comprehensive knowledge and high attainment in scholarship in a specialized field of study. The
student must demonstrate this ability by writing a dissertation reporting the results of an original
investigation and by passing a series of comprehensive examinations in the field of specialization
and related areas of knowledge.
Requirements for Doctorate Degrees
ADVISORY COMMITTEE AND PLAN OF GRADUATE WORK
An advisory committee of at least four graduate faculty members, one of whom will be designated
as chair, will be appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the
director of graduate programs of the major department or program. The committee, which must
include at least one representative of the minor field, will, with the student, prepare a Plan of
Graduate Work which must be approved by the Director of Graduate Programs of the major
department and the Graduate School. In addition to the course work to be undertaken, the subject
of the student's dissertation must appear on the plan; and any subsequent changes in committee or
subject or in the overall plan must be submitted for approval.
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The program of work must be unified, and all constituent parts must contribute to an organized
program of study and research. Courses must be selected from groups embracing one principal
subject of concentration, the major, and, when appropriate, from a cognate field, the
minor. Normally, a student will select the minor work from a single discipline or field which, in
the judgment of the advisory committee, provides relevant support to the major
Students may co-major at the doctoral level with the approval of both departments and the
appointment of a co-chair from each department or program on the advisory committee. Co-
majors must meet all requirements for majors in both departments. One degree is awarded and the
co-major is noted on the transcript. Co-majors are not permitted between Doctor of Philosophy
and Doctor of Education degree programs. Enrolled co-majors will be classified in only one
program for record purposes.
For the Doctor of Philosophy and the Doctor of Education degrees, the student is expected to be
registered for graduate work at an accredited graduate school for at least six semesters beyond the
The basic University residence requirements are defined below. However, academic
colleges/schools have the prerogative of estabhshing more restrictive requirements within the
respective schools. (The College of Education requires a minimum of one academic year of fiill-
time resident study).
At least two residence credits, as defined below, must be secured in continuous residence
(registration in consecutive semesters) as a graduate student at the University. Failure to take work
during the summer does not break continuity; however, summer work may be used in partial
fulfillment of this requirement.
Residence credit is determined by the number of semester hours of graduate work carried during a
given term. During a regular semester, residence credit is calculated in the following manner:
Semester Credits (Hours) Residence Credits
9 or more 1
Less than 6 (including registration for "DR Dissertation Preparation" or ,
The residence credit for a six-week summer term is equal to one-half of the corresponding amount
for a regular semester. For example, six semester hours carried during a summer session will earn
one-third of a residence credit; less than six credit hours will earn one-sixth of a residence credit.
A minimum of 54 credit hours beyond the master's degree are required for doctoral degrees;
however, some departments or programs may required more than 54. Students who bypass the
master's degree or get a master's degree at NC State as part of the doctoral program are required
to earn a minimum of 72 credits beyond the bachelor's degree. Again, some departments or
programs may require more.
A reading knowledge of at least one modem foreign language (Romance, Germanic or Slavic) is
required by some departments for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Other departments may
designate that the language requirement be filled from among those languages in which the
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures conducts testing. Doctoral students should
contact the major department for specific language requirements. For the Doctor of Education
degree, the decision as to whether or not there will be a language requirement is left to the
student's advisory committee.
The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures offers courses in French, German and
Spanish especially designed for graduate students who have no previous knowledge of a foreign
language or who wish to refresh their knowledge of a language. These courses concentrate
exclusively on teaching students to understand the written word and do not provide instruction or
testing in speaking and original composition. A passing grade on the final examination in one of
these courses is sufficient evidence of a reading knowledge of the language.
To demonstrate comprehension in depth of one language, a student must not only prove that one
possesses a reading knowledge of the language but also that he or she is proficient in the oral and
compositional elements of that language. Students desiring to master one language in depth should
consult the head of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures concerning the specific
courses which will be necessary to achieve this comprehension; specific arrangements will depend
upon the student's background in the language.
Students whose native language is other than English may use English as one of the languages
when two are required for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. When English is submitted in partial
fulfillment of the dual language requirement, the native language may not be used as the other
When only one language is required in the student's program, certification for that language must
occur on this campus.
PRELIMINARY COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATIONS
After completing the language requirement, if required, but not earlier than the end of the second
year of graduate study and not later than one semester (four months) before the final oral
examination, each doctoral student is required to take the preliminary comprehensive
examinations. The examinations consist of two parts: written examinations and an oral
examination. Requirements for written examinations in the minor field, if appropriate, are left to
the discretion of the department or program in which the student is minoring.
