Personalized Learning Plan
Credit hour requirements
26 credit hours (approximately 8 technical 3-credit hour courses + 2 seminar 1-credit hour courses) of graduate coursework, of which five courses (3-credit courses, 15 credits total) MUST be as follows:
All eight of the technical courses must be taken for a letter grade.
Students must pass a qualifying exam, typically at the end of their first year. This is required for students to continue in the Ph.D. program. This exam has both written and oral components. Detailed instructions for the qualifying exam are available at the graduate office and are provided to students in advance.
Students who pass the qualifying exam, must also pass a dissertation proposal before they can be admitted to doctoral candidacy. Students must identify a doctoral dissertation committee of at least five faculty members in consultation with their supervisor and the graduate advisor. This proposal exam includes both a written and an oral component. The written component involves submitting an NSF- or NIH-style proposal (maximum 15 pages) to the student’s dissertation committee two weeks prior to defending it orally to the same committee. The proposal exam typically takes places by the end of the second year or beginning of the third year.
Final Oral Defense
To graduate from the Ph.D. program, doctoral candidates are required to pass their final oral defense, which includes both written and oral components. The written component, the dissertation, is a report on the student's original research and should be submitted to the student's dissertation committee approximately a month in advance of the scheduled defense. The oral component is the presentation of this research to the dissertation committee. The final oral defense typically occurs between the fourth and sixth year.
Teaching Assistant Requirements
All Ph.D. students are expected to participate as a teaching assistant (TA) for two semesters. The department recommends that students serve sometime in their first and third years, but the timing of this service will depend on the needs of the department and the recommendation of the student's research supervisor.
Graduate Research Assistantship
For the duration of the program, Ph.D. students conduct research in their supervisor's lab. As long as students remain in good standing with the program and their supervisor, they are provided full financial support, either as a Graduate Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, or through one of many fellowhships available to students.
For questions about our graduate program, contact the contact Graduate Coordinator Krystal Peralez or Graduate Advisor, Professor Andy Dunn.
Helpful Links for Grad Students
Need a safe walk home from campus?
SURE Walk is a student-run volunteer group that provides walks to and from campus to UT students, faculty and staff, with the help of student volunteers. SURE Walk is in service Monday-Thursday, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. during the fall and spring semesters.
To use SURE Walk, call 512-232-9255 or email email@example.com.