2.1 Degree Requirements

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(A) Minimum Degree Requirements

In addition to satisfying general requirements for admission to the Laney Graduate School, the student seeking the PhD degree must fulfill certain requirements before and during candidacy. Individual programs and divisions may specify additional and more demanding requirements. All requirements for the degree, including receipt by the Laney Graduate School of the dissertation as approved by the student’s program, must be completed within nine years of admission.

(B) TATTO Program

In 1991, the Laney Graduate School inaugurated the Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity (TATTO) program to prepare students to be competent and confident teachers in a variety of settings, including college and university classrooms. Completion of the program is required for all students pursuing the Emory PhD. 

Although many universities have programs for preparing teaching assistants, two characteristics distinguish the Emory program: (1) TATTO is a degree requirement across the Laney Graduate School; and (2) TATTO is a graduated experience involving several stages. 

For more specific information, see Section 2.5 TATTO.

(C) Jones Program in Ethics

The Jones Program in Ethics (JPE) provides broad and deep engagement with the ethical issues of research, scholarship, and professional life for all PhD students in the Laney Graduate School.  This engagement will take place both within broad, interdisciplinary forums and within the student’s graduate program. A student’s engagement with ethics should cover areas relevant to the student’s course of study and should be appropriately staged throughout a student’s career.

Completion of the JPE program is required for doctoral students. For more specific information, see Section 2.6 JPE.

(D) Doctoral Examinations

Doctoral examinations determine the student’s qualifications for advanced study and mastery of the field of specialization. The examinations must verify adequate intellectual mastery in the student’s given area and any required supporting fields. The examinations are usually prepared and administered by the program or division of specialization, and the individual program or division determines the schedule for the general doctoral examinations. If the primary field of study does not lie within one program, the examination may be prepared and administered by a committee appointed by the Dean of the Laney Graduate School. Credit for study completed elsewhere does not exempt the student from any part of the doctoral examinations.

(E) Admission to Candidacy

Students should apply for candidacy as soon as they complete these preliminary degree requirements. Candidacy is a marker of program quality and reflects nationally and internationally on program success. Failure to apply for candidacy at the appropriate time can delay fellowship continuation and in some cases graduation. (Note: Students cannot apply for candidacy and graduate in the same semester. View more details about LGS candidacy requirements.

(F) Doctoral Dissertation

As a fundamental requirement for the PhD degree, a student must demonstrate mastery of methods and tools of research, potential for productive scholarship, and promise as an authority in a special subject. This demonstration is embodied in a dissertation setting forth the results of the student’s original investigations. The dissertation must make an actual contribution to existing knowledge or be a fresh and significant critical interpretation of existing knowledge. It is the most important, concrete proof of the candidate’s scholarly abilities.

The dissertation, approved by the candidate’s adviser and dissertation committee, must be submitted to the Dean of the Laney Graduate School within nine years of admission. Deadlines for submission are indicated in the LGS Academic Calendar. The graduate faculties of the programs have full responsibility for the proper preparation of the dissertation by the student. The Dean of the Laney Graduate School reviews every dissertation. Any errors, including errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar, may result in the dissertation being returned for correction.  A dissertation is not complete until it has been approved by the Dean.

(G) Final Oral Examination

Most programs require a final oral examination or defense of the dissertation. Students should consult program regulations and advisers about program-specific requirements.

Last modified: 8/7/2017