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Each student must select, with the approval of the Doctoral Program Coordinator of the major field department, an Advisory Committee. This Committee must be appointed in the first semester by all students. If the committee has not been established before the end of the first semester, the student will not be allowed to pay registration fees for the next semester.
The Advisory Committee shall consist of at least two faculty members from the major field and at least one faculty member from the supporting field.
The Committee shall advise the student in matters of course selection and in other decisions that affect the student before candidacy. Prior to the formation of an Advisory Committee, this responsibility shall rest with the Doctoral Program Coordinator. The Advisory Committee is dissolved upon completion of the comprehensive examination.
Members of the Advisory Committee may be changed with the approval of the Doctoral Program Coordinator of the student's major field or the Department Chairperson.
Each student must file a degree plan which outlines the schedule and timing of coursework in the Ph.D. program. The degree plan shall be filed with the Director of Student Records and Registration after receiving the approval of the Advisory Committee and the Doctoral Program Coordinator of the student's major field.
The degree plan must be filed within a student's first year in the program.
The degree plan may be modified with the approval of the Advisory Committee and Doctoral Program Coordinator. However, such changes must be approved and filed before the student deviates from an existing degree plan.
Download the degree plan form.
Between May 1 and June 30 of each year, the student's progress will be evaluated in accordance with department policy. The evaluation will include one of four recommendations:
- The student's progress is satisfactory in all regards, and the student should be retained in the program;
- The student's progress has been unsatisfactory in some regards, and the student should be carefully counseled and monitored to eliminate these deficiencies;
- The student's progress gives cause for serious concern, and the student should be placed on probation with a specified time for correcting the noted deficiencies
- The student's progress does not warrant continuation in the program, and the student should be dismissed from the Doctoral Program.
The annual evaluation will be transmitted in writing to the student with a copy to the Associate Dean for Academic and Research Programs. If the student is to be dismissed, the Associate Dean will take that action.
The department, at its option, may evaluate the student's progress at additional times throughout the academic year.
The student must achieve a grade point average of 3.25 in all graduate work attempted at the University of Houston excluding dissertation credit. The student must achieve a grade of B or better in each of the three courses counting toward the supporting field. Moreover, the student must achieve an overall grade point average of 3.25 in the supporting field.
Courses taken by doctoral students, while rigorous and demanding in nature, are structured so that course requirements can be met within the allotted time. Accordingly, grades of incomplete are seldom awarded. An incomplete grade (excluding dissertation) must be changed within one year, or less at the instructor's discretion, or it will automatically become an F.
A doctoral student who receives a grade of "C+" or lower in three courses (9 semester hours), whether or not in repeated courses, is ineligible to continue in the program.
Doctoral students must maintain continuous full-time enrollment. Full-time is defined as enrollment in 9 hours of course credit in each of the Fall and Spring Semesters.
- Should unusual circumstances require it, students may petition for a leave of absence. If approved, this status would allow the student not to enroll for coursework for no longer than one calendar year.
- Students who are not enrolled in the doctoral program for more than one calendar year will be under the jurisdiction of the university catalog in effect at the time of reentry.
- Students who fail to maintain continuous enrollment for more than two calendar years must reapply for admission to the program and will be considered using the admission requirements in effect at that time.
Candidates who have completed the residency requirement of one year of full-time coursework and are in dissertation stage may request a Reduced Course Load. If approved, the enrollment requirement is satisfied by registering for 3 hours of dissertation credit. Students should be aware that a Reduced Course Load is approved for one semester only. Full-time enrollment in 9 hours of credit is required in all other fall and spring semesters.
International students may have additional enrollment requirements and Reduced Course Load stipulations that are imposed by the UH International Scholar and Student Services Office. All of these enrollment requirements must be met, as appropriate.
Summer enrollment is not required, unless the student’s degree plan requires this enrollment. In addition, if the student is making significant use of University resources at any time during the summer, a minimum of 3 hours of enrollment is required. “Use of University resources” includes, but is not limited to, defending the dissertation proposal and making significant use of faculty time.
In addition to the requirement that the dissertation be completed within four years of the comprehensive examination, a limitation exists on the total length of study. The student who fails to successfully defend a dissertation within six years of entering the program must retake the comprehensive examinations.
All doctoral students are required to participate in research-related and/or teaching-related activities as an integral part of this doctoral program. In order to participate in teaching-related activities that require oral communication with students in spoken English, international students for whom English is a second language must take the Test of Spoken English (TSE) or the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) direct proficiency oral interview and obtain a minimum score of 220 on the TSE or 17 (out of 25) on the FSI interview. Visit the website for the University of Houston Learning and Assessment Services for more information about testing. Students who fail to satisfy this requirement will not be able to teach until it is satisfied.