Typical Plans of Study
A Sampling of
Our Doctoral Students
Each of the six Bauer Doctoral Programs may administer a qualifying examination and must administer a comprehensive examination.
To successfully complete the doctoral program, each student needs to demonstrate the ability to conduct research and scholarship that makes “a unique contribution and meets the standards of credible work” (Golde 2006) as the culminating experience of the PhD.
Please click to learn about the policies for the Required Examinations and Dissertation Completion.
Please note, that in addition to the general program requirements and Bauer policies, each major field within the Bauer College of Business shall have specific written policies and procedures governing the design, administration, timing, and evaluation of exams, and the consequences of failure of all or part of any exam. These policies and procedures shall be made available to each student at the time doctoral level coursework begins.
- Adjusting to life as a Ph.D. student
- Starting to participate in research
- Qualifying exam during the summer of the first year
- More research involvement
- Comprehensive exam during the summer of the second year
Third to Fifth Year
- Occasional coursework when needed
- Dissertation research and additional research projects
- Dissertation proposal and defense are the two major milestones
Program Requirements At a Glance
The responsibility for designing, administering, and evaluating written and oral examinations in the major field rests with the faculty of that field, or a subset of such faculty, as determined by the major field's policies.
Eligibility For Examinations
A qualifying examination will typically be conducted before the doctoral student undertakes the second year of coursework in his/her content area. Because some students are asked to take a preliminary set of courses during their first year, those students may, as determined by their major field faculty, take the qualifying examination after completing four long semesters of coursework.
However, no student may be evaluated for a second time, as specified in the policy requiring an evaluation annually in May or June, without having completed a qualifying examination or a comprehensive examination, so that his or her performance on that examination can be taken into account.
To be eligible to take the comprehensive exam, a student must
- Have successfully completed all course work in the degree plan,
- Have successfully completed any additional requirements included in the policies of his or her major field
- Received verification from the Bauer College director of student records and registration that coursework and other requirements have been completed.
Click here for Request for Doctoral Comprehensive Examination Form
Scheduling and format of the comprehensive exam
A student eligible to take the comprehensive exam must be offered the opportunity to do so within six months of becoming eligible and must sit for the exam within that time period in order to remain in good standing. The comprehensive examination must have two parts, written and oral.
Notification of Results of examinations
For the qualifying examination and the written portion of the comprehensive examination, notification shall be provided in writing to the student within three weeks of completion of the respective exam.
The notification letter shall be prepared in accordance with written policies of the student's major field and copies shall be sent to the Bauer College director of student records and registration and to the major field Ph.D. program coordinator.
Written notification of results for the oral examination shall be provided to the student within 24 hours of the exam.
In the case of a failing result for any portion of any exam, the letter shall cite the specific deficiencies warranting the decision that the student has failed all or part of the examination. Departmental policies shall govern the ability of a student to retake an examination he or she has failed, or a portion of an examination that he or she has failed.
After the successful completion of the comprehensive examination, a student is allowed four years to complete the dissertation. If this requirement is not met, the student must retake the comprehensive examination.
Designation of a Dissertation Chairperson and Committee
1. Completion of Comprehensive Exam: Students are responsible to form a dissertation committee only after successful completion of the comprehensive examination.
2. Dissertation Committee Selection: The Dissertation Committee is composed of a Dissertation Chairperson and at least three other tenure-track faculty members, at least two of whom must be from the student’s major field. At least one member of the Dissertation Committee must be from outside the student's major field. One member may, under some circumstances, be a faculty member affiliated with another college or university. Full-time instructional faculty members may be added to a dissertation committee that meets the minimum standards described above. No faculty member is obliged to serve.
3. Requirement for Appointment of Chairperson
Who can be a Dissertation Chair? The Chairperson is a faculty member having a tenure track appointment in the student's major field.
4. Approval of Chair by the Director of PhD Programs: The student will prepare a written request addressed to the Director of PhD Programs to have the Dissertation Committee Chair nomination approved. An approved Dissertation Chairperson must be selected within two months of the completion of the comprehensive examination.
5. Approval of Members of the Dissertation Committee by the Director of PhD Programs: A written request for other members must also be made to the Director of PhD Programs. This can occur at the same time that the Chairperson is approved, however, this is not a requirement. Approval must precede the scheduling of a dissertation proposal defense.
Changes in Committee Membership
Any changes in the composition of a Dissertation Committee must be approved by the Director of PhD Programs.
A member of a Dissertation Committee who leaves the active employment of the University of Houston must be replaced if:
- The member is the Dissertation Chairperson
- The member does not agree to further advise the student
- The member cannot attend the proposal or dissertation defenses, or
- The dissertation is not successfully defended within the next long semester (i.e. Fall or Spring) of the member's termination of active employment at the University of Houston. The last condition does not apply if the member can qualify as an outside member of the Committee.
Registration for Dissertation Credit
A minimum of 18 hours of academic credit is required for completion of the doctoral dissertation. Dissertation hours acquired before candidacy (i.e., before successful completion of the comprehensive examination) cannot be applied to this total.
The dissertation proposal is defended by the candidate at an open meeting. The Chairperson distributes abstracts of the proposal to all faculty members in the College two weeks before the defense and a copy of the complete proposal shall at that time be placed in the departmental office for inspection.
All Bauer College faculty and doctoral students will be invited to the defense. The formal conduct of the defense is the responsibility of the student's Dissertation Committee. The final decision regarding approval of the proposal rests solely with the committee. While the Committee may wish to take into consideration inputs from other members of the faculty, they are under no obligation to do so. For the student to pass the proposal defense, the committee must approve the proposal unanimously. A record of substantive criticisms and/or required modifications must be provided to the student in writing.
The candidate must successfully pass the proposal defense within one year of completion of the comprehensive examination. Failure to do so will result in the student reverting to pre-candidacy status and being required to repeat the comprehensive examination process.
The dissertation is defended by the candidate at an open meeting. The Doctoral Program Coordinator of the student's major field will distribute abstracts of the dissertation to all faculty members in the College two weeks before the defense and a final draft of the completed dissertation shall at that time be placed in the departmental office for inspection. All Bauer College faculty and doctoral students will be invited to the defense. The formal conduct of the defense is the responsibility of the student's Dissertation Committee. The final decision regarding approval of the dissertation rests solely with the Committee. While the Committee may wish to take into consideration inputs from other members of the faculty, they are under no obligation to do so. For the candidate to pass the final defense, the Committee must approve the dissertation unanimously. A record of substantive criticisms and/or required modifications must be provided to the student in writing. Minor changes to the dissertation may be stipulated by the Committee without requiring an additional dissertation defense.
Certification of Form
Written certification that the dissertation is complete and meets the college requirements in matters of format and style must accompany the dissertation at time of its submission for binding. (See Instructions for the Preparation and Submission of the Ph.D. Dissertation, Bauer College of Business.) Such certification is obtained from the Director of Student Records and Registration and must be requested at least two working days before the University dissertation filing deadline. Failure to meet this deadline will cause the student's graduation to be delayed one semester.