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The Doctorate

Graduate School Policies

D.000 - The Doctorate
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D1.000 - General Requirements

There are three general requirements for the doctorate: course work, comprehensive examinations, and the dissertation.


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D2.000 - Course Work

At least 60 semester credits are required for the doctorate; some programs require more.

As of Fall Semester 2011 300 UG (Undergraduate/Graduate) courses will not count toward graduate degrees. 

          D2.100 - Transfer Credits

D2.101 - On the recommendation of the department and approval of the Graduate Dean, credits may be transferred (including an entire Master's Degree and/or credits from a Master's Degree program) from other institutions after a semester in residence.

D2.102 - Credits with grades other than A or B, thesis or correspondence credits, extension credits outside the Montana university system, or credits earned at institutions not offering graduate degrees in the discipline of the course are not transferable.

D2.103 - Graduate transfer credits are added to a student's record only if the student is in a graduate degree program and if the credit is applicable to the degree being sought.

D2.200 - Successful completion of the master's degree does not guarantee progression into a doctoral program.

D2.300 - Time Limits

D2.301 - All requirements for the doctorate must be completed within seven years of commencing graduate course work at The University of Montana (10 years for doctoral students in the School of Education).


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D3.000 - Comprehensive Examinations

At least one semester before the term of graduation, the student will complete examinations (written, oral, or both) covering the major discipline. Minor area and language requirements, if any, must have been completed.

D3.100 - The examining committee, nominated by the student and the program chair and appointed by the Graduate Dean, may be the same as the student's dissertation committee.

D3.200 - Any interested faculty may attend the examination and ask questions on recognition by the chair.

D3.300 - The committee, voting privately, may pass the student with one negative vote.

D3.400 - In case of failure, one repeat examination before the same committee is permitted.


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D4.000 - The Dissertation


The dissertation is an original contribution to knowledge of such substance and literary quality as to warrant publication.

D4.100 - Dissertation Committee Composition

The dissertation committee shall be comprised of five voting members as follows:

1.) A qualified UM faculty member or adjunct from the program or unit granting the degree who shall serve as chair;

2.) A second qualified UM faculty member or adjunct from the program or unit granting the degree;

3.) A third qualified UM faculty member or adjunct from the program or unit granting the degree, or from a cooperating program or unit in the case of interdisciplinary degree programs;

4.) A qualified UM faculty member or adjunct from a program or unit other than the one granting the degree whose primary responsibility is to ensure that the student is held to reasonable academic standards, that the student is treated fairly by all committee members, and that the student's progress is not unduly delayed by failure of committee members to act in a timely manner.

5.) A fifth member who may be either a UM faculty member or adjunct from the program or unit granting the degree (or cooperating program or unit in the case of interdisciplinary degree programs), or a faculty affiliate, non-academic expert, or faculty of another institution of higher learning who has been certified by the Graduate Dean as uniquely qualified by training, experience, and/or degree held to guide and evaluate the dissertation

D4.200 - Appointment of Dissertation Committee Members

Prospective committee members shall be chosen by the student in consultation with his or her academic advisor and the program chair shall forward the nominations to the dean of the Graduate School for his or her approval.

D4.300 - Qualifications of Dissertation Committee Members

Individuals serving on dissertation committees must satisfy the qualifications standards set forth in G.1000.


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D5.000 - Dissertation Defense


A final examination dealing primarily with the dissertation and its relationship to the student's fields of study will be conducted by the dissertation committee.

D5.100 - At least a week before the examination, the committee will meet briefly to determine if the dissertation is ready for defense.

D5.101 - If there is one negative vote, the student's adviser and the Graduate Dean may elect to proceed.

D5.102 - If there are two or more negative votes, the defense will be indefinitely postponed.

D5.200 - The examination is open to the public; anyone may ask questions on recognition by the chair. Only the committee, meeting privately, may vote.

D5.201 - The student will pass if the dissertation is accepted (either as it stands or pending minor revisions) with only one negative vote.

D5.202 - If there are two or more negative votes, the committee may schedule and conduct a second and final examination at least one month after the initial defense. During that time, the student will be asked to make whatever changes are necessary in the dissertation.


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