Curriculum

The minimum requirements for a Ph.D. in Business Administration – Management are reviewed below and summarized as follows:

AREAS MINIMUM CREDIT HOURS
Foundation requirements (may be waived) 0-15
Foundation statistics requirement
(STAT 651/652) (may be waived)
0-6
Major field and concentrations 18
Research methods sequence 15
Elective Ph.D. seminars 9
Economics (may be waived) 0-6
Examinations no credit
Dissertation research 16-22
Total minimum requirement 64

The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of 64 semester hours beyond a master’s degree or 96 semester credit hours beyond a bachelor’s degree if the student has no master’s degree. To assure achievement of career goals, students and/or their advisory committees may schedule work beyond the 64 credit hour minimum. For example, it is not typically feasible to write a dissertation proposal, conduct the research, write the final dissertation and defend it in 16-22 credit hours. However, recent legislation passed in the state of Texas limits the number of hours in the total Ph.D. program to 100 hours above the master’s degree. For all of these reasons, the Mays Business School has a five-year limit to the Ph.D. program.

Each of the areas identified in the summary above are discussed in the following subsections.

Foundation requirements

The foundation requirements that apply to the Ph.D. program in Business Administration – Management are as follows:

  • Basic understanding of statistical and calculus concepts and applications (prior to taking the research methods sequence)
  • Courses from all areas of business or equivalents to provide a basic understanding of concepts in the business disciplines.
  • The Department of Management foundation requirements are satisfied by the completion of one or more (three credit-hour) graduate courses in each of the following areas: accounting, finance, management, and marketing. This requirement may be waived.

The doctoral foundation requirements may not count toward the minimum 64 semester credit hours required beyond the master’s degree. Applicants with a MBA degree from an AACSB graduate-accredited institution will usually have satisfied all or nearly all of these foundation requirements.

Major field and concentrations

A minimum of 18 graduate level credit hours is required in the management major. These credit hours must be taken after admission to the Ph.D. program. Students who have not taken graduate-level courses previously in organization theory and/or human resource management may be asked to complete appropriate foundation courses.

Management courses that are used to satisfy the foundation requirements may not be counted in the required 18 hours for a major.

The 18 graduate level credit hours are a minimum requirement and must be satisfied by taking at least four Department of Management doctoral seminars (excluding MGMT 673, 686, and 687, which are research methods seminars), and we encourage all students to take all 18 hours via in-class seminars, though this not required (as noted below).

The following three seminars must be taken by ALL students:

  • MGMT 634 (Seminar in Organizational Behavior)
  • MGMT 636 (Seminar in Organization Theory)
  • MGMT 676 (Seminar in Strategic Management)

Students must take at least two additional seminars in the department, such as:

  • MGMT 624 (Seminar in Human Resource Management)
  • MGMT 637 (Entrepreneurship)
  • MGMT 667 (Multinational Enterprises)
  • MGMT 689 (Seminar in Leadership)

The 18-hour major requirement may also be met by taking Independent Study (MGMT 685) and/or Special Topics (MGMT 689). However, only three hours of MGMT 685 can count toward the major and the total of MGMT 685 and MGMT 689 generally must not exceed nine credit hours.

Ph.D. students majoring in management may specialize by selecting courses and conducting research primarily in a single concentration.

The two primary concentrations are:

  1. Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  2. Strategic Management

Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management

The OB/HR concentration focuses on such topics as: individual characteristics such as values and personality; individual processes such as perception, motivation, decision making, judgment and commitment; group characteristics such as size, composition, and structural properties; group processes such as decision making and leadership; organizational processes and practices such as goal setting, feedback, awards, and behavioral aspects of task design as they affect individuals and groups; change processes within organizations; organization design and redesign, culture, and adaptation processes at the organization level; management behaviors, strategies, and demographics at a collective managerial level; recruitment and selection; compensation procedures, including benefits and services; design of performance appraisal systems; the strategic process by which human resource programs are developed, implemented, and evaluated; external influences upon work activity such as unionization, collective bargaining, and other forms of formal employee participation; impact of legislative, economic, and political developments relevant to human resource programs.

