Doctoral Studies

Doctoral Policies

Matriculation

Matriculation is defined as official enrollment for study leading to a degree.

After you have been formally admitted into a doctoral program, you will receive notification from the Graduate Admissions Office. You will also receive a statement of requirements indicating the total number of graduate credits required for completion of the degree. For information regarding application deadlines and procedures, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions 212-998-5030.

Full-time doctoral students are required to complete the degree within eight years of the date of matriculation (indicated on each student's statement of requirements) with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

Maintaining Matriculation

In order to maintain matriculation, all doctoral students are required to register for a minimum of 3 credits each semester (exclusive of summers). The School's Leave of Absence policy does not apply to doctoral students. After the completion of course work, or during a break in course work, doctoral students are required to register for the one-credit Doctoral Advisement Fee (DCADV-GE 3400), or departmentally approved one-credit substitution, each semester until graduation or each semester until resuming enrollment in courses (see "Doctoral Advisement - Maintaining Matriculation").

Reinstatement of Matriculation

If you fail to maintain continuous matriculation and allow your matriculation to lapse, you must request reinstatement. All requests for reinstatement must be approved by the academic department, as indicated on the required form (download on the forms page), and are contingent upon satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree and payment of the Doctoral Advisement Fee, retroactively, for any and all semesters when you were not registered for course work (exclusive of summers). Students should note that reinstatement approvals are not automatic and such requests may be denied at the discretion of the department.

Extension of Matriculation

Doctoral matriculation expires eight years from the date of matriculation for full-time students, and ten years from the date of matriculation for part-time students. In the event you are unable to complete the degree within the matriculation period, your matriculation is automatically terminated without notice.

If extraordinary circumstances prevent you from completing the degree within the matriculation period, you may request an extension of matriculation.

Full-time students who do not complete the degree within eight years should contact their academic advisors regarding the procedure to request an extension of up to two years (ten years from the date of initial matriculation).

The following policies apply to extending doctoral matriculation beyond ten years:

  • An extension of matriculation must be requested in writing prior to the end of the ten-year matriculation period. The form for requesting an extension is available from the Office of Research and Doctoral Studies, Pless Hall, 5th Floor. Download the Form for Requesting an Extension.
  • All requests for extension require the approval of the student's dissertation committee chairperson and the chairperson of the department as indicated on the above-mentioned form. Extension requests are also subject to the approval of the Associate Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies.
  • Students should also be aware that extensions are approved only if the student is making adequate progress toward the completion of the degree. For example, if by the end of the matriculation period, the student does not have an approved dissertation proposal, it is unlikely that an extension will be approved.
  • No request for extension will be considered if the student has not been admitted to degree candidacy and does not have an approved dissertation committee prior to the end of the matriculation period.
  • All requests for extension must be accompanied by a statement explaining the reasons for the inability to complete the degree within the matriculation period, a student copy of the transcript, a detailed description of remaining work, and a proposed timetable for the completion of that work including a projected date of graduation. This timetable must be considered reasonable by the dissertation committee and must include ample time for review of dissertation drafts prior to the dissertation filing deadline.
  • Course work must represent a currency of knowledge in the student’s field at the time of graduation; therefore, any course completed more than ten years prior to the anticipated date of graduation, or any course completed within ten years with substantive changes in content, must be evaluated by the appropriate department chairperson. Any course not considered current in content must be repeated or an appropriate substitution must be completed.

The above-mentioned requirements are in addition to any eligibility requirements mandated by a student's department, program, or dissertation committee chairperson. Some programs do not approve extensions at all or restrict them to less than one year. Students are advised to discuss this matter with their program faculty well in advance of the expiration of matriculation.

Please note that the eight-year matriculation period is in effect for all full-time students beginning with the fall 2008 semester. Students whose initial date of matriculation was prior to fall 2008 have a ten-year period within which to complete the degree.

Termination of Matriculation/Degree Candidacy

A member of the faculty or dissertation committee may at any time recommend the termination of a student's matriculation (or degree candidacy) to the Dean's office, provided that such recommendation is accompanied by substantiating evidence.

