Engage in directed readings, research and USC Rossier School of Education elective courses. You also have the opportunity to collaborate with educational practitioners in our EdD program during this block.
Courses in this block provide the basic tools to pursue systematic, programmatic, empirical investigation. It includes qualitative and quantitative elements with the understanding that complex educational problems require a variety of investigative approaches. Areas include research design, analysis of variance/multiple regression, qualitative methods, measurement, advanced qualitative or quantitative analysis, or other related areas. Courses may be taken inside or outside the Rossier School of Education.
Develop an interdisciplinary perspective on educational issues with courses taken at the University of Southern California outside of the Rossier School of Education.
Prepare for your dissertation research. This block continues through dissertation writing and defense.
Transfer of Course Work
The maximum number of transfer credits that can be applied toward the degree is 20 units. The faculty of the student’s degree program determines whether transfer credit is applicable toward a specific graduate degree.
A designated faculty member provides the academic advisement for entering graduate students at the point of admission.
After you have completed 24 units of course work, the doctoral screening committee will assess your performance and determine your readiness to continue in the program.
Additionally, students will be assessed each year based on adviser input, course work and research progress. If student progress is not satisfactory as determined by the student’s faculty adviser, warnings will be issued in accordance with USC Graduate School policies.
Qualifying Exam Committee
The qualifying exam committee is composed of five members. The committee chair and at least two additional members must have an appointment in the student’s program. One member must be from outside of Rossier, whether internal to USC (outside member) or external to USC (external member). The fifth member can be from Rossier, USC or outside of USC.
As a prerequisite to candidacy for the PhD, students must pass written and oral qualifying examinations. The qualifying examination is designed to assess a student’s readiness to undertake dissertation research and to assess the student’s ability to critically analyze and synthesize theoretical and methodological knowledge. Please see The Graduate School page for policies regarding committees and pass/fail results.
Admission to Candidacy
Admission to candidacy is a formal action taken by the faculty that is based upon passing the qualifying examination and completing all PhD course requirements (with the exception of EDUC 794a, EDUC 794b, EDUC 794d, EDUC 794z Doctoral Dissertation). Notification of admission or denial of admission to candidacy is by letter from the associate vice provost for graduate programs.
The dissertation committee is composed of at least three and no more than five members. The committee chair must have an appointment in the student’s program. All committees must have a majority of members from the student’s home program. One member must be from outside of Rossier, whether internal to USC (outside member) or external to USC (external member).
After the qualifying examination is passed, students must enroll in EDUC 794a, EDUC 794b, EDUC 794d, EDUC 794z Doctoral Dissertation each semester, except summer session, after admission to candidacy until all degree requirements have been completed. A minimum of two semesters (4 units) is required. A maximum of 4 dissertation units may be applied to satisfy the degree requirement. While enrolled in EDUC 794a , students will develop a dissertation proposal in collaboration with the adviser. The dissertation committee grants final approval for the proposal. Credit for EDUC 794a and permission to enroll in EDUC 794b will only be given after the dissertation proposal is approved. IRB (Human Subjects Institutional Review Board) approval is required for all dissertation studies.
Teaching Skills Development
All doctoral students must teach for at least one semester before they graduate. This program requirement may be fulfilled by co-teaching, serving as a teaching assistant, or solo teaching. International students must meet the English proficiency standards set forth by the American Language Institute. Proposals for meeting this requirement must be reviewed and approved by the PhD Governance Committee.
Graduate School Policies and Requirements
The PhD is administered by the Graduate School so PhD students must also consult with The Graduate School sections of the catalogue for regulations and requirements pertaining to the PhD degree. Students should also refer to Graduate and Professional Education and The Graduate School , Academic and University Policies and other sections of this catalogue for general regulations and policies including but not limited to time limits, leave of absence, scholarship standing, academic warning, and other issues not directly addressed in this section.