Doctoral Program Requirements and Structure

Doctor of Philosophy programs at CIU

The Doctor of Philosophy Degree is the most advanced qualification that a university can award to a graduate student. Graduates of the doctoral programs are prepared to be industry leaders and ready to contribute to the academic community professionally by means of teaching, training, scholarly research work, and in many other professional ways. The program provides in-depth skills, knowledge, up-to-date knowledge of current practices, and effective research skills. The theoretical skills, practical skills, and research skills acquired by the students prepared them to be well-grounded and well-rounded for their professions. All doctoral programs at CIU are research-based, which helps graduates to develop high-level research skills comparable to other universities around the world.

All Doctor of Philosophy Degree programs at Cavalla International University require 75 credit hours for completion. The program is a research-focused program guided by faculty advisors.

Note: Students enrolled in Accelerated semesters option can complete their degree in 2 – 3 years by enrolling in 4 academic semesters during the year (Year 1 and year 2 academic requirements can be completed in 1 year – see structure below). Students enrolled in the standard semesters option can complete their degree in 3 – 4 years or more but not more than 6 years.

Note: Most students in the accelerated semesters option complete the doctoral program in 2 ½ years.

All Doctoral students are required to work with academic advisors to develop a program of study, consisting of three elements:

  • Core courses specific to the student’s degree program.
  • Four-course sequence of doctoral level – theory and methods as applied to issues and concepts specific to the student’s degree program, including research and seminar courses designed to prepare students to write their dissertations.
  • Advanced courses specific to the student’s area of study approved by the faculty advisor.

Comprehensive examination (0)-graded: pass with honors, excellent, pass, fail
After the completion of the required coursework, each student must pass a comprehensive written examination that assesses their ability to conduct dissertation research to the standards of the Cavalla International university graduate School.

Publishable Research Project (0) – Required – at least 2 publishable paper
After the completion of all coursework and the comprehensive exam, each student is expected to write a good publishable research project. The research project will be read and graded by the Graduate Committee assigned to the Agribusiness graduate program at Cavalla International University. The student will then revise the research project and submit it for publication to an appropriate academic journal.

 Concept Paper (0) – Required – 3-5 pages.

Each student is required to present a concept paper before beginning the writing of the dissertation. The concept paper is a kind of mini dissertation proposal, which provides key details about the student’s research project. It is a summary of the student’s intended research project, and it helps the student’s advisory committee to have a clear idea and understanding of the research methods, the topics, and the questions being investigated by the researcher. It is a brief paper of 2-3 pages long in double space. 

Dissertation proposal (3)
The dissertation represents original research that contributes to the overall body of knowledge in one’s chosen academic field. Each student is expected to complete and defend a dissertation proposal, typically by the end of the second year. The proposal outlines the research problem, objectives, research methods, and potential implications of dissertation research. Once the proposal is approved by the student’s committee, the student is formally advanced to candidacy.

DOC 9060 Dissertation (12)

The dissertation represents an original contribution to scholarship within the discipline of the subject and the result of independent investigation and research. The goal is to put one’s theoretical knowledge and research proficiency to the practical test by carrying out an independent, albeit guided, project producing an original piece of research and making a significant contribution to solving a problem and expanding the knowledge base in the specific discipline.

Final examination
Upon completing the dissertation, PhD candidates take an oral examination in defense of their work. The PhD is granted upon successful completion of the oral defense and any revisions to the dissertation required by committee members.