The degree of doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) is conferred in recognition of two accomplishments: (1) accomplishment in a field of study; and (2) distinguished critical or creative achievement within a special area of the general field, typically taking the form of a doctoral dissertation. A student must devote a minimum of three years of full-time study beyond the bachelor's degree for the Ph.D. Full-time study for one year is represented by 18 credits of coursework or research. At least 60 credits are required for the Ph.D. degree, of which at least 9 credits must be devoted to research (consult the requirements for specific programs, as some require more credits). If any of the work is conducted on a part-time basis, the minimum time required will, accordingly, be longer.
Doctoral programs normally are arranged in two phases. The preliminary phase, which generally involves formal courses of study, is completed when the student passes the qualifying examination. Official candidacy to the doctoral degree is conferred after successfully completing the qualifying examination and having the dissertation committee approve a formally submitted dissertation proposal.
In the second phase, the student usually pursues research courses and writes his or her dissertation. This phase concludes when the dissertation is accepted and the defense of it is approved.
Between admission to the Graduate School-Camden and the conferral of the Ph.D. degree, the student must: (1) satisfy the course and other preliminary requirements of the particular graduate program in which the student is enrolled; (2) make satisfactory progress toward completion; (3) assemble a dissertation committee of no fewer than three members, subject to approval by the graduate program committee; (4) pass the qualifying examination; and (5) successfully defend the dissertation as determined by the dissertation committee.