Strategic Management

The Strategic Management concentration focuses on such topics as: roles and problems of general managers (e.g., top management teams), organizational goal setting; strategy formulation; strategy implementation; strategic planning and decision processes; strategic control and reward systems; resource allocation; diversification and portfolio strategies; competitive strategy; corporate venturing; creation and management of new businesses; and international business and entrepreneurship.

Ph.D. electives

This requirement is designed to support the student’s research and/or career plans. A minimum of nine graduate level credit hours taken after admission to the Ph.D. program is required. Courses may be selected from one of the other fields in Mays Business School (accounting, operations, finance, or marketing) or from other disciplines within the university (economics, engineering, political science, psychology, sociology, etc.). These credit hours do not necessarily need to come from a single academic department. All courses for this requirement must be Ph.D. seminars. In other words, students cannot take masters-level courses to fulfill this requirement. Moreover, students are not able to take independent studies (i.e., 685 courses) to fulfill this requirement. Students should feel free to contact the DPC Coordinator to resolve any questions about this requirement.

Examinations

Two examinations (aside from those in courses) are part of the Ph.D. program — preliminary and final. The preliminary examination is taken at or near the end of the student’s course work and is a comprehensive exam preliminary to undertaking dissertation research. The final examination, which is oral in nature, concludes the program and assures that the dissertation research is acceptable. The preliminary and final examinations are discussed more fully later.

Dissertation research

The culmination of the program is the dissertation research. Here students demonstrate their abilities and knowledge through independent research.

Program Progression

To provide a sense of how the program unfolds over time, a program progression chart is presented in Appendix C. Another progression schedule is available from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The following sections discuss the major elements presented in the program progression chart.

Initial counseling by Ph.D. coordinator

The Ph.D. program coordinator serves as the adviser to each doctoral student in management until the formation of his/her permanent advisory committee. The advisory committee is normally formed at the beginning of the fourth semester. The primary initial counseling comes during the day of orientation which takes place just before the start of fall semester.

The role of the Ph.D. coordinator includes:

  • Determining which of the foundation requirements have been satisfied
  • Providing orientation to new doctoral students
  • Advising students on courses to be taken prior to the formation of their advisory committee
  • Counseling students with respect to general and procedural questions
  • Chairing the departmental doctoral program committee
  • Facilitating the professional development of doctoral students
  • Coordinating the first and second year reviews of doctoral students
  • Coordinating the administration of the preliminary examination
  • Advising the department head on the graduate assistantship assignments of doctoral

Performance standards

Academic excellence is expected in all work undertaken. A minimum grade point (GPR) of 3.00 (B average, based on a 4.00 maximum) in all course work, other than those courses in which grades of Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U) are given (681, 684, 690, 691, 692), must be maintained throughout the period of graduate study by every graduate student at Texas A&M University. After admission to the Ph.D. Program, all grades earned in courses taken at Texas A&M will be used in computing the GPR.

A course in which a grade of C or less or Unsatisfactory (U) is earned will not count toward completion of the degree program. A course in which the final grade is C or less may be repeated for a higher grade. Both grades earned in a course that is repeated will be used in the computation of the GPR. Semester credit hours to which grades of D or F are assigned will also be included in calculating the GPR. Those courses (credit hours) involving grades W and Q shall be excluded in calculating the GPR.

Grades of D, F, or U for courses on a degree program must be absolved by repeating the courses and achieving a grade of C or above.

Further information on performance standards is contained in the graduate catalog. Academic progress is monitored by the college Associate Dean for Academic Programs as well as the doctoral program coordinator. A student is considered to be on scholastic probation if the student’s GPR falls below the minimum 3.0 in any semester. Failure to remedy such academic deficiency in the following semester will result in the student’s removal from the Ph.D. program. In other words, two consecutive semesters with a cumulative GPR of less than 3.0 will result in the student’s expulsion from the program.

Additional performance standards can be found in Appendix D. Failure to meet these performance standards, including passing the preliminary examination and demonstrated competence toward independent research, will result in dismissal from the program.

