The information below is specific to Khoury College PhD programs.
You may also view our PhD Student Resources document (PDF), which contains information about registration, international student requirements, forms, research and student life.
If you have additional questions, please contact Sarah Gale.
Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 overall and a grade of B or better in each of the courses satisfying the requirement. If you have taken equivalent courses at other institutions, you may petition for an exemption subject to the approval of the PhD Committee. You may repeat a course once for no more than three courses if you do not receive a B or better. Students with a related MS degree may petition the PhD Committee for specific course exemptions as well. Find all course waiver and transfer petitions on the PhD forms page.
To demonstrate research ability, you are required to write a research or survey paper in an area of specialty under the supervision of a faculty advisor and submit it to the PhD Committee. Typically, the paper should not exceed 15 pages. A student is considered to have fulfilled the paper requirement if:
- The paper has been submitted to a selective conference
- The student has made substantial contribution to the paper
- The advisor has endorsed the paper with a written statement indicating the student’s contribution
- The PhD committee has voted on a positive recommendation
Upon completion of the course and research paper requirements, you are admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree. It is highly recommended that you complete the candidacy requirement by the end of your second year.
The PhD Curriculum committee reviews submissions on a monthly basis during the academic year (Fall and Spring semesters). Once approved, a doctoral student is considered a doctoral candidate and eligible for an increase in their SGA stipend.
Candidacy stipend rate will be reflect in the first available pay period subsequent to the academic status being reflected on the academic record.
Students are not eligible for candidacy consideration during the summer semester.
One year of continuous full-time study is required after admission to the PhD candidacy. You are expected to make substantial progress in preparing for the comprehensive examination during this period.
The examination will be taken after you have achieved sufficient depth in a field of study in order to prepare a prospectus for the PhD dissertation. This process should take place no later than the fall semester of the fifth year in residence. Prior to taking the comprehensive examination, you will prepare a thesis proposal for the examination describing your proposed research, including the relevant background materials from the literature. The thesis proposal should clearly specify the research problems to be attacked, the techniques to be used, and a schedule of milestones towards completion. Typically, the thesis proposal should not exceed 15 pages, excluding appendices and bibliography.
The thesis proposal must be approved by the Comprehensive Committee. It is strongly recommended that the same members should serve on both the Comprehensive and Thesis Committees. With the help of your advisor, you will select the Comprehensive Committee consisting of four members to be approved by the PhD Committee. The four members must include the advisor, two other faculty members from the college, and an external examiner (optional for Comprehensive Committee).
To help the PhD Committee make an informed decision, a copy of the external examiner’s resume should be submitted at the same time. Upon approval of the written proposal, you will present the proposed work orally in a public forum, followed by a closed-door oral examination from the Comprehensive Committee. You may take the comprehensive examination at most twice.
Upon successful completion of the research proposed in your thesis proposal, you will prepare your dissertation for approval by the Doctoral Thesis Committee. The dissertation must contain results of extensive research and make an original contribution to the field. The work should give evidence of your ability to carry out independent research. It is expected that the dissertation should be of sufficient quality to merit publication in a reputable journal.
Doctoral Thesis Committee
If the Thesis Committee is the same as the Comprehensive Committee, no further approval is needed. If the Thesis Committee is changed in its composition, approval process will follow that of the Comprehensive Committee.
The dissertation defense is held in accordance with the regulations of the University Graduate Council. You will give a lecture on the subject matter of your dissertation, followed by questions from the Doctoral Committee and others in attendance concerning the results of the dissertation as well as any related matters. The examination will be chaired by the PhD advisor.
The university requires graduate students to submit their dissertation or thesis electronically with UMI Dissertation Publishing. Whereas students previously submitted hard copies to Snell Library, it is now your responsibility to publish your dissertation using the aforementioned site as well as cover the cost of the electronic submission.
