Degree Requirements

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Defense (Final Exam)

Degree Requirements
Degree Requirements
The Kellogg School of Management provides a general template that outlines the degree requirements and timeline for PhD students over the coming years on our public website. Timelines and requirements may differ among Kellogg's doctoral programs, so students should refer to their Program Guidelines and consult with their PhD coordinator/advisor.

Academic Integrity
Kellogg doctoral students fall under the policies and regulations set by The Graduate School; firm adherence to academic honesty and ethical conduct are expected. All Kellogg PhD students should read the statement from The Graduate School in full. An excerpt is below:

Academic integrity is fundamental to every facet of the scholarly process and is expected of every student in the Graduate School in all academic undertakings. Integrity involves firm adherence to academic honesty and to ethical conduct consistent with standards that respect the intellectual efforts of both oneself and others.

Any questions about this policy should be directed to the student's academic advisor or the faculty director of the Kellogg Doctoral Program.

Academic Progress
Kellogg PhD students are expected to make continuous academic progress and meet their program's expectations and requirements in a timely fashion. Kellogg students should also refer to The Graduate School's statement on Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Coursework Requirements 
Students will be expected to enroll in departmental PhD courses, seminars, and any additional courses needed to adequately prepare for scholarly research. Students must maintain an overall "B" average (3.0) at a minimum; their program, however, may require a higher GPA. Students should consult with their PhD coordinator if they have any questions.

Residency Requirements 
Doctoral students should plan to be on campus full time, including summer quarter, and be involved in the research of their departments in order to continue to receive funding. Absences longer than three (3) weeks need the direct approval of a student's DGS and academic advisor.

Qualifying Examination and Candidacy
A written qualifying exam is required in each major field that measures knowledge of the field as a whole; passing will advance students into candidacy. Other requirements, such as a first and/or second-year paper and presentation, may also be required. Students should refer to their Program Guidelines or consult with their DGS regarding specific requirements and expectations.

Proposal Process
Students will take an oral exam after all coursework and written exams are finished in which they propose a dissertation topic as well as discuss the research methods used and preliminary results outlined by their paper(s). Timelines and proposal requirements differ among Kellogg's doctoral programs. If students have questions, such as how their program defines a successful paper or their deadline, they should consult with their DGS.

Dissertation Committee
Dissertation committees are reviewed and approved by the faculty director at the time of the proposal and final examination (dissertation defense).

Committee Requirements

The committee is composed of at least four faculty members, no fewer than three of whom are on the Kellogg faculty. At least one member of the committee must be from outside the student's program. The committee chair and at least one other member must be from The Graduate School faculty, and the chair and at least one other committee member are expected to hold appointments in the student's program to ensure that half of the committee members represent the student’s program. Usually one member of the committee represents the student's minor field.

These are the criteria for choosing a committee member from outside the student’s department/program:
1. a faculty member from outside the department/program or outside of the Kellogg School, but within Northwestern University;
2. a faculty member from outside Northwestern who has a permanent appointment at another university and who supervises doctoral students as they complete their dissertations; a former Kellogg faculty member could also qualify if he/she has been away from Kellogg a minimum of 3 years.

Please note that a faculty member with a joint appointment spanning two Kellogg departments, one of which is within the student's own program, cannot be used as someone from outside the student's program.

Defense (Final Exam)
Dissertation and Final Examination Process
The defense process is similar to the proposal process. Signatures from all members of the dissertation committee are required to pass.

Graduation Ceremonies
The Graduate School awards degrees quarterly. Students should file the Application for Degree Form through CAESAR when they plan on defending and submitting their dissertation.

Other Requirements
Annual Student Review
Students will submit an activity report at the end of each academic year. Students will receive feedback on their progress and suggestions for meeting the requirements of the next academic year.

Teaching Assistance/Research Assistance
Students will receive a portion of their stipend as wages for teaching and research in years two, three, and four. This provides on-the-job training under the guidance of the faculty.