First and second year reviews

Following the second full semester in the program, the Department of Management doctoral program committee conducts a review of the student’s performance to date. A variety of information sources are used – faculty from whom the student has taken courses, faculty with whom the student has worked, the student him/herself, and grades in courses.

The primary purpose of the review is to diagnose the student’s strengths and weaknesses to assist in guiding his/her continuing professional development. The student receives both written and oral feedback from the doctoral program committee. The committee also seeks feedback from the student. This review process is repeated following the student’s fourth semester in the program.

Establish advisory committee

The advisory committee guides and directs the student’s academic program. The advisory committee is responsible for the proposed degree program, the research proposal, the preliminary examination (written and oral), the dissertation, and the final examination.

In addition, the advisory committee as a group and as individual members are responsible for counseling students on academic matters, and, in the case of academic deficiency, initiating recommendations to the Director of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The advisory committee should be formed during the third semester or beginning of the fourth semester.

Committee chair

Each student needs to give thoughtful consideration to whom they wish to chair their committee. The Council of Graduate Schools in the United States suggests that students consider “faculty actively engaged in research” as potential committee members. An advisory committee chair is typically selected because the student feels comfortable in discussing with the chair his/her degree program and other related issues. Students are encouraged to seek out this faculty as needed. Students are solely responsible for selecting their advisory committee. Those selected, however, may refuse to accept if they are too busy or for any other reason. This renders the composition of the advisory committee “mutually agreed upon.” The head of the Department of Management or a designated representative should be involved in the process and must approve the final selection of a chairperson.

Committee composition

Advisory committees will consist of no fewer than four members – three from management and one from the student’s minor area. With the consent of the advisory committee chairperson, a student may have more than four members.

In developing the composition of the advisory committee, a student should consider the following:

  • The general area(s) of concentration. Identify faculty in the area(s) of concentration.
  • The particular research interest. Identify faculty who are qualified to supervise such research.
  • Career plans. Identify faculty members who have knowledge and/or contacts that could be helpful in accomplishing those plans.
  • A brief biographical listing of current Department of Management graduate faculty and their research interests appears in Appendix D.

    Committee changes

    As students prepare to embark on their dissertation research, they may want to petition the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies to change the composition of their committee (including the chair) to better reflect their current research interests. Given the time period between formation of the advisory committee and the focusing in on a dissertation topic, it is not unusual to make one or more changes in the advisory committee. Students who wish to change the composition of their committee are advised to consult their advisory committee chairperson and the Ph.D. program coordinator.

    Preparation of degree plan

    The student’s proposed degree plan must be filed with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies no later than 90 days prior to the preliminary examination. The form on which the degree plan must be submitted is available from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. It may also be obtained online. The degree plan must list all courses taken at Texas A&M after admission to the Ph.D. program. The proposed degree plan form must be signed electronically by the student, the members of the student’s advisory committee, and the head of the student’s major department or the departmental Ph.D. program coordinator.

    The degree plan form is then submitted to the Associate Dean for Research and Ph.D. Programs at Mays Business School. The Associate Dean will verify compliance with program requirements and will then submit the proposed degree plan form to the Director of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. Subsequent to the approval of a degree program, additional course work may be added by the student’s advisory committee. This could occur if additional course work is deemed necessary to correct deficiencies in the student’s academic preparation.

    After the degree plan is approved, it may be altered by a petition initiated by the student. A petition form is used for all proposed changes in membership of a student’s advisory committee, change of major department, change in courses, requests for exception to published rules, etc. Petition forms are available from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. A petition requires approval of the advisory committee, the department head or departmental Ph.D. program coordinator, and the Associate Dean for Research and Ph.D. Programs before it is submitted to the Director of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

    Written departmental examination

    The departmental exam is given to students in lieu of a formal written preliminary examination. This exam serves to focus student effort on developing a comprehensive understanding of the literature they will use during the rest of their professional careers. The examination process enables students to reflect on their course work and independent readings to develop a deeper understanding of the field.

