PhD Program Structure

DESCRIPTION      OBJECTIVES     STRUCTURE      STUDENTS     FACULTY      ADMISSION
 

ATLAS PhD students work in many different field areas at the intersections of Technology, Media and Society so the program is designed to flexibly allow many combinations of coursework. The foundational curricula common to all students include the following:

• At least one qualitative and one quantitative methods course, which may be taken in a variety of departments. Any exception to this requirement must be approved by the student’s committee and the graduate chair, if it is judged that the student’s proposed research does not contain an evaluative component.
• ATLAS 7000, the ATLAS PhD seminar, is required of each student every semester that they are in the PhD program. In each academic year, it will involve topics and readings from each of the areas of study and research in the PhD. It will provide students with breadth by exposing them to this range of topics, familiarity with current issues, and an understanding of critical evaluation and research methods.
• The remaining coursework that students will take can be viewed as coming from three categories (although some courses fit into more than one of these areas).

Each student in the program will take significant coursework from at least two, and in many cases all three, of these categories:

• Technical foundations
•Social foundations
•Digital media foundations

In addition to these requirements, the following general guidelines shall apply:

• Course studies leading to the PhD degree must be sufficient to provide the breadth and depth of knowledge to pursue their subsequent research and to have a broad grounding in issues in Technology, Media and Society. A minimum of thirty credit hours of courses numbered 5000 or above is required; however, the number of hours of formal courses will ordinarily be larger than this. (The ATLAS PhD seminar is not part of this thirty credit hour course requirement.) In addition, a minimum of thirty credit hours of dissertation work is required for all doctoral degrees.
• Doctoral students may transfer up to 21 semester hours of graduate course work from another institution; however, such transfer credit must be approved by the student’s committee, and by the ATLAS Graduate Program Director.
• All students in the PhD program will be expected to gain experience, either individually or with faculty or other students, in writing papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, in presenting their research at professional workshops or conferences, and in writing research grant proposals. Students considering teaching careers will be expected to engage in learning the art and science of excellent teaching. Students with a deficiency in spoken or written English, whether international or domestic, will be required to take one or more courses in spoken or written English, or other remediation, to address this deficiency. All students will be encouraged to attend professional lectures and colloquia on campus and in the region, beyond the ATLAS PhD seminar, in fields relevant to their interests.

First semester
Each student will work with a committee of at least three faculty members, at least two of whom are ATLAS Faculty Fellows, to begin design of a customized course of study that addresses that student’s interests and provides the breadth and depth of knowledge needed for their dissertation research and to start their career.
• ATLS 7000, PhD Seminar (required) 1 credit.
• 2-3 additional courses as determined by student’s plan of study. Students are encouraged to take required quantitative and qualitative analysis courses during this year of study.
• Likely a research assistantship or teaching assistantship.

Second semester
By the end of the semester, each student must have designed a Program Proposal that describes his/her goals, remaining course plan, and research plan, and have had his or her Program Proposal approved by their initial committee in a Program Proposal Presentation.
• ATLS 7000, PhD Seminar (required) 1 credit.
• 2-3 additional courses as determined by student’s plan of study.
• Likely a research assistantship or teaching assistantship.

Third semester
Student begins to explore research in proposed field of study, engaging in fieldwork if warranted.
• ATLS 7000, PhD Seminar (required) 1 credit.
• 2-3 additional courses as determined by student’s plan of study.
• Likely a research assistantship or teaching assistantship.

Fourth semester
Student continues research in proposed field of study, engaging in fieldwork if warranted.
• ATLS 7000, PhD Seminar (required) 1 credit.
• 2-3 additional courses as determined by student’s plan of study.
• Likely a research assistantship or teaching assistantship.
At the end of this semester, student may take the Preliminary Examination developed by the advisory committee. The Preliminary Examination will demonstrate the student’s preparation for scholarly work in his/her chosen area. The student must pass this exam prior to the end of the fifth semester in the program.

Fifth semester
The student assembles a dissertation committee consisting of five or more members of the graduate faculty, at least three of whom are ATLAS Faculty Fellows. This committee may include scholars from academia or industry from outside the university, who have been admitted to the graduate faculty. The student develops and presents a dissertation proposal to this committee.
• ATLS 7000, PhD Seminar (required) 1 credit.

Sixth through Eighth semester
The student will pass a comprehensive exam given by the dissertation committee based on this proposal, complete the dissertation, and pass a final dissertation defense.
• ATLS 7000, PhD Seminar (required) 1 credit.

 

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