PhD Requirements

Requirements for Completing the Ph.D. Program

The Program Advisory Committee

Students in the doctoral program must have a Program Advisory Committee. Between the acceptance of the student and the formation of the student’s Program Advisory Committee, members of the Doctoral Studies Committee will participate in an interim Program Advisory Committee.

The Committee is composed of the student, the student’s supervisor (who is a full member of graduate faculty and a member of the School), and at least two other members of UBC graduate faculty with related research interests. The supervisor will be determined prior to acceptance of the student into the program. The entire committee will be formed within the first term in the program. The Program Advisory Committee will determine a plan for the student’s coursework and research until the time comes for the Dissertation Committee to be formed.

Requirements

Students in the doctoral program must complete the following requirements before they can be awarded a Ph.D. degree:

Students admitted to a doctoral program will normally be expected to spend the equivalent of at least two consecutive years of full-time study at the University (see “Grad Studies” for the expected timeline of study, and information on graduate student status). As two years is the minimum required by the UBC Faculty of Graduate Studies and many faculty supervisors have additional expectations, students should discuss the time period with potential supervisors in order to learn if they have full-time study expectations beyond the minimum.

Coursework and directed research training to be completed by each student will be determined by the student’s Program Advisory Committee, which will take into account the student’s background and specific interests in audiology and speech sciences. Coursework will include courses in research methodology and in major and minor areas of specialization. The sequence of courses and seminars will total at least 18 credits beyond the Master’s degree. Course requirements must be completed at a level acceptable to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies before the student may take the comprehensive examination.

a) Research Methodology: Each student will be expected to develop conceptual and analytical skills appropriate for the evaluation of theories and the analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative data pertaining to their area of research. This will require students to complete courses in a major area of interest, directed towards the dissertation research. Students will be expected to acquire knowledge of earlier and current theories, issues, research practices, and empirical findings in the area, as well as conducting their own empirical research. Also, students will be expected to develop at least one minor area of expertise. The minor area(s) will usually be taken outside the School. Courses will be selected by the Program Advisory Committee in consultation with representatives from appropriate departments.

b) Directed Research: In addition to the research leading to the dissertation, starting in the first year each student will be expected to participate in some directed research. The nature of this research will be planned by the program advisory committee. It may be conducted under the direction of, or in co-operation with the supervisor or another faculty member. The student will be encouraged to report the results of these investigations at School seminars, at appropriate conferences and/or in appropriate publications.

Review of progress made in coursework and directed research will take place at least once a term. The supervisor will call a meeting of the student’s Program Advisory Committee with the purpose of monitoring the student’s progress and planning ongoing work. The student’s Program Advisory Committee will report on progress and program plans to the Doctoral Studies Committee in April of each year, and will submit a written report to the Graduate Advisor. A student is expected to maintain a standing acceptable to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (see Graduate Studies Calendar). A student will be asked to withdraw from doctoral studies if overall progress has not been satisfactory.

The comprehensive examination will take place following completion of all required coursework, normally in the second or third year of the program. Research competence and knowledge of the major and minor areas of study will be assessed through completed coursework and a written comprehensive examination.

The exact form of the written examination will be determined by the Program Advisory Committee. The examination will be marked by the Program Advisory Committee and possibly by others designated by the Program Advisory Committee. In all cases, the decision as to whether the examination has been passed will be based on an evaluation by no fewer than three members of the UBC graduate faculty, all of whom are conducting related research, including at least one faculty member from the School. In the event that the student’s performance is not considered by the committee to be satisfactory, the committee may decide to allow a “make-up” examination. The chair of the committee will report the decision and recommendations of the committee to the Graduate Advisor and to the Doctoral Studies Committee.

A student will typically be recommended for admission to candidacy when he/she has:

  1. Completed all coursework and research training as required by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and according to the plan set out by the program advisory committee;
  2. Passed the comprehensive examination;
  3. Had a dissertation proposal approved by the Dissertation Committee.
  4. Completion of the degree further requires that the student write a dissertation passed by an examination committee according to the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

A Dissertation Committee is struck after the comprehensive examination has been passed. The student and supervisor will invite at least two other members of the UBC graduate faculty to participate in the Dissertation Committee. The Committee will work with the student and supervisor throughout the remainder of the student’s work in the program. In some cases, the Program Advisory Committee may become the Dissertation Committee.

A written dissertation proposal will be prepared by the student describing his or her dissertation research plan, including a clear indication of anticipated resources and timeline. This proposal must be approved by the Dissertation Committee. The chair of the Committee will report the decision and the recommendations of the committee regarding the proposal to the Doctoral Studies Committee in April, and will submit a written recommendation to the Graduate Advisor.

The dissertation, marking the culmination of the candidate’s studies, will embody results of independent, substantial, original research. Review and examination of the dissertation includes the following:

a) Ongoing Review of Progress: The members of the Dissertation Committee will meet with the student individually and as a group, as appropriate and as required by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. At a minimum, the committee will meet as a group annually to review progress and update the plans for completion of the dissertation. The chair will provide a report of this annual meeting to the Doctoral Studies Committee, with a written report to the Graduate Advisor.

b) Final Oral Examination: Each candidate will defend his or her dissertation following the procedures established by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.