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The policies that are specific to the International Ph.D. Program are below. When a Ph.D. student is enrolled in a regular Seminary course, the other policies found in the Academic Policies for Graduate Programs also apply.
A student preparing for examinations should see the Registrar for information on examination procedures. All work submitted must follow established guidelines.
Second Year Upgrade
After approximately one-and-one-half years of study (three years for part-time students), and no later than the end of the second year (fourth year for part-time students), the student will undergo the upgrade process, designed to evaluate her or his progress and to determine the likelihood of success in the program. The upgrade may only be scheduled after the successful completion of PHD-700 and PHD-701. The upgrade process will include submission of two drafted chapters of the dissertation—a methodology chapter and one other, and an oral examination based on the submitted chapters. The examiners will include one Hartford Seminary faculty, not the lead advisor, and the second advisor. The potential outcomes of these exams are:
- The student’s research is acceptable and the student may proceed toward completing her or his dissertation. The student is now an official Ph.D. candidate.
- The student’s research is broadly acceptable, but does not allow the examiners to recommend upgrade with confidence; the student will be asked to resubmit for upgrade after revision or expansion her or his work.
- The student’s research is not acceptable, but the student may continue working with the goal of producing a thesis sufficient for the M.Phil. degree.
- The student’s research is not acceptable and shows no sign that the student can achieve a positive outcome. The student is withdrawn from the program.
Final Examination, or Viva Voce
When a student has completed her or his dissertation and both the lead advisor and second advisor have approved its submission, the student will be scheduled for a final examination, or viva voce. When a dissertation is submitted, it is reviewed by three examiners who have been approved by the University of Exeter. Normally, this will be an internal examiner from Hartford Seminary, an internal examiner from the University of Exeter and an external examiner who is not on the faculty of either institution. The internal examiner from the Hartford Seminary faculty must be someone other than the student’s lead advisor. The internal examiner from the University of Exeter must be someone other than the student’s second advisor. The external examiner will be nominated to the University of Exeter by the IPC. Once all examiners have independently read the dissertation and submitted their written reports to the University of Exeter representative, a suitable date on which to conduct an oral examination of the candidate is arranged in consultation with the Registrar. The potential outcomes of this exam are:
- To recommend that the Ph.D. degree be awarded.
- To suspend the recommendation while minor corrections are being made.
- To award the M.Phil. degree.
- To permit the student to revise the dissertation with the goal of an M.Phil. degree.
- To outright fail the student and withdraw the student from the program.
Appeals of Examination Decisions
All appeals of examination decisions must be made directly to the appropriate authorities at the University of Exeter. Students should contact the University of Exeter representative for information on how to proceed. Please refer to the full Appeals Procedures available at www.exeter.ac.uk/staff/calendar.shtml.
All students in the International Ph.D. program including those in the transition year must receive grades of B+ or better in all graded courses. Students who fail to meet this expectation will be referred to the IPC for evaluation and to determine their suitability for continuing in the program.
Length of Study and Residency Requirements
Full-Time Study: The minimum period of full-time study allowed for the Ph.D. is three academic years. A student who is registered full-time is expected to reside within easy traveling distance of Hartford Seminary. This is particularly important during the first year of study when the student must enroll in PHD-700 and PHD-701. Permission for any extended period of absence must be granted by the IPC. It is expected that students will submit their dissertations within four years. Extensions beyond this deadline are granted by the IPC only where there is clear evidence that the work is proceeding and nearing a conclusion.
Part-Time Study: The minimum period of part-time study allowed for the Ph.D. is six academic years. While residency within easy traveling distance of Hartford Seminary is not required, students still must plan to fully participate in the Hartford Seminary community and enroll in PHD-700 and PHD-701which meet on a weekly basis for one full year. It is expected that students will submit their dissertations within seven years. Extensions beyond this deadline are granted by the IPC only where there is clear evidence that the work is proceeding and nearing a conclusion.
Leave of Abscence
Students who find it necessary to interrupt their program should submit a letter of application to the Registrar for review by the IPC. The letter of application must include the reasons for seeking a leave and a schedule for resuming study. Upon approval of the IPC, the student must then request the Leave of Absence directly from the University of Exeter. Generally, a Leave of Absence is granted for only one academic year. If a student cannot continue her or his studies after that year he or she may submit an additional letter of application. In no case will a leave of more than two years will be granted. A Leave of Absence does not automatically extend a student’s program beyond four years (seven years for part-time students). (Students who are recipents of federal financial aid should refer to the Financial Aid section of this Catalogue for additional leave of absence stipulations.)
Deferral of Entry
Students who find it necessary to delay their initial enrollment in the program should submit a petition to the Administrator of the Ph.D. program for review by the IPC. The petition must include the reasons for seeking a deferral and a schedule for beginning study. If granted a deferral shall be one academic year. If a student cannot begin her or his studies at the end of that year he or she must re-apply to the program.
Termination of Program
A student’s degree program may be terminated on the written request of the student, or by action of the IPC.
A student who voluntarily terminates her or his program may apply for readmission at a later date. Voluntary withdrawal will in no way prejudice a later request to be reinstated. If readmission is desired, students may reapply according to the normal admission procedures. Students seeking readmission must additionally present evidence that they are now able to perform satisfactorily toward completion of their dissertation and that the difficulty that necessitated their termination has been overcome. If an extended period of time has passed since the student has been actively working in the field, a student may be asked to retake the required course or complete other requirements as determined by the IPC. Students with outstanding balances must pay them before being readmitted.
Students who have not received an approved leave of absence and fail to file an annual report showing progress in their research will be removed from the program with notification. A student who has been withdrawn due to inactivity may reactivate by petitioning the IPC. Any reactivation must be recommended by the student’s lead advisor.
Students who fail their exams or choose not to revise their dissertations to fulfill degree requirements will have their programs terminated by the IPC.
Procedures for Complaint or Redress
If students have concerns about the academic program or feel that their work is not proceeding satisfactorily for reasons outside their control, they should lose no time in bringing this to the attention of their lead advisor. If the student does not feel their concerns have been appropriately addressed after discussions with the lead advisor and/or the staff member directly involved, the student should contact the University of Exeter representative for information on how to proceed. Also, please refer to the full University of Exeter Student Complaints Procedure at http://admin.exeter.ac.uk/calendar/live/taught/complaints.htm.