Academic Programs Catalog

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Graduate Study

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is granted for distinctive attainment by the student in a special field, as evidenced by a dissertation which shows independent and creative thought and by passing detailed examinations over the student's chosen fields.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university, students must meet the requirements specified below.


Acceptance of an applicant is determined by the department in which the applicant wishes to do his or her major work, with the approval of the dean of the college, after consideration of the applicant's academic record, experience, personal qualifications, and objectives. Applicants who are admitted are classified in one of two groups: regular, for students whose records and qualifications show that they are ready to pursue a course of study toward the doctorate, or provisional, for students who, although their previous work appears to have been at an acceptably high academic level, nevertheless lack some important requirements for the course of study they intend to follow toward the doctorate. Such deficiencies will often necessitate the completion of collateral courses for which credit will not be counted toward the degree.

Normally a grade–point average of 3.00 (B) or higher in all previous academic work is required for admission to regular or provisional status.

Admission is open to students with a master’s or bachelor’s degree or their equivalents; however, applicants meeting these requirements are not guaranteed admission into a doctoral program. Some departments may require completion of a master’s degree prior to admission into the doctoral program.

Credits earned in regular or provisional status are acceptable as part of a student's degree requirements upon approval by the guidance committee and the dean.


COMPREHENSIVE. A comprehensive knowledge of the student's major and related fields must be demonstrated by examination, written or written and oral, to the guidance committee. If the student fails to pass, there may not be a reexamination until after one semester of additional work toward the degree is completed.

FINAL. The final oral examination, primarily in defense of the dissertation, is conducted by the guidance committee, supplemented, at the discretion of the dean, by two appointed faculty members. Other faculty members may attend at the chairperson's discretion. The final oral examination cannot be conducted before the dissertation is in the final form unbound.

Academic Standards

FOR RETENTION. The guidance committee and the department in which the student is majoring review and make a decision concerning the retention of any student failing to fulfill departmental requirements, and may dismiss a student at the end of any semester. Notice of dismissal from a departmental program is given to the student by the department chairperson, and the dean is notified of such action.


One year of residence after completion of the master's degree or its equivalent is required. This permits the student to work with and under the direction of the faculty, and to engage in independent and cooperative research utilizing university facilities. Normally, the year of residence will be made up of two semesters involving completion of at least 9 credits of graduate work each semester.