Download Guide to Completing Ph.D. Requirements
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All students upon completion of the MA degree or thirty credits of graduate work, whichever is sooner, will be evaluated for continued study at the doctoral level. Students cannot register for more than thirty course credits at The New School for Social Research if they are not formally admitted to the PhD program. Special departmental requirements and regulations governing continued study and the awarding of the PhD degrees are described in the department sections of the Academic Programs section of this website. For example, some departments require successful completion of certain courses and examinations for PhD admission.
To earn the PhD degree the student must:
fulfill the course requirements of the department in which he or she is majoring, as well as any requirements in a minor;
pass a written examination;
demonstrate mastery of the field in which he or she is specializing and ability to conduct independent research in it;
pass an oral examination in his or her major field and, when applicable, any minor;
meet the foreign language requirements;
be admitted to doctoral candidacy;
submit an acceptable dissertation; and
successfully defend the dissertation.
Students must successfully complete the course requirements for the PhD degree established by their department and are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these requirements.
Information on specific requirements for the PhD is given in the department sections of the Academic Programs section of this website. Students must earn a satisfactory grade point average of at least 3.0 and at least sixty credits, except in Clinical Psychology, where the requirement is ninety credits (see Psychology department requirements). The sixty credits required for the PhD (or ninety in Clinical Psychology) includes the thirty credits required for the MA degree. No fewer than forty credits may be in the major field, of which at least twelve credits must be in seminar courses.
The New School for Social Research encourages an interdisciplinary approach to graduate work. Minor requirements are described in the department sections of the Academic Programs section of this website. All PhD students may take twelve credits of course work outside their major department.
Students have ten years to complete all requirements (including the MA degree) for the doctoral degree. An extension of time must be granted to continue doctoral studies beyond ten years. Students in the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology, because of the ninety-credit course work requirement, have twelve years to complete all degree requirements. See Time Limits & Extensions of Time under Degree Requirements and Academic Policies in the Student Services section of this website.
Students registering to maintain status who have gone beyond their time limits will not receive equivalency credits, and therefore will not be able to claim official full-time status. Exceptions to this will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Transfer of Credit
Transfer credit, not exceeding thirty credits, including any transfer credit awarded toward the MA degree, may be granted toward the PhD degree for courses successfully completed at other graduate institutions during the ten-year period immediately preceding matriculation with The New School for Social Research. Certain departments may have different rules regarding transfer of credit. See department sections of the Academic Programs section of this website for details.
PhD Qualifying Examination
TTo be admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree, students must first have completed forty-five credits with grades averaging no lower than 3.0 and passed a department-specific PhD examination in their major field designed to determine their ability to fulfill the remaining requirements for the degree. Some departments require a GPA of higher than 3.0. The academic calendar lists the dates for the qualifying examination by department. Written application to take the examination is made to the student advisor two months before the date of the exam. Students also are required to pass an oral examination before admission to candidacy. Students are expected to check with their major departments for additional departmental requirements.
After completing all but six credits (fifteen credits for Clinical Psychology students) and registering for their remaining required course work, students must pass an oral examination in their major field of study and when applicable, in one minor field. No oral exam may be scheduled from May 1 to October 1 except by special permission of the dean of The New School for Social Research. The examination is conducted by no fewer than four members of The New School for Social Research (unless the dean approves special arrangements); one of the faculty must be from a field other than that in which the candidate has majored. The oral exam tests the student’s range as well as depth of knowledge in the major field of study and is not restricted to the subject matter of courses. In some departments the oral exam is a defense of the dissertation proposal. The examination should be taken no later than six months after the completion of course requirements. Students are expected to check with their major departments for additional requirements. Written application to take the examination must be submitted to the student advisor two months prior to the exam. A candidate who fails the examination may have a reexamination within two years of the date of the first examination.
Foreign Language Requirement
All doctoral candidates must demonstrate competence in at least one foreign language, except those in Psychology who must complete a statistics requirement. Two languages are required by some departments. Mathematics or computer programming proficiency may in some cases be substituted for a foreign language. The language requirement must be met before the defense of the dissertation. Consult individual departments for specific requirements. To facilitate acquisition of foreign language proficiency, a limited number of tuition waivers are allocated for The New School language courses. Waivers are administered by the Office of Academic Affairs and Scholarships during the registration period of each semester and summer session.
