PhD Requirements

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Minimum of 64 hours of graduate credit with no more than 32 hours beyond the MS as thesis hours. [Note: Graduate credit is given for courses at the 400-level (unless the Catalog or Course Schedule specifies undergraduate credit only) and 500-level only. 100- 200- and 300-level courses do not earn credit toward a graduate degree in ACE.]

Core Courses

24 hours. The core courses (see "Ph.D. Required and Recommended Courses") begin in the first fall semester of enrollment unless a delay is recommended by the student’s initial program planning committee or on approval of a petition filed during the first eight weeks of the semester in which a student is enrolled in a core course. Students are encouraged to complete the core in two consecutive semesters. Core courses must be taken for letter grade.

Area of Specialization Courses

(a) 8 approved hours in ACE at the 500 level to define primary field (could be from list of examples or otherwise defined by faculty advisors) and (b) 8 approved additional hours (minimum) in a complementary field or other area to strengthen the student’s program.

Quantitative Methods Courses

4 approved hours (minimum) of quantitative methods beyond the courses specified in the core.

500-Level Courses

16 hours of 500-level course work, excluding the core courses, independent study, and thesis credit.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A minimum overall graduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  “Retake” grades are not considered.  Eight hours of independent study, four hours from any one member of the faculty, may be taken for grade.  Subsequent additional independent study credit may be taken on a credit/no credit basis.

Written Core Examination

Passing grade on a written core examination that is based primarily on material covered in ACE 592ME, 501, 502, and 503 but may also require integration of theory and analytical tools to analyze problems or concepts.

Research Paper

A written paper in the form of a journal article and presented at a department conference.  Students are required to take ACE 561, Advanced Scholarly Communication.  The research paper must be approved by the research paper committee. 

Oral Defense of Dissertation Proposal/Preliminary Examination

Pass an oral preliminary examination and defend plans for independent research.  Students must complete all non-thesis course and examination requirements and remove all excused and deferred (other than thesis) grades before the oral examination.

Dissertation and Final Oral Examination

Pass an oral examination that evaluates the dissertation research.  Students must be registered for Thesis Research (599) in the semester of the examination.  Deposit dissertation by the established deadlines.

Time Limit

Seven years from first registration in the Graduate College for a student who has not completed a master's degree equivalent to that awarded at the University of Illinois; six years from initial registration in the doctoral program  if an M.S. was completed at another institution or if more than three years lapse between completion of the M.S. here and continuation here for the Ph.D; five years from initial registration in the doctoral program if less than three years elapse between completion of a master's degree here and initial registration for the Ph.D.

Presented here are the basic requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.  These requirements are subject to change.  For specific and complete requirements, consult the ACE graduate program guidelines found in Graduate Program Policies & Procedures.