Advancement Criteria

As a doctoral student you’ll need to progress through three stages of doctoral study leading to degree conferral. You’ll work closely with your doctoral committee to develop your plan of study, take the comprehensive examinations and complete your dissertation. Your committee along with the Graduate School will determine when you are qualified to continue doctoral studies at each stage.

Stage 1: Completion of the master’s degree or its equivalent.
You’ll need at least a 3.2 grade-point average at Ball State or another regionally accredited university. If you have already completed a master’s degree equivalent to that awarded by your major department, you have completed the first stage of the doctoral program unless the department stipulates otherwise. Each academic unit that is responsible for a doctoral program has a procedure to evaluate your progress during this stage. This evaluation occurs no later than the end of the second year to determine if you are making satisfactory progress, and you will receive a report in writing. The department determines the type of evaluation, and it can include, but is not limited to, an examination or other appropriate review that you must successfully complete before entering Stage 2.

Stage 2: Admission to Candidacy.
In this stage you’ll need to complete all course work and fulfill any special department requirements, pass all comprehensive exams, and receive approval on your dissertation proposal. When you complete this stage it is referred to as Admission to Candidacy for the degree. You can enroll in credit hours for your dissertation only after you complete this stage. If you do not meet the requirements of this stage, you might be admitted to candidacy on probation or you might be denied further study.

Stage 3: Dissertation completion.
During this stage you research, write and give the final oral defense of your dissertation. You’ll need to register for a minimum of three credits each semester, except during the summer terms, until your final approved dissertation is turned into the Graduate School and you have completed all credit hours and the residency requirement for degree conferral. If you are not registering for a course or courses, you will register for three hours of DISS 799. If you are participating in an externally accredited program that requires an internship experience, you are exempt from continuous enrollment while registered for internship credit.

The end of Stage 3 is degree conferral. You’ll need to file an application for graduation with the Graduate School no later than the first four weeks of the last semester before graduation. You can submit this application online.