Reasons for recommending termination of matriculation may include, but are not restricted to, poor academic performance, academic misconduct (including plagiarism), and lack of satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements.

Matriculation is automatically terminated under the following circumstances:

  • Expiration of the matriculation period without an approved extension
  • Two outcomes of fail on the departmental candidacy examination
  • Two outcomes of fail on the final oral examination

Doctoral Advisement - Maintaining Matriculation

All doctoral students are required to maintain continuous matriculation by registering each semester (exclusive of summers) for DCADV-GE 3400 Doctoral Advisement (1 credit), when not registered for at least three credits of course work. Some departments have a one-point departmental or program seminar that substitutes for DCADV-GE 3400 Doctoral.

Advisement. Consult with your advisor for the appropriate course number if you are using a departmental substitute for DCADV-GE 3400.

As is the case when registering for program and school-wide course requirements, you must consult with your academic advisor prior to registering for DCADV-GE 3400 Doctoral Advisement. Registration for Doctoral Advisement should be completed using New York University's online registration system during designated registration periods. Please be advised that although the course identification number (DCADV-GE 3400) will remain constant, the five-digit course call number needed for online registration will change each semester. Consult the appropriate semester's class schedule for the correct call number. Registering for Doctoral Advisement serves to maintain doctoral matriculation and entitles students to advisement and to the use of all University facilities normally associated with registration in course work, e.g., the libraries, computer labs, etc.

Please note that the Leave of Absence policy for undergraduate and master's degree students does not apply to doctoral students. Doctoral students must register for Doctoral Advisement (or departmentally approved substitution) after the completion of course work, or during a break in course work, each semester until graduation (including the semester in which the final oral examination and graduation occur) or each semester until resuming enrollment in at least three credits of course work. This policy applies to students even if they are not on campus or using University facilities. Students may, however, request a waiver of the fee associated with Doctoral Advisement for a semester for maternity leave or for medical reasons. All such requests must be made in writing to the Office of Research and Doctoral Studies and must be accompanied by a doctor’s note.

You are expected to meet regularly with your academic advisor and/or dissertation committee while registered for Doctoral Advisement and should show steady progress toward the completion of degree requirements (including the proposal and dissertation). Students who are not making adequate progress may not be permitted to continually register for Doctoral Advisement and may be asked to withdraw from the doctoral program.

Credits accumulated by registration in Doctoral Advisement do not count toward your total graduate point requirement specified in your statement of requirements.

Schoolwide Course Requirements

The following 36 credits in the areas indicated are required of all Steinhardt PhD and EdD students and are in addition to the specialization course work required by the specific academic program (the total number of credits is determined by advisement within program guidelines and is indicated on each student's statement of requirements issued by the Office of Graduate Admissions upon approval of matriculation). As is the case with all course work, the courses listed below must be completed according to the recommendation of the student's academic advisor. In order to help students track their academic progress, a degree "check sheet" may be obtained from the Office of Research and Doctoral Studies.

Please note that some programs are in the process of establishing requirements that will replace the general course requirements outlined below. Check with your program advisor to determine the appropriate requirements for your degree program. In all cases, Steinhardt’s minimum residence requirement must be fulfilled in addition to specific program requirements.

Foundations

All students are required to complete 6 credits (two courses) of course work in foundations during the first 24 credits of doctoral study. Graduate courses qualify for the foundations requirement when they are upper division courses (NYUSteinhardt GE level courses or their equivalent in other schools) and designed to broaden students’ access to knowledge outside of the areas of specialization. To this end, courses are considered foundational when they: (1) provide broad basic content, not limited to a single profession, and are outside the student’s specialization, and do not require prerequisites; (2) are based on current scholarship in the arts, humanities, sciences and/or social sciences; and (3) have wide applicability to common issues of the student’s specialization and profession.

Cognate Study

All students are required to complete 6 credits of cognate course work. Cognate courses are electives closely related to and supportive of the student's area of specialization. This course work must be taken outside of the student's program.

Departmental Seminar

All doctoral students must complete a 3-credit departmental seminar course. Seminars are typically offered by each program or department and concentrate on research and theoretical issues related to the program's specialization.

