Wright State University
2004-2005 Graduate Catalog
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Academic Policies and Graduate Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree

An interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences is offered by a program faculty in a cooperative effort between the College of Science and Mathematics and the School of Medicine.

Ph.D. programs in engineering and in computer science and engineering are offered by program faculty in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Ph.D. programs in environmental sciences and in human factors and industrial/organizational psychology are offered by program faculty in the College of Science and Mathematics.

Admission Requirements

See individual program descriptions.

Program of Study

See individual program descriptions.

Credit Hour Requirements

Doctoral students are required to earn a minimum of 135 acceptable quarter hours of credit. Individual programs may have a higher credit hour requirement. .

Residence Requirements

Students in a Ph.D. program are considered to be in residence whenever they are registered for at least eight credit hours of Wright State graduate courses. A minimum residence of three consecutive full-time academic quarters at Wright State University, devoted wholly to graduate work, is required. In addition, completion of a minimum of 90 credit hours toward the program must be completed at Wright State.

Grade Standards

Graduate students working toward the Doctor of Philosophy degree must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average in all graduate courses in which a letter grade is assigned. Students who do not meet these requirements are subject to dismissal. Individual programs have probationary procedures concerning students who are temporarily not meeting grade standards. Individual programs may use criteria in addition to course work grades to evaluate students' status in the program. Matters pertaining to dismissal for nonacademic matters are handled by the Office of Student Life.


The dissertation is an original contribution to scholarly or scientific knowledge in a specialized area. Students are expected to demonstrate in the dissertation the highest level of mastery in the techniques of research and a thorough understanding and application of the subject matter.

Before undertaking the dissertation, the student must (1) pass the qualifying examination, (2) be admitted into candidacy status, and (3) gain approval of the proposed dissertation topic from the student's dissertation or advisory committee. Students must complete the dissertation within the time frame established for candidacy. All course work associated with the dissertation must earn a grade of "A," "B," or "P" in order to qualify the student for graduation. The dissertation must be written in English.

The final defense of the dissertation will normally be open to the public. The dissertation committee may also elect to privately question the candidate following the public presentation. The procedures for the defense of the dissertation will be established by the program's graduate committee. The dissertation must be approved by at least three members of the dissertation committee.

Doctoral students are required to complete all arrangements for submission of one copy of the doctoral dissertation to University Microfilms International (UMI) as a condition for its final approval by the dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Contact the School of Graduate Studies for UMI forms and additional information.

Qualifying Examination

All students in a Ph.D. program are expected to take and pass the qualifying examination before they will be admitted into candidacy status. The purpose of the qualifying examination is to determine if a student has acquired and is able to apply fundamental knowledge and acumen in the program area. The examination may be written, oral, or both. The type of examination and the procedures for the examination will be determined by the graduate committee of the Ph.D. program. Students normally will not take the examination until they are familiar with the material in the core courses of the program. Failure to pass the examination may result in dismissal from the program regardless of performance in other aspects of the program. Depending on the committee's recommendation, a student failing the examination may repeat it once. Students will normally be expected to repeat the examination at its next scheduled date. Passing the examination does not guarantee a student's admission into candidacy. The program may establish additional criteria to determine students' eligibility for candidacy.

Students will be provided written notification of the results of the examination, and of any actions to be taken, within 10 days of having taken the examination.

The Ph.D. program will notify, in writing, the School of Graduate Studies of the administration and results of the qualifying examination and the actions to be taken for those students who have failed to pass the examination. If dismissal action is to be taken, the School of Graduate Studies will formally notify the student by letter.


Acceptance into candidacy in a Ph.D. program indicates that students have the basic potential to undertake work on the dissertation and to successfully complete all other requirements of the program.

Students in a Ph.D. program may achieve candidacy by passing the preliminary or qualifying examination and obtaining approval of their dissertation topic from their dissertation committee. The programs will determine the requirements for achieving dissertation approval. Candidacy is valid for five years. The program can, however, terminate candidacy for unsatisfactory progress. Students may petition for an extension to the candidacy term.

Time Limit

Students must complete all the requirements for a Ph.D. degree within 10 years from the date the student matriculated in the program. Courses older than 10 years on the students' programs of study cannot be used toward degree requirements.

Summary of Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The following list is a summary of the requirements graduate students must complete to earn a Doctor of Philosophy degree at Wright State University.

  1. Maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B).
  2. Complete minimum program course work requirements.
  3. Be admitted to doctoral candidacy by passing the qualifying examination.
  4. Conduct an acceptable original research problem and submit an approved dissertation.
  5. Accumulate a minimum of 135 hours of acceptable graduate credit.
  6. Meet residency requirements.
  7. Successfully defend the dissertation.
  8. Be registered in the quarter of the final dissertation defense.
  9. Through Summer Quarter 2006 present one copy of the approved dissertation to the graduate school office and complete arrangements for submission of a copy of the dissertation to UMI. Students have the option to submit a copy of their dissertation, either on floppy disk or electronically, and in .pdf format, to the School of Graduate Studies for electronic transmission to OhioLINK in Columbus. OhioLINK is the repository for Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) for the state universities system in Ohio. Students interested in ETD submission should contact the School of Graduate Studies. Effective Fall Quarter 2006, one (1) electronic copy of the dissertation, in portable document format (pdf), must be deposited with OhioLINK no later than 30 days after the end of the quarter in which the degree will be granted (due dates are published by the Graduate School and distributed to the departments and program offices). The electronic thesis or dissertation is called an ETD, and OhioLINK, in Columbus, is the repository for ETD's for the state university system in Ohio. The student may submit the EDT directly to OhioLINK at http://www.ohiolink.edu/etd/ and an e-mail attachment or through the Graduate School, either as an e-mail attachment or on CD-Rom, for transmittal to OhioLINK.
  10. Fulfill all requirements within 10 years of matriculation into the program.

Graduate School
E344 Student Union
Voice: (937) 775-2976
Fax: (937) 775-2453
E-mail: wsugrad@wright.edu
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