Good academic standing
All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.
Good academic standing is a requirement for:
- Holding a Graduate Assistantship
- Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
- Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
- Going on a leave of absence
- Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.
Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.
Department requirements: In the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology degree program, credit will not be awarded for courses in which a grade less than 3.0 is earned. All numerical grades earned are used in computing a student’s grade-point average.
Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.
Related program information
Academic Advising and Advisory Committee
Upon admission, students will work with the Director of Graduate Training to plan their coursework for the first semester. After their fall registration, the role of academic adviser will be assumed by the major professor, who will serve as the mentor and academic adviser for the student as well as the chair of the Master of Science Thesis and/or Doctoral Dissertation Committees. Within the first year of study, the student is required to select an advisory committee consisting of their major professor and two additional faculty members. The advisory committee will (1) assist the student in developing and implementing a plan of study, (2) meet at least annually to evaluate the student’s progress, (3) approve and grade the student’s Master of Science thesis, (4) construct and grade the student’s comprehensive examination, and (5) will usually serve as the student’s doctoral dissertation committee.
Plan of Study
Upon admission, students must develop a plan of study in consultation with their major professor and the Director of Graduate Training. As soon as the student forms an advisory committee, the committee will review and update the plan of study. The plan of study must be submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
At least 24 credits of graduate coursework, excluding the dissertation credits, must be completed at Oakland University. Further, all students are required to register for at least 1 credit every fall and winter semester in every academic year, after their admission to the program.
Master of Science Thesis
Typically, with the consent of their advisory committee, students will complete and defend a Master of Science (M.S.) thesis in the second or third year of the program. The successful completion of original research–demonstrating competence in design, conduct and analysis, the creation of a M.S. thesis–effectively and accurately characterizing the research, communicating the findings and placing the research in context, and the oral defense of the thesis are major features of the M.S. degree. The advisory committee will approve and grade the student’s M.S. thesis and will be responsible for guiding this process and approving the products (i.e., the research, the thesis, and the defense of the thesis). Ordinarily, students will not sit for the comprehensive examination in the same term that they complete and defend their M.S. thesis. Acceptance of the thesis by Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning requires favorable recommendations by the advisory committee. All theses must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation ).
Typically, with the consent of their advisory committee, students will sit for the comprehensive examination in the second or third year of the program. If two of the three members of the advisory committee approve (P) the student’s performance on the comprehensive examination, the student will be considered as having successfully completed the examination. If the student does not pass the examination, the advisory committee may allow the student to retake the examination within one year. Failure to pass the examination within two attempts shall constitute failure in the Ph.D. program. Ordinarily, students will not sit for the comprehensive examination in the same term that they complete and defend their Master of Science thesis.
Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination, each student will be expected to identify a dissertation committee. The dissertation committee will be chaired by the student’s major professor and include two additional faculty members from the Department of Psychology. The student’s advisory committee typically will comprise the dissertation committee. When it is appropriate to the student’s plan of study and approved by the student’s major professor, an outside scholar or expert may be substituted for one of the faculty members from the Department of Psychology. The dissertation committee will guide the student’s dissertation research and creation of the dissertation. A majority of the members must approve the dissertation before it can be defended by the candidate. In addition, the dissertation committee, acting as the defense committee, must approve the candidate’s defense of the dissertation by a majority vote.
Dissertation and Defense
The successful completion of original research—demonstrating competence in design, conduct and analysis, the creation of a doctoral dissertation—effectively and accurately characterizing the research, communicating the findings and placing the research in context, and the oral defense of the dissertation are major features of the doctoral degree. The dissertation committee will be responsible for guiding this process and approving the products—the research, the dissertation, and the defense of the dissertation. Acceptance of the dissertation by Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning requires favorable recommendations by the doctoral dissertation committee. All dissertations must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation ).
Students will be encouraged to participate in research teams involving faculty researchers, M.S. students and undergraduates. Although the major focus will be on increasing the quality and variety of research experiences available to undergraduates, this activity is designed to provide graduate students with directed mentoring experience, particularly when combined with PSY 595, Instruction in Psychological Science .
All students are required to fulfill a residency requirement for this program. Although students may complete some of the program on a part-time basis, continuous full-time enrollment is highly preferred. The minimal residency requirement shall be full-time residency (8 credits per semester) for at least three consecutive full semesters with at least two of these devoted primarily to the student’s research project.
The continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students requires continuous registration of for at least 1 credit each semester in the academic year to maintain active graduate student status. This includes semesters in which the comprehensive exam is taken, defense of the M.S. thesis, and each subsequent term (fall and winter) until the degree requirements are met, and the dissertation is submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
Some agency and graduate assistantship eligibility may have course load requirements that exceed the minimum registration requirements of the Continuous Enrollment Policy (e.g., Veterans Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization for international students, and federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that are required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.
Students generally will be expected to complete the degree program within five years. The maximum time limit for completing a Ph.D. degree is no more than 10 years from the term of the first course enrollment in the doctoral program. The time limit for completing a Ph.D. Degree policy requires a student to achieve candidacy within six years from the first course enrollment in the doctoral program. After being advanced to candidacy, a student is expected to complete the remaining degree requirements within four years (including the dissertation defense). If a student is deemed inactive, he or she may be dropped out of the program despite the petition for extension.