In the first two years of the program, students develop an area of interest and learn how to ask interesting research questions and develop analytic designs to investigate them. By the end of the first year, their projects are launched; by the end of the second, they have produced a publishable paper and earned their M.A.s. During the third year, students complete their formal course work, apply for candidacy to the PhD program, and take their comprehensive exams. In the fourth and fifth years, students develop a dissertation proposal, which they present to their committees for advice and feedback, and work on their dissertation. Throughout the training process, students are also actively engaged in writing papers for publications and making preparations for going on the job market.
The Department works to update the Graduate Handbook each year. The follow degree requirements are for the 2019 Cohort and are subject to change for the upcoming 2020 Cohort.