The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is by nature and tradition the highest certificate of membership in the academic community. As such, it is meant to indicate the presence of superior qualities of mind and intellectual interests and of high attainments in a chosen field. It is not conferred merely as a certificate to a prescribed course of study and research, no matter how long or how faithfully pursued. All requirements and regulations leading to the doctoral degree are devices whereby the student may demonstrate present capacities and future promise for scholarly work.
A minimum of 90 quarter credits earned over a period of at least three years and completion of a dissertation will earn the doctoral degree. Completion of a master's degree frequently may be applied toward one year of the doctoral program requirements. The QERM core coursework must be taken if the student obtained a master's degree from another institution. In rare instances, students initially accepted into the master's program will be allowed to proceed directly to the doctoral program as detailed in the Masters Degree By-Pass policy.