Research Electives

All students are required to register for 15 credits of research electives specifically addressed to preparing you to design and conduct your research. These courses may include:

  • a foundations of research or survey of research methods course offered by the program, department, or School;
  • courses identified as prerequisites for the course used to fulfill the student's specialized research methodology course requirement;
  • a second semester of departmental seminar focusing on research topics in the field of specialization;
  • advanced courses in the areas of research design, data analysis, tests and measurement, and the prerequisites for those courses;
  • additional cognate courses specifically relevant to the dissertation research;
  • courses designed to provide you with support while conducting field-based qualitative research for the dissertation;
  • courses designed to provide you with reading knowledge of modern foreign languages;
  • a second semester of dissertation proposal seminar;
  • courses designed to provide you with the other skills required to conduct and evaluate research, e.g., statistics.

Research courses are taken to acquaint doctoral students with formal research methods and practices and, in particular, to prepare you for dissertation research. Advanced specialized research courses should be taken after *candidacy has been achieved and, preferably, as the dissertation proposal is being shaped, to ensure that selections are relevant to the dissertation.

*Note: this applies to those programs that have candidacy examinations early in the program and not to programs that have candidacy requirements closer to the dissertation proposal stage.

Specialized Research Methodology

All students are required to complete a 3-credit course in specialized methods of research, e.g., RESCH-GE 2135 Historical Research, RESCH-GE 2139 Survey and Correlation Research, RESCH-GE 2134 Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Design and Analysis, APSY-GE 2074 Research Design & Methodology in Behavioral Sciences, RESCH-GE 2141 Qualitative Field Research (note: RESCH-GE 2140 is the required prerequisite to RESCH-GE 2141), etc. The current NYUSteinhardt Graduate Bulletin lists all courses in specialized methods of research along with their course descriptions.

Dissertation Proposal Seminar

All students are required to complete a 3-credit dissertation proposal seminar course which will assist you in preparing your proposal. In some cases, this course may be offered by the academic department, in others, the academic advisor will recommend that the student register for one of the interdepartmental proposal seminars. The NYUSteinhardt faculty recommends that you register for dissertation proposal seminar only after your dissertation committee chairperson has been officially appointed (see Appointment of a Dissertation Committee).

Substitutions and Exemptions

Course substitutions for any of the above requirements must be approved by the academic advisor, the department chairperson, and the Associate Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies.

Advanced standing (or transfer credit) is not granted at the doctoral level. Appropriate course work, however, may be presented for exemption from specific course requirements. Exemptions from course requirements (based on course work completed at another university) must be approved by the academic advisor and the Associate Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies. Course work presented for exemption must have been completed at an accredited institution within ten years of the student's matriculation date, and may not have been applied to another degree. The course work must also have been completed with a grade of A, B or Pass.

Minimum Residence Requirement

All PhD. and EdD students must complete a minimum of 36 points in residence beyond the master's degree which must be on the graduate level. Those students matriculating for the doctorate directly from the baccalaureate are required to complete a minimum of 54 points in residence which must be on the graduate level. Undergraduate courses may not be counted as credit toward a doctoral degree.

With the approval of the academic advisor, appropriate graduate level course work completed at New York University prior to official matriculation (as a non-degree graduate student or taken in excess of a Master’s degree) may be counted toward the residence requirement. Please note that no more than 18 credits completed prior to matriculation may be used.

Plagiarism

Below is information on plagiarism excerpted from Steinhardt’s Statement on Academic Integrity. Additional information on academic integrity, avoiding academic dishonesty, and disciplinary sanctions can be found by reading the full statement. 

Plagiarism, one of the gravest forms of academic dishonesty in university life, whether intended or not, is academic fraud. In a community of scholars, whose members are teaching, learning and discovering knowledge, plagiarism cannot be tolerated.

