To earn a Ph.D. at Washington University, a student must:
- maintain satisfactory academic progress
- pass program-specific qualifying examination requirements
- fulfill residence requirements
- fulfill the program-specific teaching requirement
- fulfill the University-wide teaching requirement (required for students admitted Fall 2004 or later)
- write an acceptable dissertation
- defend the dissertation before a committee of at least 5 members who normally meet two independent criteria.
- submit an electronic version of the dissertation online to the Graduate School
In addition, there may be department or program specific PhD requirements.
To earn a master's degree in the Graduate School a student must:
- complete the minimum units required; this will vary by program area
- meet individual program requirements (required courses, courses from specific subject areas, and additional requirements)
- fulfill residence requirement
- maintain satisfactory academic progress
- pass an examination which tests competence in the field of study for the "without thesis" option or prepare an acceptable thesis and successfully defend it before a committee of no fewer than 3 faculty members for the "with thesis" option
Any master's degree program can require a master's thesis, make the thesis optional or decline to offer a thesis option.
Courses & Grades
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students are expected to proceed at a pace appropriate to enable them to finish within their program length. No later than the end of the fourth year of full-time graduate study, students are expected to have completed all Ph.D. requirements except for the dissertation.
Students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in courses that count toward their program requirements. Thus, among courses of equal weight, each grade of C must be balanced by at least one A. (Note that plus and minus marks alter the numerical value of a letter grade.)
Students are expected not to carry at one time any more than 9 semester hours for which the grades of I (incomplete), X (final examination missed), or N (not submitted yet) are recorded. The Graduate School may deny a student with more than 9 unfinished credits permission to register.
After four years of full-time graduate study, doctoral students who cannot identify three faculty members who are willing to serve on their Research Advisory Committee are not considered to be making satisfactory academic progress. [The Title, Scope, and Procedure form must be filed before the 5th year in order to identify membership of the student's Research Advisory Committee.]
Each student must spend at least one academic year enrolled full-time at Washington University. Any exceptions must be approved by the dean of the Graduate School.
Mentored Teaching Experience
Graduate students participating in mentored teaching experiences are highly valued members of the Washington University instructional team. The mentored teaching experience varies widely across the disciplines. They may include assisting faculty in the preparation, instruction and grading of an undergraduate course; tutorial responsibilities; monitoring the laboratory segment of an undergraduate course; and, in some instances, full course responsibility.
- Teaching Development - Each department serves as the primary source of mentored teaching, through course-specific mentoring, evaluation and through discipline-specific instruction in pedagogy.
- University-wide Teaching Orientation - All students participating in mentored teaching for the first time are required to attend the annual Teaching Orientation which is organized by The Teaching Center.
- Teaching Seminars - The Teaching Center also sponsors seminars on teaching topics specifically designed for Graduate Students. The Teaching Center offers a specialized series of Teaching with Technology Workshops led by the Liberman Graduate Fellows; these are designed to help Ph.D. students learn to use new media options in University classrooms. Ph.D. students may enroll in individual workshops or as part of the Teaching Citation Program.
- Teaching Handbook - The Graduate School has produced the Teaching Handbook in order to provide every graduate student with an overview of University policies and expectations, as well as resources available to support graduate students’ teaching and professional development.
For more information on Mentored Teaching Experiences, contact your Graduate Program Director.
The Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence
Each Spring the Dean of the Graduate School invites departments to nominate candidates for the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence as a recognition of the importance of graduate students’ teaching contributions to the University. The Award includes a certificate of recognition and a generous cash prize.
The Teaching Citation is an optional program which requires attendance at non-credit workshops on teaching, varied teaching experiences, faculty and student evaluations and preparation of a detailed teaching philosophy statement. Students interested in earning a Teaching Citation should schedule a preliminary consultation with Dr. Beth Fisher, Director of The Teaching Center, (p: 314-935-5921). Students are encouraged to schedule this meeting during the first semester of the second year in a PhD program.
Language Instruction Graduate Certificate
This certificate is related to teaching and is an advanced, for-credit option for PhD students, and includes course requirements and advanced discipline specific instruction.
I. ORIGIN AND PURPOSE
The Graduate Certificate in Language Instruction is an interdisciplinary certificate related to the fields of applied linguistics, second language acquisition, psychology, neuroscience, and other disciplines that has important implications for the way we teach foreign languages. Study within these different fields provides a fascinating examination of the way that second languages (L2) are learned and how second language is generated by learners. An understanding of second language acquisition processes both enriches our knowledge of how the mind works and serves to better inform the ways that foreign language teachers design and implement curricular approaches for different levels and skills.
