Uniformed Services University
Graduate Education Office
Building A, Room A1045
4301 Jones Bridge Road Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799
Graduate Education Office
Toll Free: (800) 772-1747
Main: (301) 295-9474/3913
Fax: (301) 295-6772
Dr. Gregory Mueller (Acting)
Graduate Education Specialists
Doctoral Degrees Requirements
In addition to the following requirements, special departmental requirements may be imposed. Students should be certain to check with the department regarding any special requirements.
Program and Course Requirements
The minimum residency requirements for the Ph.D. degree will be 36 months of full-time graduate study. No student will receive financial support from USU appropriated funds as a predoctoral teaching/research assistant for a total period of more than four years. All requirements for the Ph.D. degree must be completed no later than seven years after initiating the program of graduate study at USU. For individuals who possess a relevant advanced degree (M.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., M.S., etc.) and who have successfully completed most of the formal graduate level courses required for the Ph.D. degree before admission to graduate study at USU, an exemption from the 36 months minimum residency requirement may be considered by the graduate faculty of the department in which enrolled. Each case will be decided individually on its merits, and an exception may be granted only with the approval of the Graduate Education Committee acting on the recommendation of the appropriate graduate program faculty.
Formal course work, participation in USU School of Medicine teaching programs as research fellows or senior research fellows, directed research, and participation in other academic activities in approved programs of graduate study are all components of the predoctoral graduate education program at USU. Academic credit will be given for participation in these activities. Full-time status for trainees in graduate education programs will be defined as 12 or more credit hours per academic quarter.
The academic content of several basic sciences and clinical sciences courses includes participation in laboratory experiences which may involve the use of laboratory animals. Participation in these laboratories is mandatory. Failure to participate in these laboratories will result in sufficient grounds for course failure and review by the Graduate Education Committee and potential disenrollment as discussed in this section.
The minimum requirement for formal course work will be 48 credit hours, and the minimum requirement for total academic credit will be 144 credit hours.
Language/Computer Science Requirement
A reading knowledge of one foreign language or the demonstration of proficiency in computer science may be required based on one's program of study. This is a departmental option to be determined by the department based on the needs of the individual student in relation to his or her program of study.
The qualifying examination for each approved program of study shall be conducted and graded by a committee consisting of a minimum of four graduate faculty members at the rank of assistant professor or above. Three members must be from the department and have a primary academic affiliation in the graduate program for which the degree is to be granted. The fourth member may hold either a faculty position in the department or in another department at USU or have an appointment outside of USU. Additional members if desired, may either hold a faculty position at USU or have an appointment outside of USU. The majority of the Committee must always have full-time appointments at USU and be members of the Department granting the degree. The Examination Committee shall be appointed by the director of the graduate program for which the qualifying examination is given.
Advancement to Candidacy
Aspirants for the Ph.D. degree must complete all requirements for advancement to candidacy no later than two years of attendance after initiating a program of study at USU, unless they are granted an exception recommended by the Chairperson of their department and approved by the Graduate Education Committee. The Graduate Education Committee may approve a delay for a period not to exceed one year. These requirements include the language/computer science requirement (departmental option), the minimal requirement of 48 credit hours of formal course work at the graduate level, a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B), and successful completion of the qualifying examination. When these requirements have been met, the program director shall submit to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education via the departmental chairperson a request for advancement which indicates successful completion of language/computer science courses (if required), and documentation of successful completion of the qualifying examination including the dates of the examination, and description of the format of the examination, and the grade given on the examination. In addition, the Initial Report of the Thesis Advisory Committee Form (USUHS Form 641) must be completed and submitted to the Graduate Education Office before a student can be Advanced to Candidacy. Final approval of advancement to candidacy shall rest with the Associate Dean for Graduate Education acting on the recommendation of the appropriate graduate program faculty.
Deadlines For Graduation
The student should be aware of the various deadlines for the final requirements in the academic quarter in which he or she expects to graduate. All graduate students expecting to graduate in any given academic quarter must make application in the Office of Graduate Education by the deadline date for the diploma in that academic quarter.
