Can I finish my doctorate by the time my funding is finished?

Can I finish my doctorate by the time my funding is finished? Yes, if you get external financing for your dissertation research.

Following is a suggested strategy:

1) If you come with BA (funded for 4 years)

  • Year 1: Coursework—general, introductory
    Complete 1st Comprehensive by May (based on Foundations Courses)
    Serve as TA/RA
  • Summer Year 1: Carry out pilot field project in possible field site (if no prior experience)
  • Year 2: Coursework—more specialized
    Some self-directed research Complete 2nd Comprehensive exam, January
    Begin preparatory work for 3rd Comprehensive, Spring semester
    Consult with advisor on plans for dissertation
    Serve as TA/RA
  • Summer Year 2: Draft proposal for dissertation, aimed at funding agencies
    Carry out pilot field project (if no prior experience, not done Year 1)
  • Year 3: Finish specialized course work
    Self-directed research (independent studies, dissertation seminar)
    Consult with advisor and other faculty on dissertation proposal
    Submit proposals to outside funding sources, Fall semester
    Write and submit 3rd Comprehensive exam, Fall semester
    Finalize dissertation proposal and defend (4th Comprehensive), Spring
    Complete 2 tools of research (unless tool used in dissertation)
    Serve as TA/RA
  • Summer Year 3: Begin field work
  • Year 4: Carry out dissertation field work
    Request suspension of university funding for one-year
    Pay one-credit tuition each semester
  • Summer Year 4: Return from Field
  • Year 5: Analyze data
    Write and submit dissertation
    Serve as TA/RA

2) If you come with MA (funded for 3 years)

  • Year 1: Coursework—general and more specialized
    Complete 1st Comprehensive by May (based on Foundations Courses)
    Consult with advisor on plans for dissertation
    Serve as TA/RA
  • Summer Year 1: Draft proposal for dissertation, aimed at funding agencies
    Carry out pilot field project (if no prior experience)
  • Year 2: Coursework—specialized, directed toward dissertation preparation
    Self-directed research (independent studies, dissertation seminar)
    Complete 2nd Comprehensive exam, January
    Create 3rd Comprehensive bibliography, Fall semester
    Submit proposals to outside funding sources, Fall semester
    Write and submit 3rd Comprehensive exam, early Spring semester
    Consult with advisor and other faculty on dissertation proposal
    Finalize dissertation proposal and defend (4th Comprehensive), Spring
    Complete 2 tools of research (unless tool used in dissertation)
    Serve as TA/RA

(NOTE: if you are trying to get into the field by the end of the 2nd year, much will need to be accomplished during Year 2. However, you will need to take only 12 hours of formal course work during this year, including Independent Studies. This will give you time to do the self-directed work necessary for preparing comprehensive examinations and proposals.)

  • Summer Year 2: Begin field work
  • Year 3: Carry out dissertation field work
    Request suspension of university funding for one year
    Pay one-credit tuition each semester
  • Summer Year 3: Return from Field
  • Year 4: Analyze data
    Write and submit dissertation
    Serve as TA/RA

For further information, please see Resources for Ph.D. students on the department web page. This was formerly known as Policies and Procedures.