    Students should be able to articulate their perspectives on key theoretical and methodological issues. At the point of the exam, students should be broad based and current in their reading. They should be able to state and logically defend their positions on each of the major theoretical and methodological issues in their area of concentration and state the major positions held in other management content areas.

    The formal objectives of the preliminary exam are:

    • Provide a mechanism to ensure that students acquire breadth and depth of knowledge in their chosen field (OB/HR or Strategy)
    • Provide a mechanism by which students demonstrate integration, original insights, and creativity in their chosen field
    • Have a fair system that is high on procedural justice
    • Have a process that can be completed in a timely manner, so that the student can continue to progress toward the dissertation proposal

    In the summer following the fourth semester, students take a one and a half-day written departmental exam in their chosen area (OB/HR or Strategy). This will be a closed book exam. Students in the same area will take the same exam.

    On the first day, students will be asked to answer four out of six questions drawn from their specialty area. They will have eight hours to answer these questions. On the second day, students will be given a question related to methodology (usually they will be asked to critique the methodology of a given paper). They will have four hours to complete the second portion of the exam.

    The doctoral program coordinator solicits questions for the exam from faculty in the chosen area and also solicits graders of the exam from the chosen area. The committee chair and the doctoral program coordinator create each exam from the solicited questions. The doctoral program coordinator and the committee chairs approve final grade determinations and any remediation activities before they are communicated to the student. The doctoral program coordinator (or its designated representative) actually administers the test, but all grades are turned in to the committees.

    Some important characteristics of the departmental examination process are as follows:

    • The exam will be held soon after the end (or near end) of required coursework. All the students must be within at least six hours of fulfilling their course requirements and may not have any outstanding grades of incomplete. The test will follow an approximate 6-week study period.
    • Within a few weeks of the exam date, the doctoral program coordinator will solicit questions from faculty in the appropriate area. Faculty will be informed that any question on any content area within the domain is fair and appropriate for this exam.
    • The committee chairs will meet with the doctoral program coordinator to develop exams approximately two weeks prior to the exam’s administration. Day One (content area) exams will consist of six questions, and those questions must be the same for all students in a given area. The students will be expected to answer four of the questions. Day Two exams will consist of one methodology related question involving the critique of a paper.
    • The doctoral program coordinator will administer the exam. This will include setting up the exam room, escorting the students, handing out the tests, and circulating the written responses to all graders. The doctoral program coordinator will request that the grades be turned in to the doctoral program coordinator, who will pass the grades along to the committee chair.
    • The doctoral program coordinator will set a deadline of 14-21 days after the exam as the date on which all grades are to be turned in to committee chairs. On that day (or the nearest day following that on which a meeting can be scheduled) the doctoral program coordinator will ask that the committee chairs meet as a group with the doctoral program coordinator to evaluate each committee’s recommendations regarding the pass or fail status of their student. This meeting date may be established even before the exam is administered.
    • Should a student’s performance be deemed “fail,” the doctoral program coordinator, with the committee’s involvement, will work out the next steps.
    • Summer exams are usually held during the third week of June. Winter exams, if held, are usually held during early January.

    Oral preliminary examination

    An oral preliminary examination is scheduled in a timely manner following the successful completion of the departmental written exam. It is strongly recommended that no date be set for an oral examination until the committee has agreed that the student’s performance on the departmental written exam is adequate. This is to better ensure (though not guarantee) that the student avoids the embarrassment of a failure on the oral exam. For the oral defense to take place, each committee member must be present. Students are allowed one substitute (the chair must be present, however). If the missing member is from outside the department, the substitute must also come from outside the department. Finally, all committee members (and substitutes) must be members of the graduate faculty.

    Oral preliminary examination checklist

    Prior to holding an oral examination, the student must complete an oral preliminary exam checklist. An oral preliminary examination checklist can be obtained online. A signed form reporting the results of the preliminary exam must also be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. This can also also be obtained online.

    Finalize advisory committee

    At this point in the program, the student may desire to change the composition of the advisory committee. The student may want to add or substitute committee members (including the advisory committee chair) to better reflect the primary interests of the student’s proposed dissertation research. It should be noted that changes to the advisory committee can take place at any time, but after prelims is a fairly common time for students to alter their committees.

