Doctoral Degree Requirements

Graduate Admission Application

The application can be printed then mailed along with the application fee to:

University of North Texas
School of Graduate Studies
Admissions Section
P. O. Box 305459
Denton, TX 76203-5459

General Requirements

The candidate must earn a minimum of 60 hours of graduate credit beyond the master's degree or 90 hours beyond the bachelor's degree.

This quantitative requirement must be regarded as a minimum. The quantity of course work to be completed by each candidate is arranged individually by the supervisory committee, subject to the approval of the graduate dean, and may be modified both as to quantity and as to type during the progress of the student's course work.

Minor Field

The candidate for the doctoral degree ordinarily is required to select a minor field. A minor is defined as graduate work completed outside the student's major department or school. Minor areas of study can only be chosen from academic areas in which the University of North Texas is already authorized to offer a major or where specific Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approval has been given to offer courses for the purposes of a minor.

When an official minor is required or opted, the candidate's graduate advisory committee must include a faculty member from that area who will verify accountability in the minor area through comprehensive examinations, dissertation projects or other appropriate means.

For doctoral degrees, the student must complete at least 12 hours in a single area to have the area count as a minor. All hours counted toward a minor must carry graduate credit and must be numbered 5000 or above. No more than one-half of the required hours toward a minor may be transferred from another institution unless an approved graduate school minor articulation agreement is in effect.

Twelve hours of undergraduate credit or appropriate graduate-level work are the usual prerequisite for a minor in any field. (Exception: In the case of a minor in a foreign language, the student is required to have completed the second semester of the sophomore year of study in the intended minor language.) In departments that offer no freshman courses only 6 hours of undergraduate credit are required as prerequisite to a graduate minor in that field.

Minors are not required on certain graduate degrees. Consult subsequent sections of this publication for specific regulations governing the degree sought.

Entrance Examinations

All doctoral programs require an admission examination. Entrance examination requirements vary according to the requirements of the different departments and colleges. Entrance requirements ordinarily must be completed before the close of the first semester of doctoral study. Consult the appropriate graduate adviser for specific entrance examination requirements.

Residence Requirement

Every candidate for the doctoral degree must complete the appropriate residence requirement at UNT as prescribed by the individual departments and schools. The minimum residence requirement consists of two consecutive long semesters at UNT (fall and the following spring, or spring and the following fall), or a fall or spring semester and one adjoining summer session at UNT. During the long semesters a minimum of 9 hours must be taken. During the combined summer terms a minimum load of 9 semester hours must be taken. Some departments have established more stringent resident requirements appropriate to their programs.

Level of Work Required

All of the courses required for the doctorate above the level of the master's degree must be numbered 5000 or above. Hours counted toward earning a master's degree cannot be counted toward hours necessary to complete the doctorate.

A maximum of 12 semester hours earned in non-degree or certification status prior to admission to a degree program may be counted toward doctoral degree requirements.

Time Limitation

All work to be credited toward the doctoral degree beyond the master's degree must be completed within a period of 10 years from the date doctoral credit is first earned. No course credit beyond the master's degree that is more than 10 years old at the time the doctoral program is completed will be counted toward the doctorate.

Time limits are strictly enforced. Students exceeding the time limit may be required to repeat the comprehensive exam, replace out-of-date credits with up-to-date work, and/or show other evidence of being up-to-date in their major and minor fields. Students anticipating they will exceed the time limit should apply for an extension before their ninth year of study. Holding a full-time job is not considered in itself sufficient grounds for granting an extension.

Time spent in active military service of the United States will not be considered in computing these time limits. However, career members of the armed forces should consult the graduate dean concerning credit given to work completed before or during active military service.

Transfer and Extension Work

Depending on the student's previous preparation and needs, as many as 24 hours of advanced study beyond the master's degree or its equivalent completed at another institution may be accepted and credited toward the doctorate, provided the candidate's advisory committee recommends acceptance of transfer credit to the graduate dean.

