Doctoral Assessment

Doctoral Student Program Event Sequence

Meetings with Faculty Advisor

  • Once accepted into doctoral program:
  • to plan Program of Study; student is provided with a copy of the form
  • While enrolled in Advanced Supervision in Counselor Education:
  • to discuss the doctoral level internship requirements
  • to develop a plan for the student to complete the doctoral level internship requirements
  • minimum of 300 of doctoral level internship must be completed within the program supervising master's level students in skills courses, practicum, or internship
  • all 600 hours may be completed through supervising master's level students
  • 300 hours may be completed delivering direct counseling services at a site.
General Exam* Process
  • faculty advisor and student discuss general exam requirements and schedule time frame for completion of general exam prior to meeting with faculty advisor, student should read the section in the Counseling Graduate Program Student Handbook pertaining to the doctoral General Exam
  • Program Coordinator completes and submits Request for General Examination, Doctoral Program form; student is provided with a copy of the form
  • Program Coordinator prepares and distributes the General Examination packets for each doctoral committee member, and sends out grading sheets
Once General Exam has been passed:
  • review and update the Program of Study
  • Program Coordinator completes and submits the Report on General Examination/Request for Candidacy form: Ph.D.; student is provided with a copy of completed form
  • Upon successful completion of writing Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of dissertation and approval from committee chair and committee members:
  • schedule the Dissertation Proposal Defense
  • faculty advisor and student schedule the date of proposal meeting that is mutually agreeable to faculty advisor, dissertation committee members, and student
  • faculty advisor completes and submits the Proposal/Dissertation Defense Announcement form; student is provided with a copy of the form
  • prepare formal protocol to Human Subjects Committee
    After passing the Dissertation Proposal Defense
  • faculty advisor completes and submits Proposal/Dissertation Defense Report; student is provided with a copy
  • this form indicates that the proposal has been accepted
  • submit formal protocol to Human Subjects Committee [UNO; Department of Psychology] for approval; this approval is required prior to gathering data for dissertation study
Upon successful completion of dissertation study and completion of writing Chapters 4 and 5, and approval from committee chair and committee members:
  • schedule the Dissertation Defense
  • faculty advisor and student schedule a date of the dissertation defense that is mutually agreeable to faculty advisor, dissertation committee members, and student
  • Faculty advisor completes and submits the Dissertation Defense Announcement; student is provided with a copy.
After passing the Dissertation Defense:
  • faculty advisor completes the Request for Final Examination, Doctoral Program form;
  • faculty advisor obtains signatures of committee chair and members and thereafter submits form; student is provided with a copy
  • Faculty Advisor completes and submits Examination and Thesis Report

*Doctoral General Examination

The General Exam consists of three essay questions that must be answered over a 3 week period. At least one of the questions must address research methodology. Students are given their questions on the first day of the exam and must submit their written responses to the Coordinator of the Counseling Graduate Program by the last day of the third week.

Each of the three essay questions must be answered in no more than 8 double-spaced pages, typed with one-inch margins with a 12-point font. Reference list pages do not count in the 8 page maximum. Papers that do not conform to the guidelines will be returned to the student for revisions.

Papers are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Coherence and organization of arguments,
  2. Effective use of supporting evidence from relevant literature,
  3. Insight and analytic acumen,
  4.  The extent to which the answer addresses the question of issue,
  5. The extent to which APA style is appropriately followed. 

Students may take the General Exam when they have met the following requirements:

  1. Have completed prior to the term in which they take the General Exam all of the "Entry Level Core" and most of the "Doctoral Level Core" courses listed on their program of study, excluding internship and dissertation hours;
  2. Have no more than nine (9) semester credits left of coursework to complete after the term in which they take the General Exam, excluding internship and dissertation hours.
  3. Completion of all research courses is recommended prior to taking the General Exam. 

General Exam Procedures:

  1.  Doctoral students initiate an appointment with their committee chair to plan the content of the General Exam. The three areas must reflect areas of expertise of the student's committee members and must provide an opportunity for the student to integrate the knowledge and experience that has been gained in the student's individual doctoral program of study. In the event an individual will serve on the student's dissertation committee who is not a UNO full-time or adjunct faculty member, a UNO full-time or adjunct faculty member will substitute for that person until after the General Exam has been passed.
  2. The committee chair notifies the other committee members that the student is preparing to take the General Exam. The committee chair, in consultation with the student, assigns a content area for each committee member. The student meets with each committee member to discuss each question. Each committee member forwards the question he or she writes to the Coordinator of the Counseling Graduate Program.
  3. The Program Coordinator meets with the doctoral student and completes the Request for General Exam Form. The Program Coordinator will then send each of the committee members a memo asking that the question(s) for a given student be sent to the Program Coordinator by a certain date. The Program Coordinator will then assemble the examination packet, gives the packet to the Department secretary, and informs the student that the packet is ready for their retrieval.
  4. When the student has completed all sections of the General Exam, it is delivered to the Program Coordinator by the last day of the third week. The Program Coordinator then makes copies of the completed General Exam for all committee members and indicates the due date for grades to be submitted. All committee members are asked to grade the three papers. Committee members grade each of the three sections of the exam with one of the following grades: satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Committee members are given two weeks to grade and return the exam. Additional time may be given for grading if appropriate due to the semester breaks and holidays. In the event the exam is not returned to the committee chair by the deadline and a committee member has not made previous arrangements for a reasonable extension of time to grade the exam, a satisfactory grade is assigned for that committee member.
  5. After all committee members have returned the graded exam or the period for grading the exam has passed, the Program Coordinator determines the exam grade and notifies both the student and the student's advisor of the results in writing.
  6. If a student receives satisfactory grades from the majority of committee members (i.e. 2 of 3) for a question, that question is passed. Students must pass all three questions in order to pass the exam. If a majority (i.e. 2 of 3) of committee members give unsatisfactory grades on any of the three questions, that question, and thus the exam, is failed.
  7. In the event the first administration of the General Exam is failed, students have one more opportunity to pass the exam. The second exam may be scheduled as soon as the student and committee chair agree upon a schedule for remedial review and new testing dates.
  8. Upon successfully passing the General Exam, the Program Coordinator will then complete the Report on the General Exam Form and send a letter to the candidate with the program's congratulations. Once the Report on General Exam form has been submitted, the student is admitted to candidacy.