Top Ten Best Practices for Doctoral Students

TOP 10 General Best Practices for Doctoral Level Students

The below top 10 practices are our suggestions for productive matriculation throughout your Doctoral degree at NCAT: 

  1. Upon arrival on campus, meet with the Department Chair, Graduate Coordinator and your advisor. Make sure this advisor is assigned by your Department.
  2.  Review curriculum and prepare course schedule for first term, obtain approval from your graduate coordinator or advisor.
  3. If applicable, complete all course deficiencies (or foundation courses).
  4. Consult with advisor to complete a Plan of Study. It must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator by the end of your second semester. Submit to Plan of Study to the Graduate College.
  5. Complete course work online on your Plan of Study. If any changes are made to your course work you must submit a new plan of study with revised date
  6. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your advisor.
  7. Take Qualifying Exams. (Consult with department for deadline)
  8. Consult with advisor to select dissertation committee.
  9. Fill the Report of Doctoral Committee Composition Form and submit to graduate school.
  10. Once decided, submit a dissertation title and research plan to your Advisory Committee.
  11. Schedule a dissertation proposal defense. (This is the Preliminary Examination for Doctoral students.)
  12. No earlier than one semester into your candidacy, schedule your Final Oral Defense.
  13. Submit the Application for Oral Examination with the signatures of all members of your Advisory Committee to the Graduate Coordinator. Upon approval of this request, and no later than two weeks before the suggested date, you and your advisor must post the time and place of the defense and submit a copy of the draft of your dissertation to all committee members (including the representative of the Graduate College) for their review. Note that the Graduate Coordinator must be given time to review your Application for Oral Examination so that approval may be received two weeks before the suggested date for the defense
  14. Hold your oral defense.
  15. Complete your application for graduation via Aggie Access. (Please see academic calendar for deadline).
  16. Approved Final Degree Clearance Form completed by Academic Department Chairperson.
  17. Ensure all tuition and fees are paid.

*See your department graduate student handbook for more details


Helpful Links

Academic Calendar 

Application for In-State Residency for Tuition Purposes 

Campus Employment Opportunities 

Doctoral Committee Composition Form 

Final Oral Defense Form

Graduate College Forms

Plan of Study

Transfer of Credit Form