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Ph.D. Degree in Geodetic Science

The overall goal of the Ph.D. Degree Program in Geodetic Science is to provide students the opportunity to develop advanced research techniques in Geodetic Science. Specific objectives of the program include providing opportunities for students to participate in advanced classes and seminars and to conduct advanced, independent research on fundamental problems in Geodetic Science. The products of the Ph.D. research are expected to be suitable for publication in the refereed scientific literature.

The Ph.D. degree is a research degree, so most coursework is taken during the first 2-3 years.Usually only advanced seminars or pertinent courses that are offered infrequently are taken after that time. The purpose of the coursework in the Ph.D. program is threefold:

  1. to prepare students to complete the Ph.D. candidacy exam (which should be completed no later than the end of the student’s third year in the program);
  2. to prepare students to undertake significant original research in Geodetic Science, culminating in the Ph.D. dissertation; and
  3. to prepare students for a long and productive career in the diverse field of Geodetic Science.

Expected Background

Students entering the Geodetic Science Graduate Degree Program with the goal of attaining the Ph.D. degree must meet all entrance requirements for the M.S. degree (see I.A.) and generally have obtained a M.S. degree (thesis option) in an equivalent discipline. In some cases, a student may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program with approval of the Graduate Studies Committee. A Ph.D. student is responsible for knowledge and competency at the M.S. level in Geodetic Science or a related field, and the core courses of the Ph.D. curriculum are designed to prepare for the general examination that will allow the student to become a candidate for the Ph.D. degree. It is recommended that students applying directly to the PhD program and wishing to be considered for graduate research appointments should complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE); it is required for applications to university academic fellowships or related financial assistance (such as tuition waivers).

Program of Study

Each Ph.D. student will meet with, or correspond with, a potential advisor either during the application process or within the first semester of enrollment. Possible research topics will be discussed at this time. A student will be considered to have an advisor when both the student and the potential advisor have agreed to establish this relationship, and it has been approved by the Geodetic Science GSC. If necessary, the Chair of the Geodetic Science GSC will serve as interim advisor, and will assist the student in finding an advisor. The advisor and the student will choose additional faculty members to serve on the Ph.D. Advisory Committee, subject to approval by the GSC.

The student’s research topic will be identified by mutual agreement of the student and advisor,
subject to approval by the other members of the Ph.D. Advisory Committee and the Geodetic
Science GSC. To formalize this agreement, the student will write a Dissertation proposal after completing the Ph.D. Candidacy Examination; the Dissertation proposal will be approved by the student’s advisor and the other members of his/her Ph.D. Advisory Committee, and will be filed with the Geodetic Science GSC.

At the time of the Ph.D. Candidacy Examination, the student is responsible for the knowledge and competencies developed during the Geodetic Science M.S. program, as well as those developed in the core courses of the Ph.D. curriculum.