General Requirements

Each student will develop a detailed program plan with the consultation of their department advisor to outline their next two years of course work , take the written comprehensive exam, fulfill their teaching requirement, and complete their dissertation. Besides these general requirements, students work with faculty on various research assignments that ultimately may be published in a top-ranked journal in their field.

A typical plan of a Smith doctoral student is as follows:

  • Two years of course work.
  • End of year two, students must take the written comprehensive exam.
  • End of year three, students must advance to candidacy.
  • End of year four, students must propose their dissertation.
  • End of year four, students must fulfill their teaching requirements.
  • Year five allows the student to enter the job market and complete their dissertation.

Course Work

Students are required to not only take coursework in their concentration (program). Students will fulfill a second minor in Research Tools as it is not only required but necessary for each student to be successful in the program. Students are required to take 10 credits in their first and second year of the program to ensure that the proper courses are taken prior to the comprehensive exam.

Course work is outlined as follows:

  • Major course requirement (6 courses)
  • Research tools requirement (4 courses)
  • Dissertation credits requirement (a minimum of 12 credits)

Additional course requirements vary between the areas of concentration and the student’s previous academic history.

Comprehensive Exams

Students in all areas must pass a written comprehensive exam upon completion of their major coursework requirements. The comprehensive exam is specific to the area of concentration and administered at the end of the second year. Students in the Operations Management/Management area of concentration take the written comprehensive exam upon completion of their first academic year and take the oral comprehensive exam upon completion of their second academic year. Students in the Finance area of concentration must take a written qualifying exam upon completion of their first academic year and the written comprehensive exam upon completion of their second academic year. Students must obtain a “pass” or a “high pass” to successfully progress in the program.

Working Papers

Students are required to submit at least 1 working paper before they can advance to candidacy. The paper needs to be completed and presented to the department. Advisor(s) will sign off on the paper requirement. Some concentrations require the submission of 2 working papers before advancing to candidacy. See the areas of concentration for specific information about this.

Advancement to Candidacy

Upon completion of all required course work, passing of the comprehensive exam and successful completion of any working papers, students may advance to candidacy. Advancement to candidacy is the transition of moving from student to scholar or doctoral candidate. This should be done no later than the end of the third academic year. When students advance, they are automatically registered for their dissertation credits each academic semester until successful completion of the program.

Dissertation Proposal

All doctoral candidates must propose their dissertation no later than the end of their fourth academic year to ensure satisfactory progress in the program and thus fifth-year funding. The dissertation proposal requires the doctoral candidate not only to assemble a dissertation committee but also to propose their dissertation research and prepare for successful completion of the dissertation defense.

Dissertation Defense

In order to complete the program and obtain the degree, the doctoral candidate must successfully defend the dissertation to the dissertation committee (approved by the University of Maryland Graduate School) and submit the dissertation to the Graduate School for further review and archiving.

Additional Requirements

Maintenance of Standing

The status and progress of students in the PhD program are continuously monitored, including an annual review by the doctoral committee in the area of concentration. Students anticipating problems or delays in their work are urged to consult the program director and their area advisor as soon as difficulties arise. A short leave of absence from the program is often the best way to deal with difficulties caused by short-term health or personal problems.

Provisional Admission

All doctoral students must maintain a 3.25 overall GPA during each academic year of their program. If a student falls below the 3.25 overall GPA for the academic year, the student may automatically be put on provisional admission and be reviewed each academic semester. In the situation where a student fails one course, the department/program will review and rule on the situation.

Annual Review/Summer Report

Each year the students are asked to complete two reports: an annual review and a summer report. The annual review is due by March 1 every year and entails written feedback from the department/program by May 1. Students’ funding is dependent upon satisfactory progress feedback from this report. The summer report is due at the end of each summer and reports research and other activities accomplished over the summer.

Time Requirements

All course requirements and exams must be completed and advancement to candidacy accomplished within a five-year period. The degree must be received within four years of advancement to candidacy or nine years of admission, whichever is later, but not less than six months after advancement to candidacy. These policies are in compliance with the University of Maryland Graduate School.

Areas of Specialization

Each area of concentration (program) may have specific requirements to their program or may have requirements based upon the student’s academic history.

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