Dec 16, 2018  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 

Doctor of Philosophy in Technology (PHD-TC)

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Adviser: Polly Buchanan, Ph.D.
150 Sill Hall


Eastern Michigan University’s doctor of philosophy in technology program provides students with an advanced program of study with a strong focus on the research aspects of applied technology in various fields. Course content is interdisciplinary. This program prepares graduates for positions of increased responsibility in a variety of settings such as faculty careers in education, high-level management positions in industry and government, and policy analysis and research occupations. Areas of concentration include engineering management, information assurance, interior design, polymers and coatings, quality management, technology studies, technology and education, and textiles. Classes are primarily offered on-campus with a growing number offered online. Many students have professional experience in business, industry, education, or the military and thus they bring high expectations and standards into every class. Working students may enroll part-time.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the program is based on the following criteria:

  1. Academic ability as measured by verbal, quantitative and written scores on the GRE (Graduate Record Exam –;
  2. Completion of graduate work, in a field relevant to applied technology, with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. In special cases, conditional admission may be possible with an undergraduate degree, with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale;
  3. Academic background in a technology area. Applicants must have completed a minimum of 30 semester hours in a master’s degree program in a technology related area including a course in statistics;
  4. Fit between applicant and faculty scholarly activity and technology concentration. A personal statement is requested describing the applicant’s professional and academic goals. We will be particularly interested in students who have academic interests similar to those of our faculty; and
  5. Personal qualities that predict success in graduate study and in professional placement after graduation. To evaluate these, each applicant must submit three letters of recommendation.

Admission Procedures

The following materials should be submitted to the Office of Admissions:

  1. Graduate Admission Application form and application fee.
  2. Official or true attested college transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate classes.
  3. Official written, verbal, and quantitative GRE scores. An applicant’s scores on the GRE must be less than five (5) years old. Students with older GRE results are required to take the GRE again.
  4. If applicable, evidence of English language proficiency as demonstrated by official test scores on the TOEFL, TWE or MELAB.
  5. Three letters of recommendation from professors and/or work supervisors who can assess the ability of the applicant to successfully complete research and the academic rigor of a doctoral program.
  6. Autobiographical (personal) statement on professional goals focusing on the intent and reasons for pursuing the Ph.D. in technology, including intended area of technology concentration.
  7. Current resume. Preference given to applicants with documented work experience related to educational goals.

Admission Process

  1. Application materials must be received by February 15th for admission starting the following Fall semester, or October 15th  for admission starting the following Winter semester. All materials must be received by these dates prior to review by the Graduate Admissions Office, Graduate School, and Doctoral Operations Committee.
  2. Admission decisions are usually made within six weeks of these due dates.
  3. Those candidates who have presented the greatest evidence of potential for success in the program will be selected and notified of their admission by the program coordinator.
  4. Decisions for financial aid, usually in the form of a graduate assistantship, will generally be made once per year in April or May.

Decisions are based on the applicant’s probability of success in completing all degree requirements. All decisions by the Doctoral Operations Committee regarding admission for a particular semester are final. However, a student may reapply the following year or later.

Students may be admitted to the program under one of three admission categories as described below. Preference will be given to students holding a completed master’s degree.

Option A: Master’s degree (full admission)
Students must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Master’s degree from any EMU College of Technology program; or
  2. Master’s degree from any regionally accredited institution, in an area related to one of the COT Ph.D. technology concentrations.

Option B: Graduate credits - Master’s degree in progress (conditional admission)

Students must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Undergraduate degree and graduate credits from any College of Technology master’s degree program; or
  2. Undergraduate degree and graduate credits from any master’s degree program from a regionally accredited institution.

Option C: Undergraduate degree completed (conditional admission)

Under very special circumstances, students may be admitted with just an undergraduate degree, but must successfully complete 30 master’s-level credits at EMU in one of the COT PhD technology concentration areas to qualify for full admission.


Eastern Michigan University and the College of Technology reserve the right to change any statement in this program concerning, but not limited to, rules, policies, tuition, fees, curricula and courses at any time.

Program Requirements

The doctoral program requires the completion of a minimum of 59 graduate credit hours of study, beyond the master’s degree. Its 59 credit component parts are:

  1. Technology core courses that provide a common knowledge base for all students;
  2. Technology concentration courses that enhance technical expertise and promote technology literacy supporting the area of the student’s doctoral research;
  3. Cognate courses shaped around individual research interests;
  4. Research skills across a variety of settings;
  5. Scholarly research study, original work as performed by the student; and
  6. Dissertation.

Graduate Assistantships
Students may be eligible for graduate assistantships while they are enrolled in the program full-time, where full-time is defined as enrolled in a minimum of eight credits. If awarded, a student will be assigned to a faculty member in his or her area of research interest. He or she will spend 20 hours per week assisting with research and teaching activities. Graduate assistants may be asked to assist with class preparations, presentations, and grading, as well as with data collection, preparation, and analysis. Faculty members will serve as mentors to their students, training and guiding them in developing their own research plans for dissertation work. Students may request specific faculty persons as mentors, and may request a change in mentor as they matriculate through the program. Every effort will be made to accommodate student requests within reason. Graduate assistantships include tuition waiver and stipend and are usually 8-month appointments.

