Doctoral students will complete two primary research requirements in the program and will establish various supervisory committees to help guide them through these research milestones. It is the student's responsibility to meet all of the requirements for pre-dissertation and dissertation research, which are required for graduation.

The first requirement is a pre-dissertation research project (PDP) to be completed by the end of the second year of study. A pre-dissertation project proposal must first be approved by each students' Advisory (or Supervisory) Committee and then the project will be carried out under mentor supervision. Students are required to deliver a final written product to their Advisory (or Supervisory) Committee, and also complete a final presentation of the results at the Doctoral Research Forum.  The expectation is that the pre-dissertation project will result in a publishable paper. Students will register for SPHSC 600 credits while completing the PDP.

The second requirement is the Doctoral Dissertation, which is expected to be a significant contribution to knowledge in the field and must clearly indicate research competence. Students should familiarize themselves with the Doctoral Degree Policies established by the UW Graduate School.  In summary, students are required to first submit a dissertation proposal to their Doctoral Supervisory Committee for approval and this committee will then the student in carrying out appropriate research for the dissertation. Upon completion of their dissertation research, students are required to complete a final examination which involves an oral defense and public presentation. The written dissertation must also be submitted by the UW deadlines and using the format requirements established by the Graduate School. Students must register for a minimum of 27 credits of SPHSC 800 over a period of at least three quarters. 

Throughout the doctoral program, each student’s participation in research will be evaluated at least once a year.  Students may obtain from the Graduate Program Adviser a form titled “Evaluation of Student Research Participation.”  This form should be completed in duplicate by the student’s research mentor:  one copy to the student, one copy for the student file.

Students should consult their Doctoral Curriculum Guide and contact their Academic Advisor with any procedural questions related to their doctoral dissertation, including establishment of Supervisory or Reading committees.