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Washington State University Graduate School

Chapter 8C: The Program of Study

1. University Requirements

General university requirements and descriptions for the student’s Program of Study are described in Chapter 6 (General Academic Requirements). The student’s advisor, in consultation with suggested committee members, should aid the student in the development of their proposed Program of Study, which is then submitted to the chair/director of the appropriate graduate program. It is his/her responsibility to assure that the Program of Study meets the minimum requirements of the respective program and Graduate School. The chair/director will submit the Program of Study to the Dean of the Graduate School for approval to assure that it meets the minimum requirements of the Graduate School. It is important to note that individual graduate programs may have special additional requirements, or may require that individual students complete course work or research beyond the minimum requirements set by the Graduate School. All work taken by graduate students need not appear on their programs.

The Program of Study Request Form must be submitted to the Graduate School before the end of the third semester of study (October 1st deadline for fall; March 1st deadline for spring). Preparation of the Program of Study is the responsibility of the student, the advisor, and the doctoral committee. Degree-granting units are autonomous in matters relating to the requirements for a minor (or minors) for each one of their doctoral students, including the option of not requiring a minor.

The core of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program must include a minimum of 15 semester hours of graded course work (at the 500-level) beyond the bachelor’s degree. It should include the most advanced courses appropriate to the field of study listed in the Graduate Catalog or approved for graduate credit since publication of the last Catalog. Of the minimum number of hours of core graded course work required on the Program of Study (15), none may be from non-graduate credit graded course work. No more than 9 credits of non-graduate credit graded course work (300- or 400-level) may be used for the total credits for the Program of Study. Many doctoral programs have minimum requirements that exceed those described above; in all cases, students must comply with the minimum standards of their doctoral programs as outlined in the Program of Study approved for that student.

Seminars numbered 500 or above which are graded other than P/F or S/F may be part of the core program. Courses graded S/F may not be used in the core program. Only those master’s degree and transfer courses at a level equivalent to 500-level courses, and applicable to the doctoral core program, should be listed in this category.

Any course included in the advanced degree program in which a grade of “C-“or below is earned must be repeated but not on a pass/fail basis.

In addition to the core requirements, the program of study shall include research and additional course work. Credit in this category, plus that in the core program, must total at least 72 hours. A minimum of 20 hours of 800 credit is required. Unless otherwise specified, special projects and problems and seminars may be included in this category if they are taken at Washington State University.

The doctoral program may not include courses graded P/F or courses taken as audit

For more information on general requirements and transfer credit, see Chapter 6, Section G.2, Program of Study.

Program of Study for Ph.D.

  • 72 hours minimum total credits
  • 15 hours minimum from graded graduate-level (500-level) courses
  • 20 hours minimum 800-level research credits
  • 9 hours maximum of non-graduate courses (300- or 400-level)
  • courses for audit and courses graded Pass/Fail may not be used for the program of study

Program of Study of Ed.D.

  • 72 hours minimum total credits
  • 42 hours minimum from graduate approved graded courses
  • 20 hours minimum 800-level research credits
  • 9 hours maximum of non-graduate courses (300- or 400-level)
  • courses for audit and courses graded Pass/Fail may not be used for the program of study

*Note: All full-time doctoral degree students must register for one research credit of 800 each semester (excluding summers) to track faculty advisor effort.

Any course graded S/F may not be used as graded course work. Any course listed on the student’s program of study in which a grade of “C-” or below is earned must be repeated for graded credit. Graduate courses are those listed in the Graduate Catalog or have been approved for graduate credit since publication of the last Graduate Catalog. Academic excellence is expected of students doing graduate work. Upon recommendation from the head of the academic unit, the dean of the Graduate School can withdraw a student who is not progressing satisfactorily.

2. Filing the Program of Study

After the proposed Program of Study Request Form is completed by the graduate student, it must be signed by each advisory committee member and submitted to the major program chair/director and the chair/director of the minor program (if applicable) who will ensure that it meets the requirements of the program and Graduate School. The chair will submit the Program of Study Request Form to the Dean of the Graduate School for approval to ensure that it meets the minimum requirements of the Graduate School.

3. Changing the Program of Study

Changes made to the Program of Study must be documented with the appropriate signatures signifying the endorsement of the doctoral committee and the approval of the chair of the program and submitted to the Graduate School. If program changes are made, the Change of Program form must be completed, signed and submitted to the Graduate School before a student may submit an Application for Degree.

4. Fulfilling the Program of Study

Once approved, the doctoral Program of Study becomes the basis of the requirements for the degree.