All students must begin a research paper no later than one year after entering the PhD program. The paper is to be evaluated by a committee no later than two and one-half years after the student enters the PhD program. The committee shall consist of two full-time faculty members selected by the student in consultation with the PhD advisor. At least one committee member must be a member of the graduate faculty. Failure to produce a satisfactory paper as determined by the committee will constitute unsatisfactory performance and will necessitate a review of the student by the PhD Program Committee. The student must produce a satisfactory paper before the major qualifying exam is taken. Students are also required to present this paper at a departmental seminar.
The purpose of the paper is to provide an exposure to the full range of activities required to successfully conduct independent research. The research paper will have all of the characteristics of a publishable paper except that the overall quality need not be sufficient to merit publication. For example, the normal empirical paper will have all of the elements of a typical empirical article appearing in leading journals in the student’s area. Similarly, a theoretical paper should have a broad enough range of development to warrant comparison with similar work published in the area.