The student beginning doctoral study at UNT should bear in mind transfer credit is not allowed on the doctorate until all requirements governing admission to candidacy have been met and such credit must the major department and approved by the graduate dean. The rule governing the time limit for doctoral credit applies also to transfer credits. Extension credit earned elsewhere may not be applied toward the doctorate at UNT.

If transfer credits earned either before or after the first doctoral enrollment at UNT do not show a B average, the student is required to make up the deficiency either at the institution where the credit was earned or at UNT.

To be applied to a doctoral program at UNT, courses completed elsewhere must have been taken at an institution that offers the master's or doctoral degree in the area in which the courses were taken, or in a closely related area.

In accordance with the rules of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, at least one-third of the semester hours required for any graduate degree must be completed in course work on the campus of UNT.

Foreign Language or Tool-Subject Requirement

Foreign language or tool-subject requirements differ for the various doctoral degrees and majors. Some departments require students to satisfy the foreign language requirement while other departments have established tool-subject requirements that may in some instances be substituted for foreign language requirements for the PhD degree.

Students should consult subsequent sections of this publication or the graduate adviser of the major department or school for the specific requirements of the degree sought.

Foreign language requirements may be satisfied in any one of the following ways:

1. by passing the Foreign Language Proficiency Examination administered each semester and summer term by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, application for which must be obtained in the office of the chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures; scheduled dates for taking the examination in the current academic year appear in the Academic Calendar listed in the front of this catalog; or

2. by submitting a transcript of undergraduate credit showing completion of the sophomore year in a single foreign language, provided the grade point average on all language courses is 2.75 or higher.

Language requirements must have been satisfied no earlier than 10 years prior to the date on which the student completes the qualifying examination and is admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree. If the student's
language proficiency or proficiencies have been demonstrated at an earlier date, they must be validated in a manner to be prescribed by the Graduate Council.

To satisfy all or part of a tool subject requirement, individual doctoral degree programs may use undergraduate courses as long as those courses are not part of, or equivalent to, the UNT core curriculum. Courses used to satisfy all or part of the tool subject requirements must have been completed no earlier than five years prior to the date on which the degree plan is filed.

As an option for academic units, examination(s) may be used to satisfy all or part of the tool subject requirement.

Candidates for graduate degrees to be awarded at the close of any summer session must have satisfied the foreign language requirements for the degree sought prior to the first class day of the second term of the session. Candidates for graduation at the close of the spring or fall semester must have satisfied the foreign language requirements prior to the last day for filing thesis or dissertation in the office of the graduate dean. Consult the Academic Calendar for the proper deadline.

Degree Plan

A degree plan listing all courses should be completed by the student, approved by the student's advisory committee and department chair, and submitted to the graduate dean at an early point in the student's progress toward the degree, preferably soon after the first full semester of doctoral study has been completed.

The major professor and committee members are chosen on the advice of the department or division chair or graduate adviser in the major area. All subsequent requests for degree plan changes must be submitted in writing by the major professor to the graduate dean.

Doctoral degree requirements are determined by the Graduate Catalog currently in force at the time the degree plan is approved by the graduate dean.

Courses listed on the degree plan must carry letter grades, with the exception of those courses in which the student is engaged in individual research and is not attending an organized class. These courses, with the approval of the department, may be assigned pass/no pass grades.

Qualifying Examination and Admission to Candidacy

The student who has completed all courses required for the degree (exclusive of dissertation) and has satisfied all admission, language and other tool-subject requirements should request that the major professor arrange for the qualifying examination to be held. Consult the graduate adviser in the major area for information about the qualifying examination requirement.

Ordinarily no dissertation enrollment is permitted until this examination has been passed. Students are admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree by the graduate dean upon successful completion of the qualifying examination and other requirements.

