The primary objective of doctoral study, as distinguished from other studies at the graduate level, is to promote your original contribution to scholarly research in a given field. Upon entry into the doctoral program, you should begin exploring the literature and methods pertinent to your particular research interests, and identifying specific faculty members—both inside and outside of the department—who might serve as dissertation committee members.

In MPAP, each doctoral program has a distinct curriculum, as delineated in the program-specific links in the menu at left. All doctoral students are expected to successfully complete at least 42 credits of coursework (depending on the program) as part of their degree requirements, and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B). The specific number of credits and their distribution varies from program to program. Note: The points listed for each degree represents the minimum points for the degree. Additional points may be required as the result of placement and candidacy exams.

Please note that absolutely no transfer credits from other institutions are allowed for doctoral students.

Courses and plan of study should be discussed with the student’s adviser. Courses for all programs except the EdD in Educational Theatre are categorized according to the following criteria:

All students are required to complete 6 credits (two courses) of coursework in foundations during their first 24 credits of doctoral study. Graduate courses qualify for the foundations requirement when they are upper division courses (NYU Steinhardt 2000-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.

Research courses by advisement should be related to the student's proposed topic or area of research interest. Because it can take as many as four or more semesters to complete a sequence of research courses adequate for doctoral level research, students should consider beginning this sequence in their first semester. Because of the necessity of starting the research sequence at the outset of doctoral study, it is essential that the student have a research direction articulated at this time so that the proper sequence can be selected and completed in a timely way. Gaining approval for a dissertation proposal requires the demonstration of the research competencies of the chosen method, something that requires completion of the appropriate research method coursework.

These courses should be carefully selected to ensure that the student has the appropriate skills and expertise to conduct research and analysis necessary to write the dissertation. The aim of this requirement is to give students more focused training in particular research methods – this is particularly important for qualitative research methods using interviews, participant observation, artefact analysis, and/or self-inquiry; historical and archival research; quantitative research using statistical analysis; or content analysis. You should seek out classes in relevant methods in departments throughout the university. With the help of your adviser, you should determine the most appropriate research and methodology courses for your project. You may consider relevant research-based courses that are specialization electives as well. By advisement, you can also conduct independent study courses under the supervision of qualified faculty to gain experience in understanding and applying specific methodological principles and practices.

The Steinhardt School offers a number of research courses in various qualitative and quantitative methods:

Qualitative Research Courses

RESCH-GE 2135 Historical Research
RESCH-GE 2140 Approaches/Qualitative Inquiry
RESCH-GE 2141 Case Study/Ethnographic Inquiry
RESCH-GE 2142 Interview & Observation
RESCH-GE 2143 Participatory Action Research
RESCH-GE 2147 Fieldwork Data Collection
RESCH-GE 2148 Fieldwork: Data Analysis

Quantitative Research Courses

APSY-GE 2070 Research and Evaluation Methods in Behavioral Sciences
APSY-GE.2073 Research Design & Methodology in the Behavioral Sciences I
APSY-GE.2074 Research Design & Methodology in the Behavioral Sciences II
APSY-GE.2140 Measurement:  Classical Test Theory
RESCH-GE.2001 Statistics for the Behavioral and Social Sciences I
RESCH-GE.2002 Data Analysis for the Behavioral and Social Sciences II
RESCH-GE.2003 Intermediate Quantitative Methods: The General Linear Model
RESCH-GE.2004 Advanced Modeling I: Topics in Multivariate Analysis
RESCH-GE.2134 Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Design
RESCH-GE.2139 Survey Research

Students can also take courses at other universities in the New York area, including Columbia University, Rutgers University, Princeton University, the New School for Social Research, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, as part of the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC). Students must complete one year of Doctoral study to be eligible to participate in Consortium courses.

The IUDC registration process and guidelines are outlined here:

MPAP faculty recognize that advanced coursework in our department, as well as in departments throughout New York University and the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium, contributes to students’ intellectual development, and helps to shape the research project. If students identify a topic or project that cannot be easily explored in the context of a course, they may request to do an independent study with an individual faculty member. Together with the supervising faculty member, students would develop a curricular approach and a working timeline for the completion of the independent study.

MPAIA-GE 3097 Doctoral Proposal Seminar (Educational Theatre students enroll for MPAET-GE 3005 when it is offered):Full time PhD students typically take this seminar during the first semester of the third year to ensure that they have a strong theoretical and methodological foundation before they launch their dissertation project. The course is conducted as a workshop; students produce drafts of their topic reviews and dissertation proposals. Most students have completed candidacy prior to taking the seminar, but this is not required.

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.

The following policies apply to extending doctoral matriculation beyond eight years (or ten years for part-time students and students matriculated prior to 2008):

  • An extension of matriculation must be requested in writing prior to the end of the eight-year matriculation period. The form for requesting an extension is available from the Office of Doctoral Studies, Pless Hall, 2nd Floor. The form is also available for download here:
  • 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 Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.
  • 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.