Curriculum Requirements 

The MES Ph.D. degree requires 60 total credits. 1
Course Credits 230
Dissertation Research30
Doctoral Dissertation
Required Examinations
Comprehensive Examination 3
Qualifying Examination 4
Additional Requirements
Research Ethics
MES Seminar 5
Educational Training Program (TA) 6
Educational Training 1
Educational Training 2
Educational Training 3
Total Credit Hours60

Minimum of 24 course credits and 12 dissertation credits.

  • Commonly, students will be associated with specific academic tracks. There are no generally required MES courses; however, some academic tracks within MES may have specific course requirements.  
  • The course schedule will be developed by the student in consultation with the Chair of the Dissertation Committee.
  • MES Ph.D. students must pass a comprehensive exam no later than their third semester in residence.
  • The exam’s format for will be defined by the student’s Committee Chair in consultation with the Committee.
  • At the end of the second year, a written qualifying examination is required of all Ph.D. students that focuses on the subject matter needed to successfully execute the research proposed for the dissertation.
  • The purpose of the qualifying examination is to demonstrate that the MES doctoral student has the necessary understanding and expertise in research and related fields to complete the dissertation research. The topic areas should be agreed upon by the student, Chair, and the dissertation Committee soon after the proposal defense. The student is strongly encouraged to discuss the specific topics with each member of the dissertation Committee well in advance of the examination, to clarify the expectations regarding content. The Committee is encouraged to provide specific readings or areas of knowledge they will test the student on. The format of the qualifying exam is decided by the dissertation Committee. It is the Chair’s responsibility to provide the test and to have the student’s Committee grade it in a timely manner.
  • The decision of passing or failing the qualifying examination rests with the dissertation Committee. The qualifying examination (written and, if required by the Committee, oral) must be successfully completed, as documented by the dissertation Committee, before the student can be admitted to candidacy.
  • In the event of a failure, a student may be reexamined once upon the recommendation of the student's Committee in consultation with the Academic Committee. If permitted, the reexamination must be hosted before the end of the following semester. An additional oral qualifying examination may be required by the student's Committee but may not serve as a substitute for the written examination, which is a Graduate School requirement. 
  • MES M.S. and Ph.D. students are required to attend all MES student seminars.
  • Students will give one student seminar at the beginning of their third semester at RSMAS (not counting summers) and every year after with the exception of the semester in which they defend their dissertation.
  • Ph.D. students are expected to be a Teaching Assistant (TA) for two courses while pursuing their degree.
  • The mandatory TA program will include training of new TAs, evaluation of their performance, and recognition of excellence. The goal is to make the experience as valuable as possible for the TA, the faculty, and the students taking our courses.
  • A training session and two teaching opportunities are offered as courses in educational training (RSM 771, RSM 772, RSM 773). Students will be registered accordingly.
  • Specific requirements for TAs are outlined in the RSMAS Student Handbook.