    Dissertation proposal

    The student shall prepare a dissertation proposal acceptable to the advisory committee. The general field of research to be used for the dissertation should be discussed by the student and the advisory committee as early in the program as possible. This discussion should be the basis for selecting the proper courses to support the proposed field of research. At a later stage, when the conceptualization of the research can be outlined in detail, the official forms for proposing the dissertation should be completed which are available from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

    The narrative portion of the proposal submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies should not exceed ten pages. However, the proposal evaluated by the Advisory Committee should be of the length necessary to fully describe the proposed research. The detailed instructions regarding the written dissertation proposal to be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies are on the back of the Proposal Title Page for Thesis, Dissertation, and Record of Study which is available from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

    Oral proposal defense

    An oral defense of the dissertation proposal is required. The proposal defense is open to all Mays graduate faculty, doctoral students, and other interested persons. Those attending the proposal defense are encouraged to provide the student with recommendations for improving or modifying the dissertation research design.

    The purposes of having open proposal defenses are to obtain greater uniformity in the quality of proposals and to provide helpful suggestions to the student and the committee. The student’s permanent advisory committee evaluates the student’s proposal defense and the input of the interested graduate faculty and decides whether to approve the dissertation proposal.

    For the proposal defense to take place, each committee member must be present. Students are allowed one substitute (the chair must be present, however). If the missing member is from outside the department, the substitute must also come from outside the department. Finally, all committee members (and substitutes) must be members of the graduate faculty.

    The ability to perform independent research must be demonstrated by the dissertation. Although acceptance of the dissertation proposal is based primarily on the scholarly merit of the proposed research, the proposal must also exhibit creditable literary workmanship. Of course, the proposal presented is likely to be revised based on inputs received during the proposal defense. If approved by the advisory committee, the dissertation proposal is filed with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, and the student is advanced to candidacy.

    Announcement of defense

    The proposal defense must be announced to the college faculty and doctoral students at least two weeks (10 working days) prior to the scheduled date. A formal memo (or e-mail) should be prepared for announcing the proposal defense and given to a secretary in each department for distribution. Copies of the proposal should be made available to interested faculty and Ph.D. students.

    Approved proposal

    The approved dissertation proposal is to be signed by all members of the student’s advisory committee and the head of the Department of Management. This signed proposal should be submitted (one original proposal and title page only) to the Director of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies for final approval. This final approval should normally be secured before the commencement of data collection that involves field research. This final step is important, as it affects the scheduling of the final oral defense. Typically, a period of 14 weeks between the proposal defense and the final defense is required, starting when the proposal defense is filed with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. This 14-week period, however, may be waived at the discretion of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. Also, a 10-page summary of the proposal must be filed with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. Students should also be aware that Internal Review Board (IRB) approval is required for all proposals, not only those using human subjects. Those students whose dissertations involve human subjects may expect extensive delays and negotiations with the Internal Review Board prior to securing approval. Even research using only secondary data must file a form with the IRB and await approval before they will be admitted to candidacy.

    Admission to candidacy

    To be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, a student must have:

    • a cumulative GPR and a degree plan GPR of at least 3.00
    • satisfied the residency requirement
    • completed the formal course work
    • passed the preliminary examination
    • filed the dissertation proposal approved by the student’s advisory committee with the Director of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies
    • received notification from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies that the student’s proposal has been approved. This notification will be delayed if the Internal Review Board has not already approved the student’s proposal.

    The student and the chair of the advisory committee should receive written notification from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies certifying admission to candidacy. The student should be admitted to candidacy well in advance of the date when the degree is to be granted. The final examination will not be authorized for a student who has not been admitted to candidacy.

    Dissertation research

    The doctoral dissertation must be original work by the student. The Ph.D. is a research degree by definition. Thus, the dissertation must embody the results of research and show evidence of originality and independent investigation. The dissertation must show mastery of the literature and relevant research techniques, be written in credible literary form, and represent a contribution to knowledge in the field. As the Council of Graduate Schools notes: “the doctoral dissertation should be a distinct contribution to knowledge, and of sufficient value to warrant its publication in a reputable journal, or as a book or monograph.”

