Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a committee chair?

When you are initially admitted, you are assigned a temporary chair.  Please contact this person for any questions you have regarding academic work in the program.  Once you've been in the program for a semester, you'll want to talk to the different professors to find one who will be a good fit for you and the type of work you'd like to do.  You'll need to put together a program of study by the third week of your second semester, so your first semester should be dedicated to finding out what you do/don't like about the program and getting to know the faculty members and their specialties.

What are the Steps for Completing a PhD Project?

  1. Choose a project chair.  This does NOT have to be your dissertation committee chair.  It should be someone whose speciality is in that project area (development, measurement, evaluation, research).
  2. Negotiate the main goal of the project with your chair.   This is usually 1-4 sentences.  Do this before moving on with the project.
  3. Sign up for project credit.
  4. Outline your project and get feedback on the outline from your project chair. (Don't write the whole thing and then ask for feedback or you'll have to do a lot of re-writing.)
  5. Send your outline to your chair for specific feedback.
  6. Incorporate the feedback in as many outlines as needed.  Then write up the final proposal (usually 5-15 pages).  For project documents see Project Documents
  7. By the second week of the term, you need to get your project approved by your chair AND then the department chair has to sign off on the project.  Turn in this form to Michele by the end of the second week of the semester/term.
  8. Go out and do your project!
  9. Along the way, you should be delivering parts of your project to your chair.  For example, for a development project you should send to your chair your target population analysis, current resource and training analysis, task analysis (or appropriate replacement), initial design documents, etc.  This will make the final write up of your project MUCH EASIER at the end of the semester.
  10. Keep your chair informed of your progress throughout the semester.  The chair will not track you down, so you have to make sure to do this yourself.
  11. Finish your project, write up the report, and send as many drafts as necessary to your chair.  When your chair feels it is "good enough," he or she will grade it and pass it on to Michele.  She will then assign two other professors as graders for the project.  Your final grade will be an average of the scores from all three raters.

Where can I find out official departmental policy?

Generally you should be able to find policy on this website. If you have questions, ask Michele Bray, the department secretary.  She is the source many of the professors also go to when in doubt.

Where Can I Find Official Graduate School Deadlines?

What is Adequate Progress?

Generally you should be working toward your degree. Technically the PhD projects are to be completed within a semester.  If you are more than a semester removed from beginning a project and you have not delivered it, you are likely not making adequate progress.  See the minimum requirements for graduate progress document for more details.

How do I...