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HCD Program Guide
Transcript of HCD Program Guide
The following information pertains to what you need to know about the Human Capital Development Doctoral Program at The University of Southern Mississippi. The slides include information about required coursework, the written comprehensive exam, and the dissertation.
Congratulations on taking this step!
Plan of Study
Your Plan of Study is your roadmap to completing all course requirements for graduation. Keep a copy for your personal files.
You must complete your plan of study during your first full semester.
Go to the Graduate School website at the following link: http://www.usm.edu/graduate-school/plans-study-doctoral-programs
Click on Human Capital Development Ph.D. to select the Plan of Study form
Download the form to your desktop by clicking Save when prompted
Complete and save the form
E-mail completed form to Suzy Robinson at S.Robinson@usm.edu
Approval Authority: Dr. Cyndi Gaudet, 228.214.3517, email@example.com
Integrity Assurance Program (IAP)
HCD Ph.D. students are required by the USM VP of Research Office to complete the following two University’s Research and Scholarly IAP courses:
Common Course for USM Arts & Humanities Faculty and Students - RCR
Researchers, Faculty, Students and IRB Members Engaging in Research Involving Human Subjects RCR
For your convenience, IAP training is offered online. Course instructions are available at:
Note: Completion of IAP Training is required for Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of your dissertation research. This must be completed during your
first semester. Students will not be allowed to register for classes their second semester until this requirement is fulfilled.
Please forward a copy of your completion record to firstname.lastname@example.org and keep a copy for your records.
Total Hours Required
HCD Ph.D. Core 12 hrs.
Major Emphasis 15 hrs.
Research Core 27 hrs.
Total Program 54 hrs.
Students must complete the doctoral degree within eight calendar years from the date of enrollment. Six years is the maximum allowed by Graduate School for coursework and the comprehensive exam, other than dissertation and research hours toward the degree. Continuous enrollment is required.
Cyndi Gaudet, Ph.D. serves as Program Director and Advisor.
* A final GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.
* If a student's GPA drops below 3.0, status in the program will be reviewed.
You will choose at least four members for your dissertation committee. You may also request a person serving outside the university to serve on your committee, provided that person is terminally qualified and is approved by Dr. Gaudet and the Graduate School(other provisions may apply). Coordinate with your committee chair to determine prospective committee members
comprehensive exams are taken. Dr. Gaudet will contact you for this information. Suzy Robinson will complete your Progress-to-Degree forms. These forms must be completed prior to taking comprehensive exams.
Which Professors can you ask to Chair your Committee?
Cyndi Gaudet, Ph.D.
Heather Annulis, Ph.D.
Dale Lunsford, Ph.D.
Chad Miller, Ph.D.
Which Professors can serve as a Committee Member?
Anyone eligible to be a committee chair can also be a committee member.
Quincy Brown, Ph.D.
Patti Phillips, Ph.D.
Comprehensive Exam Dates
Written comprehensive examinations should be taken within six months of completing coursework.
Comprehensive exam dates are set for each semester, excluding summer.
You will receive a confirmation e-mail at the beginning of the semester with examination dates, times, and location, along with other important information about the exam.
Comprehensive written examinations are prepared by each student’s doctoral committee members and should be taken within six months after the completion of coursework.
Comprehensive exams are based on material learned during the program. The exams are designed to measure the student’s (1) specialized, advanced knowledge of the HCD discipline, and (2) the critical, analytical and problem solving skills needed to produce original, independent scholarly HCD research, thus contributing to the discipline’s body of knowledge.
Exam Preparation continued
Written comprehensive exams are administered on the USM Gulf Park Campus. All materials (scratch paper, computer, etc.) are provided.
Written comprehensive exam questions are essay format, assessing your ability to:
Make a logical and persuasive written argument
Synthesize ideas and scholarship from a variety of fields
Reference literature that best informs the research topic
Appropriately use terminology, theory, or other concepts
You are only responsible for questions for coursework you completed. Your doctoral committee will evaluate your exam and provide results to you within one month of exam completion.
The Graduate School allows students one re-take of the comprehensive exam.
Important graduate studies deadlines can be found at: Graduation Deadlines (http://www.usm.edu/graduate-school/deadlines). Bookmark this URL as an important, frequently accessed reference.
Within a year of completing your comprehensive exams, you should begin to coordinate all dissertation activities and timetables through your committee chair.
Please note that your dissertation topic must be approved by your major professor and advisory committee and must be an original and significant contribution to knowledge in the HCD field. Discuss your topic with your chair early in the dissertation process. Your chair will advise you on the appropriateness of your topic and help guide you through the process of narrowing it down (building a fence around your topic).