    In years past some universities required that the dissertation (or a substantial part) be published before the degree was officially awarded. Today, that requirement has virtually disappeared; instead the common criterion has become the phrase worthy of publication.

    The format of the dissertation must comply exactly with the instructions and specifications of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. These guidelines are included in Instructions Concerning the Preparation of Theses, Dissertations, and Records of Study. This booklet may be purchased from the Texas A&M Bookstore or you may borrow a copy from the Ph.D. coordinator secretary.

    Time limits

    Students are encouraged to complete all requirements for a degree before commencing employment at another organization. When students leave campus before finishing, experience indicates that the time to complete the degree is frequently extended, and subsequent career progress is diminished.

    Four-year limit

    After passing the required preliminary examination, the student must complete all remaining requirements for the degree within four calendar years. Otherwise, the student will be required to repeat the preliminary examination – written and oral portions.

    Ten-year limit

    No student will be granted a doctoral degree from Texas A&M University unless all requirements for the degree are completed within a period of ten consecutive calendar years. The student cannot receive graduate credit for any course work that is more than ten calendar years old at the time of the final examination.

    In Absentia registration

    A doctoral student not in residence – but who has completed all course work on the degree plan other than MGMT 691 (research) – must register in absentia continuously each regular semester or 10-week summer session for one semester credit hour of MGMT 691. This in absentia registration must continue until all requirements for the degree have been completed.

    A student who does not comply with this requirement will have future registrations blocked. The student who is blocked will be allowed to register only after receiving a favorable recommendation from a departmental review committee (not the student’s advisory committee), the endorsement of the department head, and the approval of the Director of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

    Final defense

    Upon the recommendation of the student’s advisory committee, a final examination (oral in nature) shall be given. The student’s advisory committee, as finally constituted, will conduct this examination. The final examination is not to be administered until such time that the dissertation is available to the student’s advisory committee (including the graduate council representative) in substantially final form. This form would constitute, at a minimum, a typed version that is complete in all respects. Moreover, all members of the advisory committee must have had adequate time to review the document.

    For the final defense to take place, each committee member must be present. Students are allowed one substitute (the chair must be present, however). If the missing member is from outside the department, the substitute must also come from outside the department. Finally, all committee members (and substitutes) must be members of the graduate faculty.

    Scope of examination

    Although the final examination may cover the broad field of management, it is presumed that the major portion of the time will be devoted to the dissertation and closely allied topics.

    Participation and evaluation

    The final examination is open to all members of the graduate faculty of Texas A&M. Therefore, persons other than members of the graduate faculty may be invited to attend the final examination. However, only the advisory committee will be present for evaluating the student’s performance on the final examination.

    Deadlines and announcement

    The announcement of the final examination should be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled date for the final examination. The form for requesting and announcing the final examination is available online. The approval to hold the defense is signified by receipt from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies of the form for the final defense. This form is later used by the advisory committee to submit its recommendations to the Director of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies concerning the acceptability of the candidate for the doctoral degree.

    The candidate for the Ph.D. degree must pass a final examination by deadline dates announced in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies calendar each semester or summer session for graduation in that semester. If the final examination is after the deadline, graduation is deferred until the following semester. In such instances, the student is considered graduation only, and need not register at all for that final semester.

    Conditions for holding the final exam

    The final examination may be given only if the student meets the following conditions (in addition to satisfactory status of the dissertation research):

    • Has completed all course work on the degree plan, with the exception of any MGMT 691 (research) hours for which the student is registered (or any course for which permission from Office of Graduate and Professional Studies has been granted to delete from the degree program)
    • Has a 3.0 or better and has no unabsolved grades of D, F, or U for courses listed on the degree plan
    • Has an approved research proposal on file with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies
    • Has been admitted to candidacy

    Expectations for good practice in graduate education

    The major goals of graduate education at Texas A&M are to instill in each student an understanding of and a capacity for scholarship, independent judgment, academic rigor, and intellectual honesty. Faculty and graduate students have a shared obligation to work together to foster these goals through relationships that advance freedom of inquiry, demonstrate individual and professional integrity, and encourage common respect.

