of the Graduate College for the Doctoral Programs

The purpose of doctoral education in the Graduate College is to provide the means for continued intellectual growth through advanced and specialized education that emphasizes original research.  The ultimate aim of doctoral study is to develop leaders in basic and applied research in their fields of specialization.  The Graduate College has adopted the following objectives for doctoral study that will add both breadth and depth to the academic and professional preparation received at the undergraduate and master's degree levels.

  • To impart a thorough understanding of research methods and techniques in specialized fields
  • To afford students with the opportunity to undertake original research in their areas of specializations, both independently and in collaboration with the faculty
  • To provide students with the ability and resources to integrate their research into the community of scholars and professionals in a particular academic discipline
  • To challenge students intellectually, to develop their powers of independent thought, and to direct them toward positions of intellectual leadership in their personal and professional lives

Characteristics of Doctoral Study

Doctoral study affords student of exceptional academic ability ample opportunity to continue their intellectual growth and development and to integrate themselves into the professional community of scholars in a manner emphasizing the completion, presentation, and publication of original, creative research.  Doctoral study presupposes the previous acquisition of a master's degree and a command of skills and techniques needed to conduct intensive independent research and investigation.  Doctoral instruction differs from instruction at the undergraduate and master's levels in at least the following respects:

  • Doctoral students are expected to assume responsibility for the planning, completion, and presentation of original scholarly research
  • With the assistance of faculty, doctoral students are expected to undertake research projects that will lead to professional presentation and publication
  • More extensive reading, emphasizing primary source material in a specialized field, is expected
  • Students are expected to become thoroughly familiar with the current literature in their fields, with emphasis on recently published developments in research methods and results
  • Doctoral courses are seminars that stress active roles for students in intellectual exchange with both faculty and peers and in the critique of published research
  • Doctoral course work underscores integrating student research into the norms of an academic discipline