Degree Path

Supervisory Committee

The Supervisory Committee is due by the second year of the graduate program.

Program of Study

The Program of Study is a list of the specific courses a student will need to graduate from the program. Students should submit an electronic or hard copy to the HKR Graduate Program Manager, Andrea Moss, after the first committee meeting (pre-proposal) and at least one semester before graduation. This form must list all of the courses the student will take to complete his or her degree requirements.

HKR Graduate Program Manager: Andrea Moss, HPER N 248, 

Exploring Dissertation Options

It is recommended that doctoral students attend inquiry group meetings and consult with their faculty advisor or supervisory committee chair on prospective topics.

Dissertation Proposal

A pre-proposal meeting should be scheduled after the supervisory committee has been formed and formally approved. The purpose of this meeting is to present a brief proposal of the pilot research study. A timeline, format, and expectations of the Doctoral Qualifying Examination will be outlined by committee members in this meeting.

Proposal Meeting

Students present their research findings, data collection and analysis from the pilot research study. The students and supervisory committee will discuss any problems that have occurred during this research. A final approval to move forward with the dissertation will be given to the student depending on any revisions or changes made to the proposal.

Posting for the Research Proposal must be made public two weeks prior to the proposal. The proposal should include the following:

  • An introduction with theoretical foundations and literature, statement of the problem, and proposed methods.
  • An article that has already been submitted, or is ready to submit, to a peer- reviewed journal that is either a theoretical paper, position paper, results of a pilot study, or other appropriate article as approved by your graduate committee. This may serve as an article of the TAD format (please refer to the Graduate Program Handbook for more details).



The Doctoral Qualifying Examination is a written test that is planned and administered by your supervisory committee under the direction of the committee chair. Each committee member may be assigned an area to test your competency in the following areas:

  1. Program Planning and Evaluation
  2. Health Behavior Theory
  3. Research Design
  4. Statistics
  5. Specific content related to the student’s chosen area of interest

Dissertation Defense

The final oral dissertation defense is a formal presentation of your research findings. You will be expected to present the results of your research in a formal presentation followed by questions and answers from those attending. All five chapters or all three articles are presented to the Supervisory Committee. The final defense will be followed by a meeting with the supervisory committee to determine whether the dissertation defense was adequate or not. The committee may suggest changes and/or revisions to the final dissertation. A final version must be approved by each committee member before it is submitted to the Graduate School – Thesis Office for final edits.

After the corrections are made, six hard copies of the Final Reading Form and six hard copies of the Final Supervisory Committee form are signed by the Supervisory Committee and Department Chair. Sample pages and forms can be found at

Applying for Graduation

Graduate candidates must complete an Application for Graduate Degree and submit to the Registrar’s Office, Graduation Division (Student Services Building, Window 15). View the application.

Filing Your Thesis

The thesis must be approved by the Supervisory Committee before it is submitted to the Graduate School Thesis Office for final editing. A Handbook for Theses and Dissertations with formatting guidelines and examples can be found at the U of U Grad School site.