In order to provide our graduate students with additional qualifications and formal training that will make them strongly prepared for a range of demanding academic positions, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers the Graduate Certificate in Language Instruction for students enrolled in doctoral degree programs.
II. PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
Students must apply to be considered for the certificate program and will be evaluated by a faculty committee, twice a year, on approximately October 15 and March 15. (The committee is made up of co-directors and graduate directors of participating departments.) The certificate consists of five courses: 3 required courses and 2 electives. This application is submitted at the beginning of the student's doctoral coursework. M.A. students are not eligible for consideration. Since the certificate requires four additional courses beyond those required for a student's home degree, students accepted will receive additional funding as teaching assistants for the four courses beyond 501 and will receive 9 credits of 590 (dissertation).
The goal of the five-course sequence is to provide certificate students with a solid base in the theoretical and instructional implications of research on language acquisition across different linguistic subsystems (phonology, lexis, syntax, pragmatics) and different linguistic modalities (spoken and written). This formation will also prepare students to be involved in language program design and curricular development.
II. SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS OF THE CERTIFICATE:
15 UNITS OF CREDIT ONE COURSE FROM EACH OF THE FOLLOWING GROUPS IS REQUIRED
- Language Teaching Methodology (Fr/Span 501) or the equivalent in another department for students of that language
- Linguistics and Language Learning (Educ 4111) or other approved equivalent
- Second Language Acquisition (Ling/Span/Fr 466, may have cross-listings with other languages)
TWO OF THE ELECTIVE COURSES ARE REQUIRED
- Reading and Writing in a Second Language (Educ 4692)
- Grammar and Vocabulary Acquisition (Fr/Span 467)
- Phonology and Second Language Acquisition (Span 417)
- Second Language Acquisition and Technology (Educ 4023)
Defense of the Dissertation
The committee before which the student is examined consists of at least five members, who normally meet two independent criteria:
- Four of the five must be tenured or tenure-track Washington University faculty; one of these four may be a member of the Emeritus faculty. The fifth member must have a doctoral degree and an active research program, whether at Washington University, at another university, in government, or in industry.
- Three of the five must come from the student's degree program; at least one of the five must not.
All committees must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School or by his or her designee, regardless of whether they meet the normal criteria.
Attendance by a minimum of four members of the Dissertation Defense Committee, including the committee chair and an outside member, is required for the defense to take place. This provision is designed to permit your defense to proceed in case of a situation that unexpectedly prevents one of the five members from attending. Do not plan in advance to have only four members in attendance; if one of those four cannot attend, your defense must be rescheduled. Note that the absence of all outside members or of the committee chair would necessitate rescheduling the defense.
Members of the Dissertation Defense Committee normally attend in person, but one of the five (or, in case of an emergency, one of the four) members may attend virtually instead.
The committee is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the request of the degree program. The student is responsible for making the full text of the dissertation accessible to his or her committee members for their review in advance of the defense. Faculty and graduate students who are interested in the subject of the dissertation are normally welcome to attend all or part of the defense but may ask questions only at the discretion of the committee members. Though there is some variation among degree programs, the defense ordinarily focuses on the dissertation itself and its relation to the student’s field of expertise.
Dissertation Defense Committee Form
Submission of the Dissertation
After the defense, the student must submit an electronic copy of the dissertation on line to the Graduate School. The submission website requires students to choose among publishing and copyrighting services offered by ProQuest UMI, but the University permits students to make whichever choices they prefer. Students are asked to submit a Survey of Earned Doctorates separately. The degree program is responsible for delivering the final approval form, signed by the committee members at the defense and then by the program Chair, to the Graduate School. Students who defend their dissertations successfully have not completed their Ph.D. requirements; they finish earning the degree only when their dissertation submission has been accepted by the Graduate School.
Dissertation Submission Checklist
Examination Approval Form (Submitted by Department)
Survey of Earned Doctorates
The Survey of Earned Doctorates is one of the forms required for graduation.
Please plan to complete your Survey of Earned Doctorates prior to the dissertation deadline. Our office will be notified automatically once you complete the survey. Your electronic submission of your dissertation will not be processed until this email arrives. Do this as soon as possible so that our office has record of its arrival in time for graduation requirements to be met.
You will have the option to have a Certificate of Completion sent to your email address for your records.
The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago conducts this survey for a variety of government bodies including the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Department of Education. The data are used, among other things, to set student stipends. We appreciate your answering all the questions you can, but you may submit the survey with some answers left blank if you cannot locate or choose not to share any piece of information.
Post-Graduation Job Survey
#LINK to webform
Submit to Electronic Thesis & Dissertations (ETD)