The written portion may be conducted in one of two ways. In the first, each member of the
advisory committee prepares a set of questions for the student's response, and answers to each set
are returned to the appropriate member for grading. This procedure is used by departments which
have a relatively small number of doctoral students.
Many of the larger departments have developed departmental written examinations to be used for
all students, and scheduled dates are announced well in advance. Where written departmental
examinations of this kind are used, the student will be expected to make arrangements to schedule
Regardless of the method employed, the questions involved may cover any phase of the course
work taken by the student during graduate study or any subject logically related to an
understanding of the subject matter in the major and minor areas of study. The questions are
designed to measure the student's mastery of the subject matter and the adequacy of preparation
for research. Failure to pass the written preliminary examinations terminates the student's work at
this institution, subject to departmental and/or school policies with respect to reexamination.
Upon satisfactory completion of the written portion of the preliminary examinations and after
completion of all course work relevant to the examination, authorization for the preliminary oral
examination is requested from the Graduate School. This examination is conducted by the
student's advisory committee and is open to all graduate faculty members. The student and the
examining committee will be notified by the Graduate School of the arranged time and place. The
oral examination is designed to test the student's ability to relate factual knowledge to specific
circumstances, to use this knowledge with accuracy and promptness and to demonstrate a
comprehensive understanding of the field of specialization and related areas.
A unanimous vote of approval by the members of the advisory committee is required for the
student to pass the preliminary oral examination. Approval may be conditioned, however, on the
successfiil completion of additional work in some particular field(s). All committee actions may
be appealed following university policies and regulations on student grievances.
Failure to pass the preliminary oral examination terminates the student's work at this institution
unless the examining committee recommends a reexamination. No reexamination may be given
until at least one full semester has elapsed, and only one reexamination is permitted.
A doctoral student is admitted to candidacy upon passing the preliminary examinations without
conditions or after fulfilling any conditions specified by the advisory committee.
FINAL ORAL EXAMINATION
The final oral examination is scheduled after the dissertation is complete except for such revisions
as may be necessary as a result of the examination, but not earlier than one semester or its
equivalent after admission to candidacy and not before all required course work has been
completed or is currently in progress. The examination consists of the candidate's defense of the
methodology used and the conclusions reached in the research, as reported in the dissertation. It is
conducted by an examining committee, which consists of the student's advisory committee. This
examination is open to the University community.
A unanimous vote of approval of the advisory committee is required for passing the final oral
examination. Approval may be conditioned, however, on the student's meeting specific
requirements prescribed by the student's advisory committee. Failure of a sttjdent to pass the
examination terminates one's work at this institution unless the advisory committee recommends a
reexamination. No reexamination may be given until one full semester has elapsed and only one
reexamination is permitted.
The doctoral dissertation presents the results of the student's original investigation in the field of
major interest. It must represent a contt-ibution to knowledge, be adequately supported by data and
be wTitten in a manner consistent with the highest standards of scholarship. Publication is
The dissertation will be reviewed by all members of the advisory committee and must receive their
approval prior to submission to the Graduate School. Three copies of the document signed by all
members of the student's advisory committee must be submitted to the Graduate School by a
specific deadline in the semester or summer session in which the degree is to be conferred. As an
alternative, students may submit their dissertations in electronic format. Prior to final approval, the
dissertation will be reviewed by the Graduate School to insure that the format conforms to the
specifications prescribed in the Thesis and Dissertation Guide. Detailed information on form and
organization of the dissertation is presented in the University's Thesis and Dissertation Guide
which is available in the NC State Bookstores.
The University has a requirement that all doctoral dissertations be microfilmed by University
Microfilms International, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, which includes publication of the abstract in
Dissertation Abstracts International. The student is required to pay for the microfilming
service. (See "Special Registration and Fees" under "Tuition and Fees.")
Doctoral students are allowed a maximum of six calendar years from admission to the doctoral
program to attain candidacy for the degree and a maximum often calendar years to complete all
degree requirements. Academic colleges/schools or departments may have more restrictive
requirements than the above stated policy.
Summary of Procedures for Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education Degrees
• Application materials and required fee received.
• Application materials reviewed by department or program.
• Department or program forwards recommendation regarding applicant's admissibility to
• Graduate School reviews the recommendation and notifies the student of the action taken
on the request for admission.