    Graduate student progress is guided and evaluated by an adviser and a graduate committee. These individuals give direction and support for the appropriate developmental and learning goals of graduate students. The adviser and the graduate committee also have the obligation of evaluating a graduate student’s academic performance. The graduate student, the adviser, and the graduate committee constitute the basic core of graduate education. It is the quality, scope, and extent of interaction in this group that determine the significance of the graduate experience.

    High quality graduate education requires professional and ethical conduct of the participants. Faculty and graduate students have mutual responsibilities in ensuring academic standards and quality graduate programs. Excellence in graduate education is achieved when faculty and students are inspired, have the academic and professional backgrounds essential to function at the highest level, and are genuine in their mutual desire to see one another triumph. Any action that negatively affects this interaction destroys the whole relationship. Mutual respect is critical to a successful process. With these goals in mind, these imperatives are put forth.

    Expectations for graduate students

    • Exercise the utmost integrity in all facets of the graduate program
    • Behave in a professional and mature manner in all interactions with faculty, staff, and fellow students, both graduate and undergraduate
    • Accept the chief responsibility to be knowledgeable of the rules and regulations governing graduate education, including those promulgated by Texas A&M University, Mays Business School, and the degree program
    • Enroll in the appropriate course work to complete the degree plan
    • Maintain the appropriate standards to continue graduate studies
    • Understand that the faculty adviser and the committee members sustain the intellectual and instructional surroundings in which the student develops competencies
    • Understand that the faculty members have the right to allocate their own professional time and other resources in diverse forms that are academically effective
    • Understand that the faculty adviser and the committee members are accountable for monitoring the accuracy, validity, and integrity of all facets of the student’s program. A well-conceived program reflects positively on the student, the faculty adviser, the advisory committee, and Texas A&M
    • Acknowledge, as appropriate, the contributions of the faculty adviser and others in the student’s publications and conference presentations
    • Maintain appropriate confidentiality concerning the creative activities and research of faculty, staff and fellow students prior to presentation or publication, in accordance with existing practices and policies of the discipline and of Texas A&M University
    • Submit documents (proposal, thesis, dissertation, etc.) that are the original work of the student. Plagiarism will not be tolerated.

    Expectations for faculty

    • Exercise the utmost integrity in all facets of the graduate program
    • Provide intellectual and technical encouragement, moral support, and direction in support of a graduate student’s progress toward degree completion
    • Establish a professional working environment that nurtures and encourages students to learn imaginatively both as an individual and as a team member
    • Develop a crystal-clear understanding with graduate students regarding their specific professional responsibilities, including time lines for completion of scholarly work, as well as the thesis or dissertation
    • Provide timely verbal or written assessment of each student’s work
    • Initiate discussion of authorship procedure with each graduate student prior to initiating collaborative projects that may result in publication
    • Refrain from asking any student to undertake personal tasks (mowing lawns, baby-sitting, typing papers, etc.) without suitable payment or whenever conditions are such that the student would not feel free to decline the offer. A faculty member must understand that the graduate student is free to decline such invitations. Such employment should not be established when the professional relationship would be harmed by the arrangement
    • Relate mutually with graduate students in a professional and civil fashion and in conformity with Texas A&M policies governing nondiscrimination and sexual harassment
    • Justly assess student achievement regardless of religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or other criteria that are not germane to academic performance
    • Serve on graduate student committees without regard to the student’s religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or other characteristics that are not germane to academic performance
    • Prevent any professional or personal differences with colleagues from hindering his/her obligations as a graduate adviser, committee member, or instructor
    • Decline service on graduate committees when there is an amorous, familial, or other non-academic relationship between the faculty member and the student that may result in a conflict of interest
    • Give credit in an appropriate manner to graduate student contributions to scholarly activity presented at professional meetings, in professional publications, or in applications for copyrights, patents, and grants
    • Accept the responsibility to know the rules and regulations that affect graduate students.