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Doctoral Degree Process

PhD, Food Studies

The doctoral degree process is determined in consultation with an advisor.

  1. Upon entering the program, you will be assigned an initial advisor who will help you select courses and get started in the degree process. You should meet with your advisor at least once each semester to determine courses, discuss doctoral degree requirements, and assess progress towards your degree. Your advisor will help you plan the timing for your comprehensive exam, proposal defense, and provide overall management of your dissertation.
  2. Attend FOOD-GE 3400 Doctoral Seminar for 0 or 1 credit every semester.
  3. Begin taking foundation courses in food studies as well as research methods, theory, practice, and cognate studies (related to but not in your field of specialization). You will then take 15 credits of specialization courses that reflect your specific interests, your research, and your dissertation project. Ideally, you will complete the majority of your course work in the first two years of doctoral study. 
  4. Begin developing your reading list for your comprehensive exam, which consists of three parts: general, methods, and specialization.
  5. Begin work on a topic for dissertation research; this work will help guide your specialization list.
  6. Select the doctoral advisor who will chair your dissertation committee, supervise your research, and lead your candidacy and proposal exams.
  7. The doctoral candidacy examination is typically taken sometime between the fourth and sixth semesters of doctoral study. Two months prior to the candidacy exam, a final reading list must be approved by your advisor, and ideally, you and your advisor have been working on this list since the end of the first year of doctoral study.
  8. Form a doctoral committee by selecting and requesting the official appointment of a committee chair from the department plus two additional NYU faculty.
  9. Decide on a final topic for your thesis and take the Dissertation Proposal Seminar. Write your proposal and obtain approvals from all three committee members. If applicable, apply for permission to conduct research on human subjects after you have defended your proposal.
  10. Proposal review ideally should, but does not have to, consist of dissertation committee members. Proposal review can also consist of your dissertation chair and two outside (non-committee) faculty. Ideally, the proposal is defended at the end of the third year or the beginning of the fourth.
  11. Complete your dissertation chapters or papers with guidance and approval by committee members.
  12. Submit your approved dissertation with the appropriate form to the Office of Graduate Studies and register for a final oral examination by committee members and two outside reviewers. The dissertation chair can invite specific faculty members to participate as outside readers.
  13. Complete your final oral examination. After successful completion, leave a copy of your dissertation with the Office of Graduate Study for format review. The office will send a letter within two to three weeks indicating what changes are required according to the NYU Steinhardt formal guidelines. Incorporate those changes with any changes required by the final oral commission and present the final copy to the Office of Graduate Studies.