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Graduate Students

Pathways to Ph.D. Program

Pathway to the PhD via the Department’s M.S.

Students who have completed the M.S. at WVU must formally apply for admission to the Ph.D. program. 

Pathways to the PhD beside that of the Department’s M.S.

Students who have completed an M.S. at another institution can enter the Ph.D. program; their course work will be evaluated against that of WVU’s M.S. program and each student will be appraised of any course deficiencies that need to be completed as part of his/her course of study under the Ph.D. program. 

Academic standards are similar for the M.S. and Ph.D. program. Thesis research is different in that students are encouraged to use the manuscript model for preparing the results of their research, which consists of a series of interrelated chapters/papers on the topic. The quality and contribution of each chapter/paper should be that of an article published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Some chapters/papers may actually be published in advance of the final dissertation. In fact, this latter approach is generally preferable because the chapter/paper in question will already have gone through peer review by experts outside the institution. 

The form for the dissertation, should include 1) an introductory chapter that clarifies the theme of the dissertation, 2) a number of interrelated papers, and 3) a concluding chapter that synthesizes and integrates the papers and proposes ideas for future work.