Dissertation submission should begin only after you have defended your work and had your dissertation signed off by the Doctoral Thesis Committee, your advisor, and the Graduate School Director using the PhD Thesis Approval form. Once completed, the introductory material contained on UMI will lead you through the account creation and submission processes.
You can directly upload your dissertation as a PDF to UMI. While Khoury has no specific formatting requirements, the electronic submission must follow UMI’s guidelines.
After the dissertation is submitted electronically, it will be catalogued in NUCat, Northeastern’s library catalog, and made available in both ProQuest and the Digital Repository Service (DRS) for research purposes. If you do not wish for your dissertation or thesis to be immediately placed in DRS for any reason (for example, if you are planning a patent application or formal publication), please opt for an embargo option (from six months to two years) when you submit your paper to Proquest. The university libraries will honor the embargo request before making your paper available via DRS and the Internet.
Dissertations may be submitted at any point during the year upon completion of all degree requirements. If you would like to be cleared for a specific commencement, the dissertation must be approved two weeks before commencement. You should allow for adequate time to make any necessary corrections to your dissertation as requested by your committee.
Academic Integrity Policy
A commitment to the principles of academic integrity is essential to the mission of Northeastern University. The promotion of independent and original scholarship ensures that students derive the most from their educational experience and their pursuit of knowledge. Academic dishonesty violates the most fundamental values of an intellectual community and undermines the achievements of the entire university.
Khoury Academic Standing Committee
It has become necessary for Khoury to develop an internal response to the proliferation of cheating amongst students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. College administration considers the current rise in frequency of cheating cases to be a very serious threat to the success and survival of our academic community.
According to university procedures, violations of the academic integrity code are reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR). OSCCR considers student testimony along with faculty reports in deciding the alleged violations. The formation of a college academic integrity committee is intended to support this process with discipline-specific knowledge necessary to make informed evaluations of student and faculty claims. The college academic integrity committee is intended to provide this essential context in the deliberation of a student’s future in this college.
This statement is intended to format the college’s approach to evaluating academic integrity violations, as well as provide guidelines for college and program-based discipline.
The college administration will form an Academic Integrity Committee for each of the graduate and undergraduate levels in order to assess violations in light of the unique nature of each program. The committees will consist of five members; both Undergraduate/Graduate Associate Deans, and three faculty members each. The three faculty members will be appointed by the dean on a rotating basis.
It is necessary that academic integrity violations be considered at the program level given the distinctive requirements of each level of student. This is most significant at the doctoral level where the recognition of individual contributions to knowledge and of the intellectual property of others is essential to the practice of research. Most importantly, violations of academic integrity by doctoral students can erode the trust between the student and the advisor and are therefore taken most seriously.
The overriding goal of the committee is to enforce the university’s Academic Integrity Policy utilizing the highest level of content expertise necessary to make the most informed decision. Much like OSCCR, the Academic Integrity Committee will consider all cases submitted by Khoury faculty, conduct interviews with students and faculty, as well as gather all relevant academic information.
The committee will issue decisions on undergraduate/graduate student standing. Judgments will include but not be limited to written warnings, program suspension, and program dismissal. The committee reserves the right to act in the best interest of the college, program, faculty, and student. As such, decisions on student standing will be made in full consideration of the evidence and may be more lenient or severe than those issued by university bodies, such as OSCCR.
In accordance with university policy, the college maintains the right to override decisions issued by OSCCR in the area of academic performance.
Students are entitled to appeal all decisions made by the college Academic Integrity Committee. In these instances, the appeals process will start with the dean and conclude with a Provost Committee Review.
To review the academic appeal process, download the Northeastern University Graduate Catalog.
Attendance and absenteeism
Students are expected to attend all classes and lab sections for their registered courses. Any student who anticipates missing a class due to illness or an emergency situation is expected to contact their professor as soon as possible. Students are required to be present and on campus during the start of every semester. Students are welcome to travel over winter and summer breaks, but should return to campus in a timely manner and be ready for the start of each semester. The Office of the Registrar posts current and future academic calendars.