A written dissertation based on the original experimental research will be required of all aspirants for the Ph.D. degree in any of the basic medical sciences. An alternative thesis format may be submitted in lieu of the standard dissertation. Both formats can be obtained from the Graduate Education Office.
An Examination Committee will be formed to read the dissertation, to certify its acceptability as to scope and quality, and to conduct the defense of the dissertation. The defense of the dissertation will consist of a public seminar followed by an oral examination. The oral examination will be closed to the public and will be conducted by an Examination Committee.
Requirements for Formation of the Graduate Student Ph.D. Thesis Advisory Committee
- 1. The Thesis Advisory Committee will consist of no fewer than four members.
- a. Three of these Committee members must have a doctoral degree, an academic rank of Assistant Professor or above, and an appointment in the USU Graduate Program from which the degree is to be granted.
- b. Additional members may hold a faculty appointment at USU or have an equivalent appointment outside of USU. However, at least one member of the Committee must not have a primary or secondary appointment of any kind in the Graduate Program granting the degree.
- 2. The majority of the members of the student?s Committee must have a full-time appointment at USU and must be members of the Graduate Program granting the degree. An exception to this requirement may be granted at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Graduate Education upon submission of a written justification.
- 3. Individual Program requirements may be more stringent than those of the Graduate Education Office and may result in placing additional requirements for the formation of the Committee.
Outside appointments will be recommended by the Departmental Graduate Affairs Committee and must be approved by the department chairperson. The majority of the Committee must always have full-time appointments at USU, and be members of the department granting the degree. The chairperson of the Examining Committee shall be appointed by the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and may be any eligible member of the graduate faculty other than the candidate's faculty mentor. The other members of the Committee shall be appointed by the director of the graduate program for which the degree is to be granted. The results of this examination with the signatures of the members of the Examination Committee certifying the student's qualifications for the degree shall be transmitted to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education. Following review and approval by the Dean of the School of Medicine, the Dean will recommend to the Board of Regents that the Ph.D. degree be awarded.
Graduate Student Grading, Promotion, and Dismissal Procedures. Standards of performance and procedures regarding academic status for graduate students are contained in USU Instruction No. 1306 "Academic Standing of Graduate Students" of 4 January 1996. A summary of these standards is as follows:
- Satisfactory academic standing is defined as a cumulative grade point average of B (3.0), with no grade below "C" in any course.
- Satisfactory academic standing is determined both by performance in formal courses and by the aspects of academic performance, including skills, attitudes and attributes judged by the graduate faculty to be important for success as a basic medical scientist. These include factors such as honesty, integrity, reliability, perception, balanced judgment, personal insight, and the ability to relate to others.
Graduate students will be referred to the Graduate Education Committee for review at the end of the third academic quarter for any of the following reasons:
- 1) When a final grade of "D" or "F" is received in any course.
- 2) When the cumulative grade point average is below 3.0 at the end of the third academic quarter or any time thereafter.
- 3) For failure to maintain appropriate academic standing or violation of academic integrity.
Following review, the Graduate Education Committee may recommend
- 1) Dismissal.
- 2) Appropriate remedial action within a specified period of time. NOTE: A grade of F will not be allowed to stand unremediated on a graduate student's transcript regardless of the student's overall academic performance. If a grade of D is received in a course, the Committee may require remedial work depending upon the student's overall academic performance. Grades for the original course and the remedial work will both remain on the student's transcript. In calculating the cumulative GPA, the original D or F and the grade for the remedial work will be averaged, and the averaged grade will be applied to the number of quarter credit hours for the original course to calculate the final grade point average.
- 3) Other action appropriate to the specific cause under review.
Any student reviewed by the Graduate Education Committee and found to be academically deficient will either be recommended for dismissal or placed in a probationary status until a satisfactory academic standing is achieved. Specific details of these policies can be obtained from the Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Education.