• Student arrives, reports to the department or program, is assigned a graduate advisor and
develops a roster of courses and credits with the advisor.
• Student complies with requests from Graduate School for updated copies of transcripts
from previous colleges or universities
• Student signs patent agreement and files with Graduate School
• Student subject to continuous registration policy until graduation.
• Advisory committee of at least four graduate faculty members appointed by the Graduate
Dean upon the recommendation of the director of graduate programs.
• Graduate Dean appoints a Graduate School Representative to student's committee, if
• A dissertation subject is selected and an outline of the proposed research submitted to the
student's advisory committee and the director of graduate programs for review and
• Plan of Graduate Work prepared by the student, in consultation with and with the
approval of his/her graduate advisory committee and director of graduate programs, and
forwarded to the Graduate School for approval as soon as feasible after completion of 12
hours of course work.
• Student passes language examination(s), if required.
• Written examinations in the major and minor fields, if appropriate, are scheduled no
earlier than the end of the second year of graduate study and not later than one semester
before the final oral examination.
• When all written examinations have been completed satisfactorily, the director of
graduate programs requests the scheduling of the preliminary oral examination at least
two weeks prior to the suggested date. Upon approval of the request, the Graduate School
notifies the student and the examining committee of the time and place.
The report of the examination is sent to the Graduate School and if the examination has
been passed without conditions, the student is admitted to candidacy.
A copy of the preliminary draft of the dissertation is submitted to the chair of the
student's advisory committee for review.
At least two weeks prior to the final oral examination, the chair of the student's advisory
committee submits the dissertation to advisory committee members for review. A copy is
submitted to the Graduate School Representative at least one week prior to the exam.
One semester or its equivalent after admission to candidacy or later, after the dissertation
IS complete except for such revisions as may be necessary as a result of the final
examination, and at least two weeks prior to the suggested date, the student's advisory
committee chair or director of graduate programs requests the scheduling of the final oral
examination. Upon approval of the request, the student and the examining committee,
including the Graduate School representative, are notified of the time and place of the
Results of the final oral examination are forwarded to the Graduate School.
Upon passing the final oral examination, three copies of the dissertation signed by each
member of the student's advisory committee and five copies of the absttact must be
submitted to the Graduate School by a specific deadline in the semester or summer
session in which the degree is to be conferred. As an alternative students may submit
their dissertations in electronic format. One copy each of the University Microfilms
Agreement, the Survey of Earned Doctorate, and the Graduate School Exit Survey forms
must be completed and submitted with the dissertation.
The dissertation is reviewed by the Graduate School to insure that the format conforms
with the specifications prescribed in the Thesis and Dissertation Guide.
All course work scheduled in a graduate degree classification must be completed prior to
A grade point average of at least 3.0 for the degree requirements as well as on overall
graduate course work at NC State is required for graduation.
The doctoral residence requirement of 2 residence credits must be satisfied.
All degree requirements must be completed within ten years from admission to the
The NC State Libraries
Graduate students are one of the NC State Libraries' most active user groups, and the library is
cominitted to supporting their needs for information resources and services. The hbrary system
consists of the main D. H. Hill Library; four branches serving the specialized needs of prograrns in
design, natural resources, textiles and veterinary medicine; and an affiliated library serving the
College of Education and Psychology. Three studies in the D. H. Hill Library are available only to
graduate students for use of computers or as lounges. The D. H. Hill Library is open 24 hours a
day during the fall and spring semesters.
The Libraries' collections contain more than 2.8 million volumes of books and bound journals,
nearly 36,000 serials, and hundreds of electronic resources. They are particularly strong in the
biological and physical sciences, engineering, agriculture, forestry, textiles and architecture, with
the arts, humanities and social sciences also well represented. The NC State Libraries is a U.S.
government documents depository and a U.S. patent depository. The Media Center offers audio,
video and multimedia materials, with equipment for group and individual use. A Scanning Lab
provides help with converting materials to digital formats.
The NC State Libraries Information System extends access to a growing array of online resources,
from indexes to fiill-text journals, which are accessible from both on and off campus. Users can
search the NC State Libraries' holdings as well as those of Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and NC
Central. In the Libraries' Learning and Research Center for the Digital Age, the Learning
Technologies Service offers help in applying new information technologies to instruction (e.g., in
developing web-based courses), the Information Technologies Teaching Center offers instruction
in their use and the Scholarly Communication Center gives guidance in matters such as copyright.
