In some cases, a program may assign a preliminary or temporary advisor. To select a permanent advisor/dissertation supervisor, a doctoral student selects a consenting advisor or co-advisors from faculty members of the academic program in which the major work is planned.
Doctoral advisors must be members of the doctoral faculty. To determine whether a faculty member has doctoral faculty status, refer to the list of faculty in each academic program in the University catalog. Students can change advisors during their doctoral program. Before registering for each semester or session, the student consults the advisor concerning a program of courses.
If an advisor is unable or unwilling to continue to serve as a student’s advisor, the academic program, led by the director of graduate studies, will ensure a replacement is found. An advisor who retires or leaves MU may continue to serve as a student’s advisor, unless a written academic program policy prohibits such an arrangement.
All members of the doctoral program committee participate actively in the activities of the doctoral student at all the stages of the student’s career at MU, except the qualifying examination or process.
The doctoral program committee is composed of a minimum of four members of MU graduate faculty. The committee must include at least three members from the student’s academic program and one outside member from a different academic program at MU. At least two of the doctoral committee members, including the student’s advisor, must be MU doctoral faculty.
To determine whether a faculty member has graduate or doctoral faculty status, refer to the list of faculty in each academic program in the University catalog.
A plan of study is a list of courses and the credit to be earned in each of them.
The comprehensive examination consists of written and oral sections. It must be completed at least seven months before the final defense of the dissertation. The two sections of the examination must be completed within one month.
For the comprehensive examination to be completed successfully, the doctoral advisory committee must vote to pass the student on the entire examination, both written and oral sections, with no more than one dissenting or abstaining vote.
A report of this decision, the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination Results form (D3), with the signatures of all committee members, must be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies and the student no later than two weeks after the comprehensive examination is completed.
If a failure is reported, the committee also must include in the report an outline of the general weaknesses or deficiencies of the student’s work. This report should be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies as well.
The student and the committee members are encouraged to work together to identify steps the student might take to become fully prepared for the next examination.
A copy of this request should be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies as well. The committee must respond to this request in writing within two weeks and a copy must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies.
Failure to pass two comprehensive examinations automatically prevents candidacy.
Students must maintain continuous-enrollment status during their doctoral candidacy. Continuous enrollment status as a doctoral candidate begins at the onset of the term immediately following successful completion of the comprehensive examination.
Continuous enrollment status provides students with access to the following resources for dissertation completion:
To maintain continuous enrollment, students must register for at least 2 hours during the Spring and Fall semesters and 1 hour during the Summer semester using myZou. Students who have enrollment difficulties should contact their director of graduate studies or the Office of Graduate Studies’ doctoral academic advisor for registration assistance.
The dissertation must:
A student’s doctoral program committee must approve all course work used to satisfy the credit-hour requirement and may require additional course work beyond these minimums.
It is the responsibility of the doctoral committee to determine whether it is appropriate to transfer credit; however the Office of Graduate Studies must make the final review of the transfer request to determine if the credit meets the minimum guidelines. If so, the Office of Graduate Studies will process the request so that the transferred courses appear on the student’s transcript.
All requests for exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies.
With program approval, up to 6 hours of coursework for which professional credit was received may be counted toward the 72 credit-hour requirement.
As part of the plan of study, the committee also recommends to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies any request for transfer of graduate credit.
Changes to the plan of study should be submitted on the Plan of Study Course Substitution form.
If required, a student may establish foreign language proficiency by demonstrating an ability to translate English into two foreign languages or by demonstrating a high order of fluency in one language — that is, the ability to read, write, and converse in that language and to translate that language into English and English into that language.
The student must substantially complete the course work outlined in the plan of study to the satisfaction of the doctoral advisory committee and the Office of Graduate Studies before being declared ready for the comprehensive examination.