Formatting guidelines for the preparation of the dissertation are available at the Graduate Reader site.
HCD students must complete twelve (12) hours of HCD 898, Dissertation Hours, and must register for a minimum of three (3) dissertation hours the semester in which the (a) proposal is defended and (b) dissertation is defended.
Both the dissertation proposal (Chapters I-III) and the completed dissertation (Chapters I-V) are submitted to a doctoral committee of four faculty members and defended orally. A student applies for candidacy only after all degree requirements except the oral defense of the dissertation are completed.
Your chair will advise you on the appropriateness of your first three chapters and help guide you through the process of developing your dissertation proposal. Expect edits and multiple iterations of the proposal.
Guidelines for the preparation of the dissertation are available at the Graduate Reader site.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
You are responsible for meeting all requirements set forth by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure the protection of human subjects participating in your study.
The Institutional Review Board Protection of Human Subjects page contains important guidelines and examples for you to follow:
Protection of Human Subjects (http://www.usm.edu/research/human-subjects-review)
The IRB packet is submitted to the IRB after your proposal defense with approval from your chair. Your chair will sign and submit proposal to Dr. Gaudet (Director of the Program), whom will then sign and submit on your behalf. The process for approval usually takes 2-4 weeks.
For additional information please visit the Research Approval site http://www.usm.edu/graduate-school/research-approval) Additional questions? Contact the IRB Administrator at
Results of your study are documented and discussed in Chapters IV-V.
The process of coordinating the writing and refining of these chapters with your dissertation chair is the same as Chapters I-III.
Formatting guidelines for the preparation of the dissertation are available at the Graduate Reader site.
Your final defense occurs when your study is complete and final edits have been made in consultation with your chair.
As with your proposal defense, an oral defense of your completed dissertation will be scheduled with your committee members. You will send a digital or printed hardcopy of Chapters I-V to each committee member at least two weeks before defending your dissertation. A conference with each committee member will be scheduled before your final defense, in order to address any questions or concerns regarding your dissertation. You will prepare a 20 minute presentation of your dissertation research. This will be followed by questions/comments from the committee.
Once successfully defended, final edits will be directed by your chair, and then your dissertation will be submitted to the Graduate Reader for publication and graduation.
Important graduate studies deadlines can be found at: Graduation Deadlines (http://www.usm.edu/graduate-school/deadlines)
PhD Course Requirements
During the first term, the student will schedule a program planning meeting to complete the Plan of Study with the HCD Program Director. Comprehensive written examinations are prepared by doctoral committee members and are taken after the completion of coursework. The exam is based on material from the overall program. The Graduate Studies office requires that doctoral degrees be completed within
: During the dissertation process, all students must complete twelve (12) hours of HCD 898, Dissertation. A minimum of three (3) credit hours of HCD 898 must be completed during the semester in which the dissertation is proposed and defended. The student submits two documents to a doctoral committee of four USM faculty: a proposal and a completed dissertation. These are defended orally. A student applies for candidacy only after all degree requirements except the oral defense of the dissertation are completed.
:To complete the Ph.D. degree in Human Capital Development, students must achieve a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average, complete all coursework, pass comprehensive examinations, and successfully complete and defend a dissertation.
Human Capital Development
Students must be registered for a minimum of three (3) hours during the semester comprehensive exams are taken.
Please note that, while strongly encouraged, participation in individual and group study are entirely up to you. Passing comprehensive exams is your personal responsibility.
No additional instruction or re-instruction will be provided by the faculty. By delivering the curriculum provided during your coursework, The University of Southern Mississippi has already met its obligation to help you prepare for the exam. Your coursework has given you the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully complete the written comprehensive exam.
It is important to remember that class materials are not permanently available in the online Blackboard classroom. You should download any materials that will aid in the studying for the exam after each class ends.
Your chair will coach you as you write your first three chapters and prepare you to orally defend your proposal. In addition, a course entitled "Dissertation or Bust" is required to help you complete your proposal.
An oral defense meeting of your proposal will be scheduled to include all of your committee members. You will send a digital or printed hard copy of Chapters I-III to each committee member at least two weeks before defending the proposal. A conference with each committee member will be scheduled before your defense, in order to address any questions or concerns regarding your proposal. The oral defense meeting of your proposal will take approximately one (1) hour and will include your 20 minutes presentation and questions/comments from the committee.
Once the proposal is defended, and you have received approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB), you are ready to conduct your study, collect data and analyze the results.
Formatting guidelines for the preparation of the dissertation are available at the Graduate Reader site (http://www.usm.edu/graduate-school/reviewer-dissertations-nursing-capstone-projects-theses).