PhD Program Requirements
In addition to the minimum University requirements listed in the graduate catalog, the following must be fulfilled for the PhD in EAS program:
1. Minimum Credit Hours:After admission into this PhD program, the majority of credits taken at Western Michigan University must be from CEAS (excluding thesis and dissertation credits).
- Students admitted after Bachelor’s degree: A minimum of sixty (60) graduate-level credit hours, excluding the dissertation, beyond the Bachelor’s is required, of which thirty (30) hours must be at Western Michigan University in an approved program of study. No more than fifteen (15) credit hours can be at the 5000 level and at least thirty (30) credit hours of regularly offered courses, excluding independent study, independent research, seminars, doctoral research, professional field experience and internship courses.
- Students admitted after Master’s degree: A minimum of thirty (30) graduate-level credit hours, excluding the dissertation, beyond the Master’s is required at Western Michigan University in an approved program of study.
2. Program of Study: A program of study in the student’s field of interest must be completed in the first year of enrollment. This program of study is uniquely defined and approved by the PhD committee chair, the student, the department chair of the PhD committee chair, the Dean of CEAS or his/her designee, and the Dean of the Graduate College. The exact distribution of courses, seminars, and research will depend upon the program and may vary from one student to another. Each student is required to complete a dissertation.
3. Doctoral Dissertation: Fifteen (15) credit hours of Doctoral Dissertation (ENGR 7300 or similar) are required.
4. Research Tools: Two appropriate research tools courses are required. Such research tools may include, but are not limited to, statistics, numerical analysis, mathematics, research methodology, and computer programming. These are determined by the PhD committee chair and the student.
5. Candidacy and Examination Requirements: Passing the following three examinations in the intended specialty area is required. These exams are designed and administered by the dissertation committee.
- Qualifying Exam: Before admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the student must pass a written qualifying examination. The exam must be completed before the completion of 45 credit hours for students admitted after bachelor’s degree, and before the completion of 15 credit hours for students admitted after master’s degree.
- Comprehensive Exam: Each doctoral candidate must obtain approval from his or her dissertation committee for a dissertation topic and research plan through the comprehensive exam. The exam requires a written proposal and oral presentation, and is typically taken near the end of the course work outlined in the doctoral program of study. The comprehensive exam must be completed within one year after passing the qualifying exam. Upon passing the comprehensive exam, the student is advanced to the PhD candidate status.
- Dissertation Defense: The defense takes place at the conclusion of the dissertation research with the approval of the committee. Upon a successful defense outcome, as determined by the dissertation, the student earns the PhD in EAS degree.
If a student fails any of the above exams, the student can apply to retake the exam in the next semester. A second failure will result in dismissal from the program.
Doctoral Dissertation Committee
A doctoral dissertation committee shall be appointed for each student during the first year of enrollment. The purpose of the dissertation committee is:
1. Develop, with the student, the program of study for the intended specialty field under the PhD in EAS program;
2. Design and administer the required PhD examinations;
3. Provide the technical guidance to the student during the dissertation portion of the doctoral program.
The doctoral dissertation committee shall consist of at least three CEAS full members of the graduate faculty, including the chair of the PhD committee. Additional members of the committee must be either full members or associate members of the graduate faculty.