Graduate/Doctoral Fellowships
A few graduate/doctoral fellowships are available to highly qualified students who have full admission to the doctoral program and have served as graduate assistants at EMU. The graduate fellowship is a distinction of honor awarded to selected graduate students based on academic merit and demonstrated abilities. Fellowships are available only for full-time doctoral students. Fellows must enroll in and complete at least eight hours of graduate-level course work in each of the Fall and Winter terms of the award. Fellowships are 12-month appointments and students must be enrolled in courses every semester during the year, Fall-Winter-Spring-Summer.

Fellows must have a minimum 3.6 cumulative master’s-level GPA to receive consideration. Doctoral students who have already begun their programs must have a minimum 3.6 cumulative doctoral GPA to receive consideration for fellowships.

A doctoral fellow’s responsibilities may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Provide research assistance to faculty.
  • Participate in research, sponsored or un-sponsored, at the level of a research investigator.
  • Teach two College of Technology courses in an area in which they are qualified.
  • Assist in the maintenance of the College and/or a department or program’s web site(s).
  • Assist in the development and operation of seminars and symposia for the college.
  • Perform tasks and duties normally associated with the honor of a fellowship.

The stipends and related benefits will be in accordance with those currently in effect for graduate assistants and doctoral fellows.

Candidacy Qualifying Examination

The College of Technology doctoral program requires students to participate in a Candidacy Qualifying Examination to demonstrate their understanding of applications of multiple research methods related to applied technology in their selected field of concentration.  After students have completed the majority of their doctoral course work, except for the dissertation research, they are required to complete a candidacy qualifying exam. The purpose of this examination is to determine students’ mastery of the literature base, research design knowledge, and problems and issues in their field of concentration. The examination requires the development and oral presentation of three short research proposals utilizing three different research methodologies  to a committee of three COT faculty. Students are expected to provide evidence of their ability to identify doctoral-level research problems, analyze and synthesize background information related to the problems, and apply appropriate research methodologies for collection and analysis of data to resolve the problems. See details on specific requirements and pre-requisite courses for the Candidacy Qualifying Examination in the COT Doctoral Program Student Handbook.

Failing this exam will result in a review of the student’s performance in the Ph.D. program by the Doctoral Operations Committee. The committee may recommend that the student be dismissed from the doctoral program, be permitted to withdraw from the doctoral program, or be allowed to retake the examination (either partially or totally) after a remediation plan has been developed and implemented. Re-examination may not take place until at least three months have elapsed, but must occur within one calendar year. The results of the second examination are final.

Dissertation Proposal

After students have passed the candidacy qualifying examination, they may begin work on their doctoral dissertation proposal. Proposals must be developed under the oversight of a dissertation committee, and formally presented to the committee in a venue similar to the Candidacy Qualifying Examination.

Dissertation Defense 

After a student has completed all course work requirements, received approval of the dissertation research proposal, and completed the dissertation research, they will present the final results of their dissertation research to their doctoral committee. The student must give the committee a minimum of two weeks to read the final copy of the dissertation. After the committee has read the dissertation, the student will present their work to the committee, faculty and guests. At the end of the presentation, the committee will ask questions of the student to either clarify the research or to ensure that the student understands the background, results, and ramifications of the research. At the end of the presentation, the committee will deliberate alone on the results of the defense. They may recommend that the student pass with minimal corrections to the dissertation or with major corrections, or, in rare cases, ask the student to redo significant portions of the research. See details on this requirement and the courses related to it in the current COT Doctoral Program Student Handbook.

Technology Elective Courses: 3 hours

Choose at least one course from the following electives.

Concentration: 15 hours

Students are required to take at least 15 credits of graduate credit related to their area of concentration. Specific course requirements are determined in consultation with the student’s doctoral adviser from the area of concentration.

Cognate Courses: 6 hours

 This is a planned program of course work beyond the core and technical concentration that contributes to the student’s intellectual and professional development, and their area of research interest. Cognate courses should together constitute a unified experience in a particular subject or discipline areas. Specific 600- and 700-level courses are selected in consultation with the doctoral adviser or a committee member who represents the cognate area. The cognate courses must be taken outside of the area of concentration or outside the College of Technology.

Research Skills: 11 hours

 Research design and methodology courses provide advanced skills that prepare students for completing the dissertation. It is expected that incoming students will have a level of statistical competence equivalent to that gained in a graduate level statistics course.

Dissertation Research: 15 hours

A student may enroll for dissertation research courses only after achieving candidacy status. Students must enroll in courses that result in the writing, defense and presentation of the dissertation.

Additional Hours

Additional hours of restricted electives, internship, special topics and independent study courses are available at the doctoral level.

Special Topics

Independent Study

Program Total: 59 hours

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