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Degree Requirements

Supervisory Committee

A student admitted to a Ph.D. or Ed.D. program must be under the guidance of a supervisory committee. Refer to Graduate Student Advising.

Credit Requirements

The program of study leading to a Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree must satisfy the following minimum credit requirements:

  • 66 total credits, at least half of which must be earned in courses exclusive of dissertation.
  • All credit applied to meet the credit requirements must be graduate academic credit except that a limited number of credits earned in undergraduate courses outside the major field of study are allowed.
  • At least two thirds (2/3) of the total credit requirement must be earned at Boise State after admission to the program and must be approved for application by the supervisory committee.


Each Ph.D. and Ed.D. student must spend at least one academic year in full-time, on-campus graduate study at Boise State University. Every Ph.D. and Ed.D. student must fulfill this residency requirement or fulfill a substitute requirement or plan that is developed by the program and approved by the Graduate Council.

Comprehensive Examination

Each Ph.D. and Ed.D. student must pass a comprehensive examination that assesses:

  • depth and breadth of knowledge in the major field of study and in one or more related disciplines.
  • readiness to undertake dissertation research.
  • Language Proficiency

    Each Ph.D. and Ed.D. student must be proficient in English and may be required to demonstrate a prescribed level of ability in one or more other languages. If language ability beyond proficiency in English is required, the means of verification are defined by the program.


    Each Ph.D. and Ed.D. student must prepare a dissertation written in clear and effective English that embodies the results of his or her original scholarly research.

    Final Oral Examination

    Each Ph.D. and Ed.D. student must pass a final oral examination that rigorously and deeply probes the ability of the candidate to describe and defend all aspects of the dissertation research in both a public setting and in a private conference the defense committee.

    Duration of Graduate Study

    The minimum duration of study for the Ph.D. and Ed.D. degree is three (3) academic years beyond the baccalaureate degree. All requirements for a Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree (including transfer courses) must be started and completed within a single continuous interval of no more than ten (10) years. This single continuous interval includes summers and any semesters in which the student is not enrolled. In addition, it must encompass all courses applied to the degree, including transfer courses.