Doctorate General Requirements | Rehabilitation Institute | SIU

Southern Illinois University



General Requirements

These are the general requirements for the PhD in the Rehabilitation Institute:

Completion of an approved Program of Study

The program of study requires a minimum of 96 post-baccalaureate semester hours.  For Further requirements within wach specialization, view their requirements pages:


The residency requirement, which must be fulfilled after admission to the Doctoral Program, is minimally satisfied by the completion of 24 semester hours of credit on campus within a period not to exceed four calendar years but before admission to doctoral candidacy. Most doctoral students will meet the residency requirements in one year.

The Preliminary Examinations are given to assess the breadth and depth of the student's knowledge of the discipline. Students will generally prepare for this examination through independent and group study and course work, as advised by the Faculty. Students are encouraged to begin preparation during their first semester of classes.

Establishment of the Doctoral Dissertation Committee

Prior to completion of 24 semester hours of course work, the Advisor/Chairperson will assist the student in identifying a dissertation committee which contains a minimum of the chair and four additional members. One member external to the Institute. Only faculty within the Rehabilitation Institute can function as Academic Advisors and Dissertation Committee Chairpersons. With the assistance of their dissertation committee chairperson, students should complete the top half of the Graduate Faculty Committee Approval form and submit it to the Graduate Studies Director prior to taking their preliminary examinations. Certain courses in the program may be required prior to taking preliminary exams. Students should check with their academic advisor regarding the specifics for their area of study.

Admission to Candidacy

Admission to candidacy is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School upon recommendation of the faculty responsible for the student's program after the student has fulfilled the residency requirement for the Ph.D. degree, completed the research tool, and passed the preliminary examinations, no earlier than the 4 th full semester of doctoral study. The candidate must fulfill all requirements for the degree within a five-year period after admission to candidacy. If completion of requirements is delayed beyond five years, a student may be required to take another preliminary examination and be admitted to candidacy a second time. All candidates must remain registered until completion of their degree.

Completion of a Dissertation

After being admitted to candidacy, the student must complete a dissertation showing that he or she is capable of independent research. A successful dissertation should be the result of the most extensive and intensive scholarly work the student has performed to date. A dissertation must (a) address a significant question; (b) demonstrate that the student can derive sound research questions and hypotheses from a clearly delineated logic model or theory of the problem; (c) formulate and implement a coherent methodology, including appropriate data collection and analysis; and (d) interpret findings and formulate conclusions resulting from independent critical thought and evaluation of source materials. Further, the student must express the dissertation study in clear and grammatical language that is well organized into a cogent argument and logical flow. Finally, the student will follow the most current edition of the publication guidelines of the American Psychological Association, except for those elements for which there are SIUC Graduate School requirements.

Final Examination

There will be a final oral examination administered by the student's doctoral dissertation committee. The examination will cover the subject of the dissertation and other matters related to the discipline. Any member of the graduate faculty may participate in questioning and discussion, subject to reasonable limitations imposed by the chairperson of the committee; but only members of the committee may vote or make recommendations concerning acceptance of the dissertation and final examination. A student will be recommended for the degree only if the members of the committee, with not more than one exception, judge both the dissertation and the performance at the final oral examination to be satisfactory.