Plagiarism is failure to properly assign authorship to a paper, a document, an oral presentation, a musical score and/or other materials, which are not your original work. You plagiarize when, without proper attribution, you do any of the following:

  • Copy verbatim from a book, an article or other media
  • Download documents from the Internet
  • Purchase documents
  • Report from other’s oral work
  • Paraphrase or restate someone else’s facts, analysis and/or conclusions
  • Copy directly from a classmate or allow a classmate to copy from you

Your professors are responsible for helping you to understand other people’s ideas, to use resources and conscientiously acknowledge them, and to develop and clarify your own thinking. You should know what constitutes good and honest scholarship, style guide preferences, and formats for assignments for each of your courses. Consult your professors for help with problems related to fulfilling course assignments, including questions related to attribution of sources.

Pass/Fail Option

Students have the option of taking courses on a pass/fail basis. The maximum of such courses is determined by the program and/or the academic advisor, but may not exceed 25 percent of the student's total program (and may not exceed 25 percent of the specialization requirement).

Pass/fail option forms may be obtained from NYU Steinhardt's Office of Registration Services (82 Washington Square East, 2nd Floor) and must be filed in the Office of the University Registrar (25 West 4th Street) prior to the end of the fifth week of the semester for fall and spring semester courses. For courses taken during the summer semester, pass/fail option forms must be filed prior to the fifth meeting of the course. All pass/fail option forms must be signed by the academic advisor before they are filed with the Office of the University Registrar. The decision to utilize the pass/fail option cannot be changed after the pass/fail option form has been filed (a letter grade will not be recorded).

Incomplete Grades

Under exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the course instructor, an incomplete pass (IP) or an incomplete fail (IF) may be granted, based on the student's performance throughout the course of the semester. The length of the contract period for the completion of the course is fixed by the instructor, but may be no longer than 6 months after the close of the semester (this time limit does not apply to the doctoral Dissertation Proposal Seminar course). If outstanding work has not been completed by the end of the agreed upon time, an "IP" becomes an "N" (no credit) and an "IF" becomes an "F" on the student's academic record. If the outstanding requirements for the course have been completed within the specified time period, that work will be considered along with the remainder of the course performance to determine the student's earned grade. No extension will be granted beyond the end of the contract date specified on the Incomplete Grade Form obtainable in Steinhardt’s Office of Registration Services - 82 Washington Square East, 2nd Floor.

Please note that students with 12 credits or more of IP, IF, or N on their transcripts at any one time will be placed on academic probation. (Consult the NYUSteinhardt Bulletin for complete information on the academic probation policies.)

Student Complaint Procedure

Students whose complaints relate to academic or nonacademic matters and who seek a review of their complaints should follow the procedures outlined below within six months from the time the action occurred and/or the grade was posted. If a student has exhausted the School’s procedures for student complaints and believes that the School’s procedure and/or process for receiving the complaint were not implemented as set forth in NYUSteinhardt’s Student Complaint Procedure, he/she may also seek consultation through the ombudsperson. The ombudsperson, a tenured professor who is elected by students, attempts to achieve equitable resolutions to student complaints by ensuring that processes and procedures are followed.

  1. It is recommended that student complaints begin with the person against whom the complaint is being made. If the issue involves the instructor of a course, the complaint is with the instructor. The student shall first contact the instructor and attempt to resolve the complaint. Pertinent documentation should accompany the complaint.
  2. If the complaint is not resolved at the level of the instructor, the student should schedule an appointment with the program director, the next level for the review of complaints.
  3. If the complaint is not resolved at the level of the program director, the next level of appeal is the department chair. The department chair, at his or her discretion, may call a meeting of the instructor, the program director, and the student. If resolution of the complaint is achieved at either stage 2 or 3, the program director or department chair, respectively, will send a confirmatory memo to all those who have been involved.

If there is no satisfactory resolution of the student complaint at the departmental level in the judgment of the student or if the nature of the complaint involves a personal or confidential matter, the student may proceed as follows:

  1. The student may bring the complaint to the attention of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The Associate Dean is responsible for administering the student complaint procedure and may, when appropriate, make recommendations for the resolution of student complaints.
  2. As a final level of appeal, the student may request a review of the complaint by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who may then refer it to the Dean of NYU Steinhardt.

Full- and Half-Time Equivalency Status

A student is considered full-time by the University when registered each semester for a minimum of 12 credits of course work, and half-time when registered for 6 credits.

