Doctoral Studies Examinations

DOCTORAL QUALIFYING EXAMINATION

The examination includes written and oral components. The written portion of the examination requires two weeks for completion.  The oral component of the examination is administered at least two weeks after completion of written portion.  Students must be registered during the semester that the examination is taken. Students are required to submit a study plan by the end of their first semester. The qualification examination is administered by the student's advisory committee. If performance on the examination is unsatisfactory, one full semester must lapse (15 weeks) before the examination is administered a second time.  Students failing the examination twice will be dismissed from Stevens Institute.  At the discretion of the committee, a candidate may be allowed to change his or her degree option from a Ph.D. to a Masters.  The candidate should develop a "Research Statement" that articulates their research interests.  The intent is this statement is not to specific and explain the research question(s) of interest to the candidate, but to describe broadly a domain of research interest to the candidate.

PROPOSAL DEFENSE (ALSO CALLED PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION)

Every doctoral candidate is required to prepare a research proposal that describes the research content,  outcome anticipated, validation approach, contribution to the field of endeavor, and the creative content and uniqueness of the research effort.  This proposal must be in a written form and must be presented to his/her committee at a meeting where all committee members are present. A student pursuing a doctoral degree should demonstrate, through this proposal and the dissertation, the ability to conduct original and creative research.  Research results should be sufficiently significant as to be publishable in a referred journal.  The writing style, grammar, and spelling of the proposal and the dissertation should reflect a high level of written communication skills.
NOTE: The proposal defense document must be made available to the doctoral committee at least two weeks before the scheduled event.

PRIVATE AND PUBLIC DISSERTATION DEFENSE

Private Defense: Between the research proposal and the final examination the student is required to provide at least one progress report to his/her advisory committee at a meeting where all committee members are present.  The time of this meeting is determined by the student's advisory committee.   Students should provide regular updates to the committee.
NOTE:  The draft dissertation document must be made available to the committee at least two weeks prior to the actual scheduled private defense. Public Defense/Final Examination: The final examination must be scheduled through the Graduate School, at least two weeks prior to its administration.  To pass the final examination, a degree candidate must have a favorable vote from a majority of the examining/advisory committee, with a maximum of one negative vote.  If a student fails the final examination, there must be a lapse of one full semester (15 weeks) before rescheduling the examination.  A student is allowed no more than two opportunities to pass the final examination. NOTE: The final draft of the dissertation document must be made available to the doctoral committee at least two weeks prior to the scheduled final examination.