Stages at a Glance

Academic Preparation

Satisfactory completion of the academic preparatory program (composed of four courses) is required before starting the PhD program. Additionally, up to two courses could be taken from the PhD program during the Academic Preparation year.

PhD Program

The PhD in Curriculum and Instruction program is composed of 8 credit-bearing courses and 2 non-credit courses. Credit-bearing courses are to be completed in maximum four semesters.

Qualifying examination

The qualifying exam consists of written and oral components, prepared by a committee. After successful course completion, students are required to formally write to the Graduate School of Education (GSE) to inform the School of the semester in which they would like to take the qualifying examination (which could be taken no later than semester five).

Dissertation monitoring committee

After the qualifying examination, a dissertation monitoring committee is formed for successful students

Proposal defense

Students defend their dissertation proposal before the committee after they pass the qualifying exam (no later than six months after the qualifying exam). The committee members are submitted a copy of the proposal a month before the defense.

Dissertation monitoring committee meetings

The Dissertation Monitoring Committee convenes once a semester between January-June and July-December. Students are required to send a progress report, which includes a summary of work completed and a plan for next 6 months, to the committee members a month before the meeting. A post-meeting report is sent to the GSE by the supervisor within two weeks after each meeting.


At least one manuscript (stemming from the dissertation), which has been published or accepted for publication in a journal, approved by the Office of Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, is required before oral defence.

Oral defence

When ready, students defend their dissertation before a dissertation defence committee. Before the defence, the committee decides whether the publication requirement is met.

PhD degree

Successful students follow the guidelines to finalize the process, and awarded the PhD degree at graduation ceremony.

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