EDP Degree Completion Checklist

Welcome to the Ph.D. in Environmental Design & Planning (Ph.D. EDP) Program!

This checklist provides a list of activities you must undertake to complete your degree requirements. While not exhaustive, this checklist will explain key degree milestones and the schedule by which they must be completed. Please refer to other sections in the BC Graduate Guidebook and the Graduate School web site for more information and specific deadlines. You can also consult with the BC Graduate Chair, the BC Graduate Coordinator, or other faculty at any time.

  Milestone Process OutcomeS

Prepare Candidate Statement 

(Pre-admission)

As part of your admission package, identify general area of inquiry and verify that one or more faculty is able and willing to support you in that area of inquiry.

Choose one or more faculty to explore as potential Committee Chairs.

  • A written description of an area of inquiry in which the student is interested in pursuing doctoral study
  • At least one potential Committee Chair who could support the student’s area of inquiry

Choose Committee Chair

(1st semester)

Verify interest and capacity of target faculty to serve as Committee Chair. [*1]

Obtain help and guidance from Chair in refining area of research, exploring the appropriate literature, and identifying appropriate potential methodological approaches.

  • A verified Committee Chair interested in the student’s area of inquiry who has affirmed the capacity and ability to serve as an advisor throughout the doctoral process
  • A list of relevant literature to establish a basic point of departure in the area of inquiry

Develop a
Statement of Intent

(1st / 2nd Semester)

With help from Committee Chair, prepare a prospectus document describing area of research that can be used to communicate with and recruit doctoral committee members and help them identify areas where qualifications must be established.

Take CNST 5084: Methods in Construction Research

  • Statement of Intent/draft pre­proposal including an overview of problem to be addressed, a review of relevant literature, a clearly stated research question, and a summary of potential appropriate methodological approaches to address the problem/research question

Develop a
Draft Plan of Study

(1st / 2nd Semester)

With help from Committee Chair, prepare a draft plan of study for review by committee that identifies courses that have been or will be taken to meet degree requirements

  • Draft Plan of Study outlining the student’s initial choice of committee members and courses to take for the doctoral program
Take Qualifying Exam
(2nd / 3rd Semester)
Complete a qualifying exam designed to verify that the student has appropriate skills for scholarship in the selected area. [*2]
  • A Qualifying Committee ruling on whether the student is capable of doctoral inquiry and approval to proceed if successful [*3]

Finalize
Plan of Study

(3rd Semester)

Identify faculty to serve on the doctoral committee who have all necessary expertise to support the proposed research, and verify their availability and interest to serve in this capacity.

  • If successful, an approved Plan of Study and doctoral committee selection to proceed with doctoral degree [*4]

Develop
Pre-proposal

(3rd Semester)

Prepare a formal, detailed pre-proposal describing the proposed research investigation.

Orally present the pre-proposal for committee review

  • Draft doctoral proposal(pre-proposal) to define scope of doctoral research investigation
  • Committee feedback on pre-proposal

Preliminary Exam

(3rd Semester)

Receive Preliminary Exam questions from doctoral committee and prepare answers in the format and timeline specified by the committee.

Schedule oral Preliminary Examination with Graduate School at least two weeks prior to planned oral presentation date.

Present Preliminary Exam results to committee in the format specified (oral, written, or both).

  • Responses to Preliminary Exam questions
  • If exam completed successfully, Committee approval to enter Doctoral Candidacy [*5]

Defend Research Proposal

(3rd Semester)

Revise proposal based on committee feedback and Preliminary Exam investigation.

Develop outline of planned dissertation or manuscripts that will be prepared to document the research.

Defend final proposal to committee to establish agreement on how the investigation will be conducted and to receive committee approval to proceed.

(this process may be combined with the Preliminary Exam at the discretion of the committee)

  • Final doctoral proposal approved by committee
  • Committee approval to proceed with doctoral investigation
  • Outline of planned dissertation or manuscripts to be used to document the research

Doctoral Research / Dissertation or Manuscripts [*6]

(4th and 5th Semesters)

Following the research plan outlined in the final doctoral proposal, conduct the research investigation.

