Missouri State University

Doctoral Degree Requirements

The completion of a doctoral program indicates the attainment of the highest possible training and intellectual development in one’s discipline.  As such, the rigor of a doctoral degree program is necessarily higher than that of a Masters degree program, and is set above the level that an average student would generally be able to attain.  Because the requirements for completion of a doctoral degree are discipline-specific, and often linked to national accreditation standards, some programs may have higher/additional requirements. Nonetheless, minimal university-wide standards include:

  1. All students much complete the stated courses and minimum number of required credit hours for the program.  Keep in mind that courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be used on the Program of Study for a doctoral degree.
  2. All students must complete a doctoral research project, to be directed by a faculty member from their discipline with Graduate Faculty in Research status.
  3. In addition, each project will be supervised by a Doctoral Research Committee.  Each will consist of at least two (2) additional faculty members with Graduate Faculty status (research, clinical/practitioner, or performance).  For doctoral students who are completing a doctoral thesis, their committee will also have a fourth member from outside the department who has Graduate Faculty status in Research.
  4. Presentation of the research results (thesis or project) at a forum approved by the department.
  5. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 in all course work associated with the degree.
  6. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive exam, as specified by the department.
  7. Students must complete all degree requirements within an eight-year period (excluding time spent in the United States Armed Forces).
  8. Students must meet all program-specific degree requirements (including research, practicum, comprehensive examination, etc).