Dissertation Requirement

Continuous Enrollment

A dissertation is required of all candidates for the doctorate. Only 12 semester hours of dissertation credit are applied to the degree program, even though more dissertation hours may be accumulated. The student is required to enroll for dissertation credit in the major department under the course number 6950 and must maintain continuous enrollment in 6950 until the dissertation has been completed and submitted to the graduate dean. Enrollment in 6950 is limited to 9 hours in each long term. Grades of PR will be recorded at the end of each semester or term of enrollment until the dissertation is filed with the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and approved by the graduate dean, then appropriate grades and credit hours will be shown on the student's record. Only one dissertation enrollment per summer session (in either term) is required.

Composition of the Dissertation Examination Committee

Membership of dissertation examination committees will include representatives of the major field and the minor field, if the student is pursuing a minor area. Selection of committee members from disciplines other than the major or minor field is highly encouraged, whenever appropriate. The number of members such committees will normally be three to five, and at least three are required. In cases in which the academic unit has specified particular departmental or college procedures for dissertation committee members, the student will follow these procedures.

The dissertation chair is the student's mentor and guide through this process of the demonstration of independent scholarship. Therefore, the chair of the dissertation committee, who must be willing to serve, is selected by the student in consultation with the appropriate graduate faculty, PhD adviser or department chair in the student's
discipline. The dissertation chair must be a Category III graduate faculty member. Students should consult the departmental policy for the selection of the remaining committee members.

A person who is not a regular member of the University of North Texas graduate faculty may receive a temporary graduate faculty appointment from the graduate dean in order to serve on a committee. For these appointments, the dissertation committee chair should submit a written request and justification for the appointment and a vita of the prospective committee member. For persons who are faculty members of another university or are employed by business or industry, a letter of agreement to serve on the committee if appointed must also accompany the written request and vita submitted to the graduate dean. No more than one committee member without regular UNT faculty status may serve on a committee.


Before beginning the dissertation, the student should also consult the office of the graduate dean for information concerning the proper form for preparation of the paper.


When the dissertation is completed and has received preliminary approval of the advisory committee, the student's major professor will schedule the final comprehensive examination and notify the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies of the date and time of the examination. The dissertation may not be submitted to the dean of the student's college or the graduate dean until this examination has been passed.

No dissertation credit will be recorded until the dissertation has been approved by the student's advisory committee, submitted to the graduate dean's office and finally approved by the graduate dean. Instructions for submission of the dissertation may be obtained from the graduate dean's office.

Requirements for the Second Doctorate

Applicants who hold an earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution may be admitted to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies to work toward a second doctorate, subject to the following provisions.

1. The applicant must meet all requirements governing admission to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and to the degree program to be pursued.

2. The applicant must meet all requirements of the program to be pursued as to acceptable test (GRE, GMAT, etc.) scores, admission examinations, auditions, portfolios of work, letters of reference, etc.

3. The applicant must complete a minimum of 36 semester hours of approved course work in residence at UNT in accordance with the specifications of an approved degree plan. In most cases, the applicant's major on the first doctorate will be counted as the minor on the second doctorate, thus the reduction in the minimum required hours to 36.

This minimum program will ordinarily include dissertation credit amounting to 12 hours. Provision of a minimum number of credits to be earned in no way restricts the major department from requiring additional deficiency work and/or additional work on the doctoral program itself.

Continuous Enrollment

A student must maintain continuous enrollment in a minimum of 3 semester hours of thesis or dissertation during each long semester until the thesis or dissertation has been accepted by the dean of the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies.

Thesis or dissertation registration in at least one summer session is required if the student is using university facilities and/or faculty time during that summer session.

Doctoral students must maintain continuous enrollment subsequent to passing the qualifying examination for admission to candidacy. Master's students must maintain continuous enrollment once work on the thesis has begun (effective for all students filing degree plans after January 1, 1987).

Checkpoints for the Doctoral Candidate

UNT Graduate Catalog General Information Table of Contents

UNT Undergraduate Catalog Table of Contents

UNT Graduate Catalog Table of Contents

UNT Undergraduate Catalog Course and Subject Guide

UNT Graduate Catalog Course and Subject Guide

UNT Prospective Students

UNT Home Page