Because the time needed to complete the dissertation varies widely, the time required for completion of the PhD program also varies. In general, students take from four to five years to complete all requirements. The following outlines a suggested plan for progress in the program.


First Year

Second Year

Third Year

Fourth Year and Beyond

CourseworkCourses to meet degree requirementsCourses to meet degree requirementsComplete coursework by beginning of year 
Qualifying Exam  Complete qualifying exam by beginning of year 
DissertationPre-dissertation researchPre-dissertation researchDissertation proposalDissertation data collection, analysis, writing, and defense
AssistantshipsResearch assistantshipResearch assistantshipTeaching assistantshipTeaching assistantship