Eligible students should apply for equivalency if they must maintain full- or half-time status as a condition of funding, to obtain student loans, defer repayment of student loans, or satisfy student visa requirements.

In order to be eligible for full-time equivalency status, you are expected to spend no less than 40 hours per week on a combination of course work and/or the relevant items which appear below; half-time students, a minimum of 20 hours per week.

  • Candidacy Examination (3 credits of equivalency - granted for one semester only): Three credits of equivalency may be granted during the semester in which you are completing the departmental candidacy examination and/or paper. The appropriate application for the examination must be filed with the Office of Research and Doctoral Studies in order to be eligible for equivalency based on this category.
  • Required Internship (for School Psychology and Counseling Psychology students only): Students in the School Psychology or Counseling Psychology program should contact their academic program office for further information on the required internship.
  • Candidates working on the topic for the dissertation (3 credits of equivalency - granted for one semester only): This category may be used by students who have been admitted to degree candidacy, but have not yet officially appointed a dissertation committee chairperson.
  • Teaching Fellow, Research or Graduate Assistant (6 credits of equivalency): This category may be used only by students with official University appointments as teaching fellows, research assistants or graduate assistants working a minimum of 20 hours per week.
  • Candidates working on the dissertation proposal (maximum of two consecutive years including the respective summer sessions): Students who have officially appointed a dissertation committee chairperson may request up to full-time equivalency status while working on the dissertation proposal. The approval of the dissertation committee chairperson is required (as indicated by signature on the equivalency form) in order to be eligible for this category.
  • Supervised research on the dissertation: Students who have successfully completed the dissertation proposal review process may request up to full-time equivalency while working on the dissertation. The approval of the dissertation committee chairperson is required (as indicated by signature on the equivalency form) in order to be eligible for this category.

All requests for equivalency status must be approved by the academic advisor (or dissertation committee chairperson if required), as well as the Dean's representative in the Office of Research and Doctoral Studies. No student's application for equivalency status will be considered unless that student is registered for a minimum of 3 credits of coursework, or Doctoral Advisement, or other departmentally approved 1-credit substitution.

Admission to Degree Candidacy

All doctoral students are required to satisfy a departmental candidacy requirement. Departments and programs use different methods for determining a student's eligibility for admission to degree candidacy, e.g., written tests, oral tests, research papers, performances, other creative work, etc., alone or in combination.

You should consult your department or program office for specific information on the candidacy requirement for your program. You should also obtain information regarding examination scheduling and deadline dates from your department.

You should file an application for the doctoral candidacy examination with the Office of Research and Doctoral Studies three to four weeks prior to the examination date established by the department.

Prerequisites to Application for Admission to Degree Candidacy

NYU Steinhardt policy requires that you meet the following two eligibility requirements prior to taking the candidacy examination:

  • You must be fully matriculated. This means that you have been accepted for matriculation, have enrolled in course work and have received your official statement of requirements from the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  • You must be in good academic standing with a minimum 3.0 cumulative doctoral grade point average, and have no more than 12 credits on your transcript that are incomplete (IP, IF, or N)

Please note that the above-mentioned requirements are in addition to any prerequisite requirements or eligibility requirements required by your department and/or program.

The Outcome of the Candidacy Examination

The results of the candidacy examination are reported by the academic program or department to the Office of Research and Doctoral Studies. That office will, in turn, officially notify you and the Office of the University Registrar by letter.

The candidacy examination may result in a pass, deferred pass with conditions, or a fail.

If the candidacy examination results in a deferred pass with conditions, you will be notified by the department or program of what is required in order to have the conditions removed. If the candidacy examination results in a fail outcome, matriculation is suspended and you must request permission from the department to retake the examination. A second opportunity to sit for the examination may or may not be

allowed, depending on program or departmental policy. If you pass the second candidacy examination, doctoral student status is restored.

Please note that NYUSteinhardt policy does not allow any doctoral student to take the candidacy examination more than twice. In the event that a student fails the candidacy examination a second time, matriculation in the doctoral program is automatically terminated.

Dissertation Committees, Proposal, and Dissertation Guidelines