The candidate is required to submit a dissertation judged by The New School for Social Research to be an original contribution to thought and knowledge in the candidate’s major field. The candidate is required to defend the method, content, and conclusions of the dissertation before The New School for Social Research.
After all course work and examination requirements for the PhD are fulfilled, the candidate must obtain and submit to the Registrar’s Office a dissertation topic approval form.
Dissertations must follow the style guidelines, which are available in the departments and at the Office of Academic Affairs and Scholarships. Ask for or download The New School for Social Research Guide to Completing PhD Requirements (Adobe PDF).
Dissertation Committee and Defense Committee
The candidate will recommend three members of The New School for Social Research to constitute the dissertation committee, one of who will serve as the student’s dissertation supervisor. The candidate’s department will review and approve or otherwise respond to the candidate’s recommendation for a committee.
Four members of The New School for Social Research (unless special arrangements are approved by the dean) have the special responsibility for the conduct of the dissertation defense. The defense committee includes the three members of the dissertation committee plus one representative from outside the department. The committee member from outside the department is referred to hereafter as the dean’s representative.
Dean’s Representative. The role of the dean’s representative on dissertation committees (as well as on oral examination committees) is to ensure that appropriate standards and procedures are upheld by the departmental members of the dissertation committee. The dean’s representative is not expected to make detailed comments on the disser tation, although that would be welcomed when appropriate.
The Dean’s Office has the primary responsibility for selection of the dean’s representative. However, if a dissertation chair prefers to select a dean’s representative, he or she may assume responsibility for doing so. Normally, it is preferred that the dean’s representative be chosen at the time of the oral examination of the dissertation proposal, and that the same individual serve subsequently at the defense of the dissertation. Dissertation chairs should contact the Dean’s Office to facilitate the identification of an appropriate dean’s representative.
External Examiners. In certain circumstances, it may be appropriate for a faculty member from outside The New School for Social Research to serve as a member of a dissertation committee in order to provide expertise not available among members of The New School for Social Research. Such committee members, hereafter called external examiners, must be approved by the appropriate department chair. An external examiner may replace one of the three members of The New School for Social Research required for a dissertation committee. Since external examiners are not members of The New School for Social Research, they are not to serve as dean’s representative or as dissertation chair.
Quite frequently, former members of The New School for Social Research who no longer teach here serve as members of a dissertation committee. They are considered dissertation committee members, not external examiners.
A written petition to defend the dissertation must be submitted to the department at least six weeks before the scheduled date for the defense. The defense must be scheduled with the department no later than April 18 for May graduates and November 17 for January graduates. Students must submit an unbound copy of their dissertation to the Office of Academic Affairs and Scholarships at least three weeks before they defend for the university reader to review. The student should incorporate any revisions required by the dissertation committee and all other requirements as soon as possible following the defense.
For a May degree, the dissertation must be approved by the committee and all other requirements met no later than the date set for spring semster commencement. For a January degree, the dissertation must be approved by January 15.
Students defending dissertations on or before April 18 and who have petitioned for May graduation may participate in May commencement ceremonies. However, students who do not meet all requirements by the deadlines noted above (the day of commencement for May graduation, and January 15 for January graduates) will not officially graduate until all requirements are met.
Students will be required to register to maintain status if they do not complete the revisions from the dissertation committee before the end of the drop period of the next semester. After the dissertation committee revisions have been completed, the degree will be awarded the following January or May.
Submission of a Copy and Distribution
After the committee has approved the dissertation and submitted the dissertation acceptance statement to the Registrar’s Office, the student must submit one copy of the approved dissertation on 24-lb. bond paper to the Office of Academic Affairs and Scholarships.
All dissertations are microfilmed and are made available for distribution through Bell & Howell/UMI. For an optional fee of $45, UMI will apply for copyright of the dissertation in the author’s name. Authors are urged to copyright their dissertations to protect their material from reverting to the public domain. If the dissertation or parts thereof are published, the title page, preface, or other preliminary matter must contain a statement that the book or paper was a dissertation, or part, or abstract of a dissertation presented for the degree of doctor of philosophy at The New School for Social Research, the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science of the New School for Social Research or New School University, depending on when awarded.
Doctoral students will neither receive their diplomas nor have their degrees conferred until the Bell & Howell/UMI and the survey of earned doctorate forms have been completed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office.