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4.6 - General Doctoral Degree Requirements

4.6.1 - Transfer Credit for Doctoral Programs

The acceptance of transfer credit from another institution for a doctoral degree at OUHSC is determined in accordance with the following criteria:

  1. A maximum of 44 semester hours from individual courses and/or a completed degree may be applied toward a doctoral degree. Exceptions can be made for additional non-OU coursework taken by electronic media, following enrollment in an OUHSC doctoral program.
  2. The coursework transferred must represent valid graduate credit earned in graduate level courses from an accredited college or university.
  3. The credit must carry a grade of A, B, or S.
  4. The credit must be applicable to the degree program.
  5. Individual courses applied must not be more than six years old at the time of admission to the degree program. In special cases, credit more than six years old may be transferred if recommended and validated by the department and approved by the Graduate Dean. The departmental procedures to validate the student's current knowledge and competency must have the approval of the Graduate Dean.
  6. A completed master's degree, all of which is to be used, may be applied toward a doctoral degree regardless of age, if approved by the department/program and the Graduate Dean. The total number of credit hours transferred toward the PhD degree cannot exceed 44 semester hours.
  7. Credit from a professional degree program such as the MD, DDS, or DVM degree may be applied toward a graduate degree as transfer credit, provided that such courses carry a grade of A, B, or S and have been approved for graduate credit by the academic institution of origin.
  8. Graduate coursework completed while a student is in a doctoral degree program at the University of Oklahoma Norman or OU Tulsa Campuses will be considered as residence credit, and upon approval of the department and the Graduate Dean, may be used without limitation as credit toward a doctoral degree.
  9. Credit hours previously counted for one doctoral degree may not be applied toward a second doctoral degree. No more than six hours of transfer thesis research credit from a completed master's degree may be applied toward a doctoral degree.
  10. Credit by correspondence or by advanced standing examination will not apply toward a graduate degree.
  11. Graduate coursework taken in Tulsa from the University of Oklahoma is not considered transfer credit. OSU Tulsa consists of five cooperating universities that provide undergraduate and graduate level courses as well as some degree programs. Credit taken from the other cooperating universities through OSU Tulsa is considered transfer work and must comply with the transfer policies.
  12. All transfer coursework must be approved by the program and by the Graduate Dean. Programs with transfer rules more stringent than those listed in this section have specified them in Section 5 of the bulletin. These more stringent rules take precedence over the general rules described in this section.
  13. Procedures for application of transfer credit may be found in the Policies and Procedures page of the website.

4.6.2 - Grade Point Average Computation

Transfer credit is considered neutral in computing the University of Oklahoma grade point average for the purpose of determining academic status, probation, and graduation.

4.6.3 - Time Limits for Completing Doctoral Degree

A doctoral student who enters the OUHSC Graduate College with a bachelor's degree is expected to pass the General Examination within five calendar years of the student's first graduate enrollment in the department and a student who enters with a master's degree is expected to pass the General Examination within four calendar years of the student's first graduate enrollment in the program.

A doctoral candidate is normally expected to complete all the degree requirements within five years after admission to candidacy. Programs with shorter time limits have so indicated in Section 5 of this Bulletin. Extensions greater than one year need the approval of the Graduate Dean and will require that the department or program unit involved certify that the student's knowledge will be current and appropriate to the degree at the time the degree is awarded. The procedure to be used for this determination must be approved by the Graduate Dean.

Individual graduate courses, not applied toward a previous graduate degree, taken at the University of Oklahoma or at another accredited university that is to be applied toward a doctoral degree must not be more than six years old at the time of admission or readmission to the Graduate College. No more than 23 credit hours (transfer credit and resident credit) applied toward a doctoral degree can be more than nine years old at the time of graduation for students entering with a master's degree or ten years old for students entering with a bachelor's degree. To compensate for an expired course, the student should complete a more advanced course on the same topic as the expiring course. The new course must be worth equal or greater hours to the expiring course. If the expiring course carries a letter grade, the new course should also carry a letter grade.  

4.6.4 - Responsibilities of the Graduate Program or Academic Unit

Each department or academic unit offering the doctoral degree is responsible for its graduate program. The Program determines how it shall function and how it shall exercise the powers delegated to it. These determinations shall include how many hours of course work constitute a minimum for the degree, what proportion of the work toward the degree is to be devoted to research, and the role of the dissertation. Further, each department or unit shall make its own rules regarding the time its students may spend, or work they may do, other than toward the degree itself, in classroom, laboratory, research assistance, or instruction.

Research proficiency is based in part on the development of attitudes and skills, which vary considerably from one field to another. The faculty for each program is responsible for requiring that their doctoral candidates demonstrate proficiency in those skills deemed necessary for successful research performance. For example, a faculty may require its students to demonstrate particular technical competencies.

Each program offering the doctoral degree will decide the time and means of certifying prospective candidacy and will formally notify the Graduate College when a student has completed all the requirements to be nominated as a prospective candidate. The Graduate Dean will admit the student to candidacy.

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