Degree Completion Requirements

Doctoral degree candidates must comply with all Graduate School requirements and deadlines as indicated in the Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin, the Department's Graduate Student Handbook, and thesis deadlines issued by the Graduate School.

Students should be familiar with these and be aware of updated announcements provided by the Graduate School.

Time Frame. A maximum of eight years, starting with the semester of official admission to the program following candidacy, is permitted for completion of the doctoral degree.

Candidacy Examination. Candidates must have a proposed plan to meet the departmental requirements in the specified core areas, see Composition of Coursework section, before taking the written and oral candidacy examination. English language proficiency must be demonstrated during this examination. The examination must be taken within three semesters of entry into the doctoral program, see section on Candidacy Examination in Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin and the Department's Web site on Candidacy and Communication Competence.

As part of the candidacy, prospective candidates are interviewed by a committee of three graduate faculty members from the Department. The candidate’s undergraduate and graduate preparations are reviewed, as well as experience(s) to date and plans for the future. In addition, supplementary evidence such as master's thesis or paper will provide a measure of the candidate’s competence in scholarly communication. Unanimous approval by the candidacy committee is required to pass the candidacy exam. Based on the recommendations of the committee any deficiencies noted at the time of admission or during the candidacy exam must be addressed by the graduate student prior to taking the comprehensive examination. A copy of the candidacy examination will become part of the student’s graduate file.

Within 15 days following the student’s completion of the examination, it is the responsibility of the candidacy adviser to provide formal notification to the Graduate Program Officer regarding the outcome of the candidacy examination. A candidacy report will then be prepared for the Graduate School in order to formally admit the student to the doctoral program.

Credits Required. Approximately 75 credits of graduate work beyond the baccalaureate degree are required. Approximately two-thirds of the total program must be in the major field. Courses in education or statistics may be counted in the major with prior approval of the doctoral committee. A minimum of 30 credits must be earned in residence.

A minor is not required by the Department; however, students may elect a minor (minimum of 15 credits) in a Graduate School approved program with the consent of the doctoral committee. A graduate faculty member representing the minor, if a minor is elected, must serve on the committee.

Courses completed in the doctoral program in agricultural and extension education should give students competence in at least one core area of expertise: educational processes; leadership development and communications; program development, and research. See AEE Core Areas for a listing of departmental courses by core area.

Composition of Coursework. In addition to completing the departmental publication requirement, specific Ph.D. degree requirements include the following:

  • AEE 501 Foundations of AEE, 3 credits.
  • AEE 590 Colloquium, 2 credits over two semesters in the doctoral program. Graduate students are expected to attend all departmental colloquia.
  • At least one, three-credit 500-level course from each core area is taken during the doctoral program: educational processes; leadership development and communications; program development, and research. See AEE Core Areas for listing of departmental courses by core area. Courses, totaling 15 credits, must be at the 500-level.
  • Three additional research credits beyond the course taken to meet core research requirement, selected from among AEE 520, AEE 521, or AEE 522. These six credits must be earned during the academic year, not during summer session.
  • ENG 418 Advanced Technical Writing and Editing, 3 credits.
  • AEE 600/610, up to a maximum of 12 credits; AEE 601/611.

Doctoral students develop an appropriate program of study to meet these requirements in consultation with their adviser and graduate committee. See PhD. Summary of Requirements.

Comprehensive Examination. A doctoral candidate must take a comprehensive examination when (1) she/he has completed the course requirements, including the core requirements, approved for the graduate program; (2) she/he has met the communication requirement; and (3) she/he in the judgment of the advisor and the doctoral committee is ready for the exam. The comprehensive exam consists of two parts--written and oral--and usually spans from two and one-half to three days (a total of approximately 12 hours). In both parts of the exam, the candidate’s knowledge of the field of agricultural and extension education, and the minor field, if appropriate, is determined by the responses, both written and oral, to questions provided by the doctoral committee.

Dissertation Proposal. The candidate’s dissertation proposal must be approved by the doctoral committee before beginning the research. The candidate shall arrange for a meeting of the doctoral committee to present the proposal and to seek the committee’s advice and approval.

Final Oral Examination. Regulations for the final oral examination for the doctoral degree in agricultural and extension education are the same as the regulations for this examination included in the Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin for the University. The final oral examination and subsequent discussions of the dissertation are open to the public.

Professional Development . Graduate students are expected to take advantage of the many opportunities for professional experience in addition to coursework, see Appendix C; see Ph.D. Summary of Requirements and Doctoral Flow Chart.

Publication Requirement

All doctoral students in agricultural and extension education are required to write an article or a paper for publication or presentation based upon (1) their dissertation or (2) their assistantship responsibilities as determined by the academic adviser and assistantship supervisor prior to the granting of a degree. The article or paper will be reviewed and approved by the student's graduate adviser. Academic credit for an acceptable article or paper may be granted. The article or paper will be submitted to a refereed or professional journal, a professional or research conference, and/or a popular magazine. If co-authored with a faculty member, the student's name will appear as the lead author.