The Doctor of Philosophy is a degree that is conferred on a student who has demonstrated proficiency in some broad area of learning, and who has proven that he or she has the capability to evaluate work in the field critically. In addition, the student must have demonstrated the ability to work independently and make original contributions to the field. No single prescribed set of courses can be established that, when completed, guarantee that the student has attained this high level. Rather, the degree is conferred after the student has satisfied both a course work and an independent study requirement under the supervision of a committee. Minimum course work and independent study requirements and the composition of the advisory committee for the Ph.D. program are described below.
Graduate students are encouraged to participate in the professional activities of the department. This includes attending seminars and colloquiums, suggesting improvements in curriculum (both undergraduate and graduate), suggesting new teaching techniques and participating in the enhancement of computer hardware and software facilities within the department.