Degree Requirements < University of Arkansas

All requirements for a master’s degree must be satisfied within six consecutive calendar years.

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Examination for Candidacy. After completing approximately two years of graduate study, the prospective candidate must take candidacy examinations in specified fields of study in accordance with the requirements of the program/department in which the candidate is working. These examinations may be either written or written and oral, but the expectation is that their purpose is to determine if a student is prepared to move to the independent research stage of his/her degree. Upon satisfactorily completing these examinations, the student may be admitted to candidacy and may proceed to work toward completion of the remaining requirements for the degree. The Graduate School should be notified within two weeks of the student being admitted to candidacy. Note: The Graduate School considers the Advisory Committee to be responsible for administering and evaluating the candidacy examinations, but degree programs may have different structures.

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Language Requirement. Foreign language requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree vary from department to department. For specific details see departmental statements. These requirements should be completed early in the doctoral program. The Doctor of Education degree does not have a foreign language requirement.

Grade-Point Average Requirement. A minimum cumulative graduate grade-point average of 3.0 is required to earn a Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Education degree. Note: For students admitted to the Graduate School prior to Fall 2001, the minimum cumulative graduate grade-point average required to earn a Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Education degree was 2.85. Students should also be aware that they may not present for degree credit any course in which they earned a grade of D or F.


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Students who wish to become candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Education are expected to complete work equivalent to the requirements for the master’s degree as determined by program faculty and must apply to be admitted to the Graduate School and the specific program of study.

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The degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education are awarded in recognition of high scholarly attainment as evidenced by a period of successful advanced study with at least a 3.0 cumulative graduate grade-point average (2.85 for those students admitted to the Graduate School prior to Fall 2001), the satisfactory completion of certain prescribed examinations, and the development of a dissertation covering some significant aspect of a major field of learning.

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Programs of advanced study leading to the degree of Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) are offered in educational leadership, higher education, recreation and sport management, and human resource and workforce development education.

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The University of Arkansas does not recognize any official designation such as "ABD" or "Ph.D. candidate" or "Ph.D. (c)," and it is expected that if the student uses Ph.D. or Ed.D. after his/her name, it is only after the degree has been conferred. To do otherwise will be considered academic fraud.

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Programs of advanced study leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are offered in: animal science, anthropology, biology, business administration, cell and molecular biology, chemistry, community health promotion, comparative literature and cultural studies, computer science, counselor education, crop, soil, and environmental sciences, curriculum & instruction, economics, engineering, education policy, educational statistics and research methods, English, entomology, environmental dynamics, food science, geosciences, history, kinesiology, mathematics, microelectronics-photonics, philosophy, physics, plant science, poultry science, psychology, public policy, rehabilitation, and space and planetary sciences. (Note: For the Ph.D. in Business Administration and Economics, see the Graduate School of Business.)