The Qualifying Experience


The Qualifying Experience

The Qualifying Experience required by the PhD Program in Strategic Leadership and Administrative Studies is based on the same concept adapted by many doctoral programs at other universities. It is intended to measure the students' competency and mastery of concepts in their field of studies and applied as a prerequisite for starting the doctoral candidacy and dissertation process. In order to qualify for the doctoral candidacy and participating in the dissertation process students must engage and successfully complete the Qualifying Experience after fulfilling all required courses. To do so, students must register for SLAS 6013: Qualifying Seminar which is offered each fall semester, and successfully complete the course. Students are NOT permitted to enter the candidacy phase of writing their dissertation until they have successfully passed the Qualifying Seminar. Also, a student cannot simultaneously take a dissertation credit while engaged in the Qualifying Seminar. Only upon the successful completion of the Qualifying Process when a student candidate is permitted to enter the Dissertation Phase and start registering for dissertation credits. 

The Qualifying Seminar requires the student to write a quality paper equivalent to manuscripts submitted to reputable peer-review journals. A student to choose the topic of the qualifying paper autonomously and write the entire paper as an independent study. The qualifying paper must have a clearly stated thesis statement and conduct a thorough literature review by presenting a detailed background of the issue and analyzing its themes and dimensions based on at least four theories as well as an ethical implication. A final set of policy and procedural recommendations is required as a conclusion of the paper.

APA style in referencing and a bibliography of at least 30 sources must be properly cited. Paper organization, formatting and writing style must be of high quality suitable for advanced graduate studies and peer-review journal submission criteria. Accordingly, and after successfully passing the Qualifying Experience, students must submit their completed Qualifying Papers to to the program's flagship scholarly peer-review journal, The Journal of Applied Professional Studies (JAPS) and follow the submission guidelines of the journal. All Qualifying Papers that had passed the review process are eligible for publication at the journal. 

Qualifying Papers Submission Process

On October 15th of the semester students must submit their completed qualifying papers to the Program Director without referencing paper authorship. The Program Director will then assign a panel of three faculty selected from the PhD Program's Qualifying Standing Committee in order to review the submitted qualifying papers based on the process applied by leading peer-review journals in the field of organizational leadership and administrative studies. 

Qualifying Papers Evaluation Process

On October 31st the reviewers will submit the results of their evaluation of the qualifying papers to the Program Director based on one of three criteria: Accept, Revise and Resubmit, and Reject, along with their comments. The Program Director will then communicate the reviewers' evaluation to the student. 

If the qualifying paper is Accepted by at least two reviewers within the panel then the student will pass the Qualifying Experience and be eligible as a PhD Candidate to form a dissertation committee during the following spring semester and start the dissertation process.

If the qualifying paper is Rejected at least by two reviewers within the panel then the student must repeat SLAS 6013. Students can repeat SLAS 6013 only once. If a student fails the qualifying experience during the repeated course then he/she will be dismissed from the program.

If two of the reviewers within the panel recommended the qualifying paper to be Revised and Resubmitted, then the student must do so no later than November 15th. The second review of the revised qualifying paper will then to conclude no later than December 3rd

If the revised qualifying paper has passed the second review then the student can move forward as a PhD Candidate, form the dissertation committee during the following spring semester and start the dissertation process. If the revised qualifying paper failed the second review, then the student must retake SLAS 6013. Again, if the student failed during the repeated course then he/she will be dismissed from the program.

In the case of one reviewer in the panel is recommending an acceptance of a qualifying paper, the second reviewer is recommending a revision/re-submission of the qualifying paper and the third reviewer is recommending a rejection of the qualifying paper, then the student must revise and resubmit the qualifying paper and follow the process outlined above.  

Plagiarism Policy

The following is the University’s statement on plagiarism:

Plagiarism is defined as the offering as one’s own work the words, ideas, existing imagery, or arguments of another person. Using the work of others requires appropriate attribution by quotation, reference, or footnote. Use of information without attribution from any source, including The Internet, is considered plagiarism.

Plagiarism constitutes both an academic violation and a code of conduct violation. Students who have plagiarized are placed automatically placed on academic probationary status. The occurrence of a second incident of plagiarism will result in the recommendation to the College Dean for a suspension of the student from the program. 

Plagiarism which occurs on Qualifying Papers will result in recommendation for dismissal from the program. Plagiarism which occurs as part of the dissertation process will result in recommendation for dismissal from the program, following the University’s Research Misconduct Policy. Students are expected to have a thorough understanding of what constitutes plagiarism, whether it be verbatim copying of information or improper paraphrasing. Several links to Internet sites that describe plagiarism issues can be found through the University Library website. These sites offer strategies to avoid plagiarism, as well as examples of proper and improper paraphrasing. Although there may be instances where plagiarism occurs innocently, ignorance is no excuse. 

The penalties discussed above are applied regardless of student intent; it is the professional responsibility of the student to be aware of issues related to plagiarism and to ensure that she/he does not engage in plagiarism. Students also are advised to utilize web resources to self‐check their papers for proper paraphrasing.

PhD 1

Important Dates

Date Topic
October 15 Submit the completed Qualifying Paper to the Program Director
October 31 Results of the Qualifying Papers' reviews
November 15                       Submit the revised Qualifying Paper to the Program Director
December 3 Results of the revised-Qualifying Papers' reviews
December 5 Submit the completed Qualifying Paper to a peer-review journal. Provide submission documents to the Program Director.