UC San Diego SearchMenu
UC San Diego Academic Senate Logo


Part 3: Requirements for Higher Degrees

Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree at San Diego En 5/18/65

Note: The updates to San Diego Senate Regulation 715 that were approved by Representative Assembly on June 1, 2021 will be posted to the Senate Manual on October 14, 2021, following the first Representative Assembly meeting of 2021-2022. The Graduate Council’s proposal with the approved changes is available at: /media/528816/gc-report-revisions-to-sd-reg-715-and-717.pdf.
  • A)
    The minimum residence requirement for the Ph.D. degree is six quarters, three of which must be spent in continuous residence at the San Diego campus, except in the case of a joint Ph.D. program, in which the resi­dence requirements will be defined by the Graduate Council.  Residence is established by the satisfactory completion of six units per quarter, some of which must be at the graduate level.
  • B)
    Language Requirement  En 2/15/66
    Departments giving graduate instruction shall submit the language require­ments needed in their field to the Graduate Council, as well as the proposed means by which students will demonstrate their language proficiency.  Upon approval by the Graduate Council, the departmental language requirements will become part of the official program for graduate degrees. Am 5/23/95
    Students are strongly urged to acquire the best possible language prepara­tion before entering graduate studies, since otherwise their programs may be seriously delayed.  The student must have satisfied all the language requirements in his or her field of study before taking the qualifying examination for advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.
  • C)

    Qualifying Examinations
    Before admission to candidacy for the Doctor's degree, a student must have satisfied all preliminary requirements set by his or her major department and by the Graduate Council and must have passed the Qualifying Examination conducted by the Doctoral Committee.

  • D)

    Doctoral Committees Am 2/20/73
    A Doctoral Committee of five or more members shall be appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies under the authority of the Graduate Council.  At least five of the committee members shall be officers of instruction and no fewer than four shall hold professorial titles (of any rank).  The committee members shall be chosen from at least two departments, and at least two members shall represent academic specialties that differ from the student's chosen specialty.  In all cases, each committee must include one tenured or emeritus UCSD faculty member from outside the student's major department. Am 10/26/93

    Normally, the members of the committee shall be nominated by the student's department or interdepartmental group, but the Dean of Graduate Studies may appoint additional members.  Willingness of each person to serve on the committee shall be verified prior to nomination.  Efforts should be made to maintain continuity of service on the committee for the duration of candidacy.

    The Doctoral Committee shall conduct the qualifying examination, supervise and pass on the student's dissertation, and conduct the final oral examin­ation, which shall be public and so announced.  Unless the reports of the committee to the Graduate Council concerning the examinations and the dissertation are unanimous, the Dean of Graduate Studies shall be called upon to review the case and report his or her findings to the Graduate Council, which shall determine appropriate action.

  • E)
    Advancement to Candidacy
    The candidate must file his or her application, properly approved by the Doctoral Committee, and submit it to the Dean of Graduate Studies who determines if all formal requirements have been met.  A minimum period of resident study equivalent to three quarters must intervene between the date of formal advancement to candidacy and the date of the final examination. Am 5/23/95
  • F)

    Dissertations  Am 2/27/70
    A dissertation is required of every candidate for the Ph.D. degree.  It must bear on the candidate's major area of study, show evidence of his or her ability to do independent research, and be approved by the candidate's doctoral committee.

    A draft of the dissertation must be submitted to each member of the doctoral committee at least four weeks before the final examination.  The final form of the dissertation must be in accord with the "Instructions for the Preparation and Submission of Doctoral Dissertations and Masters' Theses" which are established by the Graduate Council.  Two official copies of the approved dissertation must be filed with the Registrar for deposit in the University Library.

  • G)

    Final Examinations
    The candidate's final examination shall be conducted by his or her Doctoral Committee.  The examination is oral and deals primarily with the relationship of the dissertation to the general field in which the subject lies.