The Prospective Program

The Prospective Program is a preliminary plan in which students list the formal course work they intend to take to support their chosen major and minor fields. Students must declare a minimum of 20 credits to take in the major field and a minimum of 10 credits in each of the two minor fields.

Students may not use the required introductory-level Biostatistics and Epidemiology courses to fulfill requirements of the Prospective Program.

Students in a joint degree program (admitted to two departments) must declare two major fields and one minor field. In this case, each of the two major fields should comprise a minimum of 20 credits, and the minor field should comprise a minimum of 10 credits. Students in joint degree programs must meet all departmental requirements for both departments.

The Prospective Program must be submitted to the CAD no later than the end of the second semester of the first year. It is in the best interest of the student to submit the Prospective Program as early as possible. Students who received a Master’s degree from HSPH may submit a combined Prospective/Final Program as early as the end of their first semester of doctoral study, but no later than the end of the third semester.

Guidelines
Each course listed in the Prospective Program must be a formal, non-independent study, non-tutorial, non-research course taken for ordinal (e.g., A-, B-, etc.,) credit. A grade of B- or better must be obtained in all the courses proposed. Each course must be taken for graduate credit. This is of special note if a student is cross-registering into another school.

Students proposing to include graduate-level courses not taken at HSPH in the Prospective/Final Program must submit a course description and/or syllabus from the course along with theProspective/Final Program. Students must also submit an official transcript indicating the successful completion and the grade of the course(s) taken elsewhere. In addition the student must include a general petition outlining their request.

Procedure for Submitting the Prospective Program

  1. Obtain the Prospective/Final Program Form from the HSPH Registrar’s Office.
  2. Meet with the advisor to discuss course selection for major and minor fields.
  3. List all formal courses proposed for major and minor fields.
  4. Obtain the required signatures from the advisor and department chair.
  5. Return the form to the HSPH Registrar’s Office for submission to the CAD*.

*The prospective program MUST be submitted in ink.

The Final Program and Nomination of the Oral Qualifying Examination Committee 
The Final Program updates the Prospective Program and notes any changes from the Prospective Program. It should be submitted as early as possible, but no later than the end of the fifth semester. It includes the following:

  • The final plan of course work
  • The topic of research
  • The prospective dissertation advisor
  • Nomination of the Oral Qualifying Examination Committee

Procedure for Submitting the Final Program

  1. Obtain the Prospective/Final Program Form from the HSPH Registrar’s Office.
  2. Meet with the prospective dissertation advisor to discuss changes to the Prospective Program, goals and objectives for doctoral research, and the selection of the Oral Examination Committee members.
  3. List all formal course work in major and minor fields, including grades received.
  4. List the nominees for Oral Examination Committee.
  5. Write a detailed statement of research goals and objectives.
  6. Obtain the required signatures of the advisor and department chair.
  7. Return the form to the HSPH Registrar’s Office for submission to the CAD*.

*The Final Program must be submitted in ink.

Prospective and Final Program Forms must be completed in ink. Keep a copy of your ProspectiveProspective/Final, and Final Program Forms for your records prior to submission to the Registrar’s Office.

 

The Dissertation Advisor
The prospective dissertation advisor may be the same person as the original advisor, though it may be desirable to review the designation at the time of the student’s shifting from formal course work to research. The dissertation advisor must be a faculty member from the student’s department and must be the academic advisor.

Members of the Oral Examining Committee
The members of the Oral Examining Committee participate in the student’s Oral Qualifying Examination by preparing questions to assess the student’s potential to perform research in the chosen fields. At least two members of the Oral Examining Committee must hold HSPH faculty appointments in disciplines representing the major field(s) as well as the minor field(s). With the approval of the CAD, other members of the committee may include faculty members from outside HSPH who have relevant expertise.

The Chair of the Oral Examining Committee 
The Chair of the Oral Examining Committee is appointed by the CAD at the time of the approval of the Final Program. Students will be notified by the HSPH Registrar’s Office who will chair the examination.The student’s research advisor may not serve as Chair of the Committee.