Schedule committee progress meetings as needed.

Prepare final dissertation or manuscripts documenting research investigation, findings, and conclusions.

  • Draft doctoral dissertation or manuscripts describing the research investigation, findings, and conclusions

Pre-Defend Dissertation or Manuscripts

(6th Semester)

Submit draft dissertation/manuscripts for committee review according to agreed review schedule.

Prepare oral presentation of research investigation, findings, and conclusions.

Take CNST 5242: Construction Research Presentation

Deliver oral presentation to committee and receive feedback and requested changes to research documents and presentation.

Complete all required revisions to research documents and presentation that have been identified by committee.

  • Draft oral presentation of doctoral research
  • Punchlist of required revisions identified by committee that must be addressed for final defense to be successful

Conduct
Final  Defense

(6th Semester)

Submit revised dissertation or manuscripts to committee according to agreed review schedule.

Schedule final examination with the Graduate School at least two weeks before planned defense date, and submit notice of defense to the Department. [*7]

Prepare final oral presentation based on committee recommendations.

Deliver final oral presentation and obtain any final revision requirements from committee.

  • Revised doctoral dissertation or manuscripts describing the research investigation, findings, and conclusions
  • Final oral presentation of doctoral research
  • Punchlist of required revisions identified by committee that must be addressed for final documents to be approved
  • Final exam approval by committee to document completion
 

Revise and Submit Final Documents

(6th Semester)

Complete all final revisions to dissertation or manuscripts according to committee requirements.

Submit final document to ETD for review and pay archiving fee.

File Application for Degree on HokieSpa and pay fee.

Participate in Commencement.

  • Final doctoral dissertation or manuscripts as approved by the committee and reviewed by ETD for publication [*8]
  • Signed Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form submitted to the Graduate School
  • Electronic Application for Degree completed on HokieSpa
  • Ph.D. Degree

Notes:

  1. If a specific committee chair has not been determined by the start of the first semester of study, it is recommended that the student enroll in one or more courses or undertake an independent study with potential committee chairs to establish a basis of mutual interest and further refine ideas for areas of potential inquiry.
  2. Scholarship includes both the ability to make significant original contributions to the body of knowledge through research, and to advance the field through communication of knowledge via teaching and other means.
  3. Three possible outcomes exist for the qualifying process: (1) The student is successfully approved to proceed in the doctoral program; (2) The student is successfully approved to proceed in the doctoral program with conditional recommendations or requirements to address potential deficiencies; or (3) The student is determined to be not qualified to proceed in the doctoral program. In the third case, the committee may recommend that the student complete requirements for a terminal M.S. degree in the area of study.
  4. An approved Plan of Study must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the third semester of study using the required format.
  5. Results of the Preliminary Examination should be reported to the Graduate School within 24 hours of the exam or as soon as possible using the Graduate School Electronic Signature System (http://ess.graduateschool.vt.edu). Preliminary Exams must be scheduled at least six months prior to the Final Examination/Doctoral Defense. If the student does not pass the Preliminary Examination, it may be taken one additional time no earlier than six months following the first attempt. The outcome of the second examination is final.
  6. Candidates may document their research findings either as a single dissertation document that includes all relevant information, or a series of manuscripts for peer-reviewed journal publication as agreed upon by the doctoral committee. If the manuscript option is selected, a single final document must be submitted that contains all manuscripts as chapters, plus introductory and concluding chapters to tie the individual manuscripts together in a cohesive manner. If the manuscript option is used, the document must contain a clear description of roles and responsibilities for any co-authors listed on individual manuscripts. Guidelines and requirements for both options are available on the Graduate School web site at http://etd.vt.edu.
  7. The final examination may be scheduled no earlier than six months after successful conclusion of the Preliminary Examination. If the student does not pass the Final Examination, it may be taken one additional time no earlier than six months following the first attempt. The outcome of the second examination is final.
  8. All final dissertations or manuscript documents must be submitted electronically within two weeks of the final defense using the guidelines at http://etd.vt.edu.