Laptop computers are available for in-building use in D. H. Hill and the branches.
The Libraries provides interlibrary loan services to obtain material from other research libraries.
Direct borrowing privileges are available with Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and other UNC system
schools. The TRIPSaver service delivers library materials from Duke, UNC-CH or NCCU with 48
hours of request. Also available are orientation tours, lectures on library use for all new students,
e-mail reference service and in-depth reference service geared to the individual needs of graduate
students. Distance Learning Services are available for students and faculty engaged in on-campus
RESEARCH TRIANGLE - The unique "Research Triangle" in North Carohna has captured
national and international attention. It is comprised of the Research Triangle Park, a world-
renowned research park, and three major research universities. Because of this wealth of
educational and research opportunities, the Triangle area contains the highest total of
Ph.D. scientists and engineers on a per capita basis in the nation. The Triangle Universities— NC
State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University— have a subsidiary
campus in the Research Triangle Park— the Research Triangle Institute. The Institute, which
operates as a contract research organization, has an annual research revenue of approximately
The Research Triangle Park, founded in 1959, now has more than 59 public and private industrial
research facilities, situated on 6,800 acres of land. Over 34,000 people work in the park and over
30,000 additional jobs have been created outside the Park as a result of its
existence. Organizations in the Park include such government facilities as the National Humanities
Center, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Environmental Protection
Agency, and the National Center for Health Statistics. Private companies such as Glaxo Smith
Kline, Nortel and Reichhold Chemicals have their North American headquarters in the Park. Two
major, state-supported research initiatives in microelectronics and biotechnology are located in the
Park and North Carolina's Supercomputing Center is housed there as well. Faculty and graduate
students from the universities work closely with many of the Park companies. Scientists and
researchers from companies like GlaxoSmithKline, IBM and Becton-Dickinson frequently hold
adjunct appointments in one or another of the Triangle Universities.
INSTITUTE OF STATISTICS - The Institute of Statistics is composed of two sections, one at
NC State and the other at UNC-Chapel Hill. At NC State, the Institute provides statistical
collaborative services to all branches of the institution, sponsors research in statistical theory and
methodology and coordinates the teaching of statistics at the undergraduate and graduate
levels. The instructional and other academic functions are performed by the Department of
Statistics, which forms a part of the Institute.
WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH INSTITUTE - The Water Resources Research Institute is
a unit of the UNC System headquartered in Jordan Hall on the NC State campus. It is one of 54
state water institutes authorized by the Water Resources Research Art of 1 964 to administer and
promote federal/state partnerships in research and information transfer on water-related issues.
WRRI receives federally appropriated funds through the U.S. Department of Interior and state
fiinding through the UNC system to enable it to identify and support research needed to help solve
water quality and water resources problems in N.C. Research is conducted by faculty and graduate
students of senior colleges and universities in N.C. WRRI publishes peer-reviewed reports on
completed research projects and arranges for technology transfer from researchers to state agency
personnel and others who can put the research results to work. The Institute also sponsors
educational seminars and conferences and provides public information on water issues through
publication of a newsletter.
Special Laboratories, Facilities and Centers
BIOLOGY FIELD LABORATORY - The Biology Field Laboratory is located eight miles from
the University campus and comprises a 20-acre pond, 180 acres of extremely varied vegetation
types and a modem laboratory building. The latter contains two laboratories, one for class use and
another principally for research.
The many unique ecological situations found in this area make it ideal for use by advanced classes
of most biological science departments. Likewise, the area is well adapted to a variety of research
projects by faculty, graduate students and undergraduates because of its habitat diversity. The
close proximity of the laboratory facility to the campus makes possible many types of behavioral,
physiological, ecological, taxonomic and limnological studies that could be accomplished only
with great difficulty at other locations.
CENTER FOR ADVANCED ELECTRONIC MATERIALS PROCESSING (AEMP) - The
Center for Advanced Electronic Materials Processing was established in 1988. The center's
program is interdisciplinary and involves collaboration among chemists, physicists, materials
scientists and electrical, chemical, computer and mechanical engineers. The research focuses on
the development of electronic materials processing technologies that will provide the capability of
producing submicron electronic devices. The program emphasizes low thermal budget processes
using plasma and thermal and optically assisted techniques as well as the automation and control
of those processes. It is a joint effort with researchers from the University of North Carolina