Doctoral Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy degree, as granted at the University of California, means that the recipient possesses knowledge of a broad field of learning and has given evidence of distinguished attainment in that field; it is a warrant of critical ability and powers of imagination and synthesis. It means, too, that the candidate has presented a dissertation containing an original contribution to the knowledge of the chosen field of study.

Students working toward a doctorate must be registered and in university residence for a minimum of six regular quarters. Experience indicates that it takes considerably longer than this to complete a degree program. Two consecutive regular Summer Sessions may count as the equivalent of one regular quarter.

There is no university unit requirement for the doctoral degree. However, individual programs have course requirements that must be completed before admission to the qualifying examination.

After successful completion of the Qualifying Examination, the student must file for Advancement to Candidacy for the degree. Graduate students in certain Ph.D. programs may participate in a Designated Emphasis a specialization that might include a new method of inquiry or an important field of application which is related to two or more existing Ph.D. programs.

For more information on the Doctoral degree, please see Admissions, Fellowships, Scholarship and Grants, Research Facilities or Student Support