Oral qualifying examination

Students are expected to pass their oral qualifying exam by the end of the second semester.

Third year paper and advancing to the Ph.D. track

During the third year, each student submits a substantial research paper on a subject that has been agreed upon in consultation with their advisor and other appropriate faculty. Before formal submission to the entire faculty, the paper will be publicly presented and discussed in an open forum to which all faculty and student members of the department are invited. It also must be read and approved by a three-person committee (containing at least one historian and at least one philosopher) selected in consultation with the student’s advisor.

The qualifying paper defense should take place during the fifth semester. The committee of faculty readers has the right to request revisions before giving their approval of the paper for submission to the full faculty.

If they deem the paper satisfactory and the student capable of undertaking dissertation research, the full faculty then votes whether to place the student on the Ph.D. track. If the paper is not satisfactory, the student may resubmit it once more, after having revised it in consultation with their advisor and the committee of readers. If the paper is rejected by the full faculty a second time, the faculty will also decide whether the student should be advised to select a different topic for a qualifying paper or to recommend against placing the student on the Ph.D. track at this or any subsequent time.

Seven year limit for the Ph.D.

The university requires that the dissertation must be defended within seven years of the successful completion of the qualifying examinations. Only under special circumstances will the graduate school grant an extension. This is ample time for most students. A student who does take longer than seven years is required to take qualifying exams again in order to revalidate candidacy (this procedure may be initiated only once).

For further details, consult the section “General Requirements for Advanced Degrees” in the I.U. Bulletin—University Graduate School. Check both the most recent version and the issue of the Bulletin that was in effect when you entered the program. Consult with the director of graduate studies if there is a discrepancy between the two versions.