4. Steps for Completing the PhD Study in URSC

The course of study is comprised of six basic steps summarized below. First a student completes the course work, which is comprised of the core curriculum and courses from a specialty. The second step is pursued simultaneously with the first and involves filing a degree plan, which accomplishes two things: 1) it establishes the courses to be taken and 2) it establishes the student’s advisory committee. The third step is to complete the preliminary exam. The fourth step is to identify, develop and defend a proposal for the dissertation research. The fifth step is to conduct the dissertation research and complete the dissertation. Graduation culminates the student’s graduate career at Texas A&M University. Finally, the student seeks employment.

Steps to Completing PHD


  • Notes
  1. Steps 1-10 highlighted in squared boxes are designated in consistence with the pertinent documents from the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS). 
  2. All the detailed forms, documents, and procedures can be accessed from OGS website.
  • OGS Scholastic Requirements

A graduate student must maintain a grade point ratio (GPR) of 3.000 (B average based on a 4.000 scale) for all courses which are listed on the degree plan and for all graded graduate and advanced undergraduate course work (300– and 400– level) completed at Texas A&M and eligible to be applied toward a graduate degree. A graduate student will not receive graduate degree credit for undergraduate courses taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) basis. A graduate student may not receive grades other than satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) in graduate courses bearing the numbers 681, 684, 690, 691, 692, 693, and 695 (except for BUAD 693, AGEC 695 and GEOG 695). Any other graduate course taken on an S/U basis may not be used on a graduate degree plan. Graduate courses not on the degree plan may be taken on an S/U basis.

Only grades of A, B, C and S are acceptable for graduate credit. Grades of D, F or Unsatisfactory (U) for courses on the degree plan must be absolved by repeating the courses at Texas A&M University and achieving grades of C or above or Satisfactory (S). A course in which the final grade is C or lower may be repeated for a higher grade. The original grade will remain on the student’s permanent record, and the most recent grade will be used in computing the cumulative and degree plan GPRs.

The cumulative GPR for a graduate student is computed by using all graded graduate (600—level) and advanced undergraduate (300– and 400– level) course work completed at Texas A&M University and eligible to be applied toward a graduate degree.

If either of the student’s cumulative GPR or the GPR for courses listed on the degree plan falls below the minimum of 3.000, he or she will be considered to be scholastically deficient. If the minimum GPR is not attained in a reasonable length of time, the student may be dropped from graduate studies. The procedures for dismissal are explained in the Texas A&M University Student Rules (refer to the website student-rules.tamu.edu).

Departments or colleges may adopt specific guidelines pertaining to scholastic deficiency or dismissal. Any course work not applied toward a prior graduate degree, and not exceeding time limits, will be included in the student’s GPR for the subsequent degree program.