Doctoral Student Resources

Doctoral Student Handbook

  • Start here to find information you need to successfully manage your Ph.D. program

Grad Plan (Ph.D. students only) Beginning in Spring Semester 2017, only forms submitted through Grad Plan will be accepted.

Annual Progress Report Form, Ph.D.

  • Must be completed, signed and submitted every spring semester.

Applying for Graduation

  • Submit this application by the first week of the semester you expect to complete your degree requirements.
  • Both Spring and Summer applicants will be included in the Spring Commencement Ceremonies.

CIC Traveling Scholar Program Form

  • Doctoral students at Michigan State University are eligible to apply for admission to the “Traveling Scholar Program,” sponsored by the Big Ten Universities and University of Chicago through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). The CIC program enables doctoral students to take advantage of special facilities available on the campus of one of the participating universities but not available on the home campus. Such facilities include special course offerings, research opportunities, laboratories, and library collections. Students participating in this program, known as "CIC Traveling Scholars,'' are limited to two semesters or three quarters on another campus. A CIC Traveling Scholar will be registered, and pay tuition on the MSU campus. No additional fees will be charged. Credit for work taken under this program will be accepted at this University. A doctoral student interested in this program should contact The Graduate School for instructions and formal processing or visit https://grad.msu.edu/btaa.

Change of Guidance Committee and Program Adjustment Form, Ph.D.

  • Must be completed, signed and approved when your coursework deviates from the approved program or used to change committee members.

Guidance Committee Form, Ph.D.

  • This form must be completed, signed and submitted prior to the program plan.

Independent Study Form

  • This form must be completed, signed and submitted before you will be enrolled in HDFS 890.

Professional Portfolio Documentation Form

  • Must be completed, signed and submitted every spring semester.
  • Objectives of the portfolio process are as follows: 
    • To assist students in the development of research skills. This includes mentoring by faculty, student participation in research trainings, and actual research experiences.
    • To mentor students in the presentation and publishing process. This includes presentations at professional meetings and co-authoring publication.
    • To prepare students for teaching roles. This includes writing a teaching philosophy, gaining experience as a TA or guest lecturer, and attending professional development activities.
    • To engage students in the service and citizenship aspects of academic life. This includes membership in professional organizations and participating in academic service and community outreach activities.

Program Plan Form, Ph.D.

  • This form must be completed, signed and submitted prior to the completion of three semesters. As of Spring 2017, this form will be completed in Grad Plan.

Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination Planning Form

  • Human Development and Family Studies Comprehensive Examination: All Ph.D. students in Human Development and Family Studies must take a comprehensive examination prepared by the guidance committee.
  • Area of Specialization Comprehensive Examination: The Human Development and Family Studies Ph.D. program has three specializations: Child Development, Family Studies, and Couple and Family Therapy. The student must demonstrate competence in one of these specializations by taking a comprehensive examination prepared by the guidance committee.
  • Minor Area Examination: An additional comprehensive examination must be taken in another content area, including research. This comprehensive examination is prepared by the guidance committee.
  • Supporting Field Comprehensive Examination: Students may be required to take a comprehensive examination in the supporting field, although this requirement may be waived based on student's needs and opinion of the committee.

Format Procedures

  • Objectives of the comprehensive exams are as follows:
    • Students will identify a body of literature salient to their research topic.
    • Students will provide a succinct synthesis of the key literature related to their research topic.
    • Students will identify and apply key theoretical frameworks related to their research topic.
    • Students will select research methods related to their research question and provide a clear and concise rationale for use of these methods.
    • Students will develop skills for verbally presenting research and application related to their content area.

Overview: Comprehensive exams will be completed in one month within one semester. Two will be written, and the third exam will be an oral presentation. Maximum length of each written exam will be 10-15 pages (double-spaced, 11 font references additional.)

Procedures:

The three exams will cover:

  • Theories related to concentration (i.e. CFT, child development, HDFD) (written)
  • Research methodology related to concentration (written)
  • Practice (e.g. clinical, pedagogy) related to concentration (oral)

Ph.D. Approval of Dissertation Proposal Form

  • This form must be completed, signed and submitted before you start your dissertation but not before you have passed your comprehensive exam. It must follow the defense of the proposal but before dissertation work begins.

Ph.D. Approval of Program Study Time Extension Form

  • This form is used to request an extension if the student cannot finish in the 8 year time limit for doctoral program and for extension of comprehensive exam beyond 5 year time. It must be approved by committee members, graduate program director, Associate Dean's office, and the Graduate School.

Ph.D. Record of Dissertation and Oral Examination Form

  • This form must be completed, signed and submitted by your major advisor. As of Spring 2017, this form will be completed in Grad Plan.

Ph.D. Dissertation Formatting

Resources

The Graduate School

The Writing Center

Other Important Forms

Name Preference/Address Change Form

Readmission Form