Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education Degrees

The doctorate symbolizes the ability of the recipient to undertake original research and scholarly work at the highest levels without supervision. The degree is therefore not granted simply upon completion of a stated amount of course work but rather upon demonstration by the student of a comprehensive knowledge and high attainment in scholarship in a specialized field of study. The student must demonstrate this ability by writing a dissertation reporting the results of an original investigation and by passing a series of comprehensive preliminary examinations in the field of specialization and related areas of knowledge, and successfully defending the dissertation. 


  1. At least two residence credit points secured in continuous semesters' residence as a graduate student at the University. 

  2. Doctoral degrees at North Carolina State University require a minimum of 72 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree. For a student who has a master's degree from a university other than NC State, a maximum of 18 hours of relevant graduate credit from the master's degree may be applied toward this minimum, upon the recommendation of the student's Graduate Advisory Committee. If a student completes a master's degree at NC State and continues for a doctoral degree without a break in time, up to 36 credit hours taken while in master's status may be used to meet minimum requirements for the doctoral degree. 

  3. A preliminary comprehensive examination (written and oral components) 

  4. A dissertation 

  5. A final comprehensive oral examination 

  6. Dissertation defense.