Professional Degree Policies
GCAC-700-E English Competence - Professional Doctoral Degrees
Professional Doctoral Degree Program: an integrated program of study combined with understanding of research literature to support application of knowledge to practice at the highest level, culminating in a project, portfolio, or performance that demonstrates expertise in professional practice. Students successfully completing a professional doctoral degree program are awarded the appropriate doctoral degree; professional doctoral degrees at Penn State include D.Ed., D.M.A., D.N.P., and Dr.P.H.
Research Doctoral Degree Program: an integrated program of study combined with investigation of a significant problem, question, or issue in the discipline, culminating in the completion of an original scholarly contribution (in the form of a dissertation) that expands the frontiers of knowledge. Students successfully completing a research doctoral degree program are awarded Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.
- Candidates for all doctoral degrees are required to demonstrate high-level competence in the use of the English language, including reading, writing, and speaking, as part of the language and communication requirements for the doctorate.
- Graduate programs are expected to establish mechanisms for assessing and improving competence of both domestic and international students. Assessments should include pieces of original writing.
- Programs and advisers should identify any deficiencies before or at the qualifying examination and direct students into appropriate remedial activities.
- Competence must be formally attested by the program before the doctoral candidate’s comprehensive examination is scheduled.
- Passage of the minimal TOEFL or IELTS requirement does not demonstrate the level of competence expected of a doctoral degree candidate and for conferral of a doctorate from Penn State.
Adapted from the Graduate Bulletin: June 2018