The Program has recently finished streamlining its requirements. These guidelines present degree requirements copied from the USC catalogue and supplementary information to help students and faculty navigate through the program. The catalogue should be consulted first; the supplementary sections do not repeat those provisions.
Upon completion of the qualifying examinations, the student, in consultation with the principal advisor, selects a dissertation committee in accordance with the university rules. Within six months of completing the qualifying examinations, students should have a formal defense of the dissertation proposal before their dissertation committee. The PhD is earned upon the submission of the written dissertation and its successful public defense before the dissertation committee.
The dissertation committee:
As soon as possible after the qualifying exam has been passed but no later than within 60 days, the student should ask three professors to join the dissertation committee. The chair of this committee must be a tenured or tenure-track member of the POIR faculty; a second member must be a member of the POIR faculty; and one member must be a faculty member from outside the program. A committee may consist of more than three members. For the candidates to be in good standing, this committee must approve a dissertation proposal within six months of passing the qualifying exam. Thereafter, once every 12 months this committee must report to the Program Director whether the candidate had made sufficient progress toward degree completion in the past year, and to report any problems.