Reduce the Time to Degree

Departments should design programs that can be completed in five years from entry into a doctoral program with a bachelor’s degree as the highest degree attained. If departments change the structure of the curriculum and examinations, articulate and monitor a reasonable scope and time frame for the dissertation project, design a careful mentoring process, and provide sufficient financial support to allow students to progress appropriately, a five-year doctorate ought to be achievable.

Departments should design programs that can normally be completed in five years. Because individual circumstances may vary, some students may take longer, while others will be able to complete more quickly.

[Next recommendation: Strengthen Teaching Preparation]