Requests for new doctoral programs must provide information
and documentation demonstrating that the proposed programs meet all
of the following criteria:
(1) Design of the Program. A doctoral-level program
is designed to prepare a graduate student for a lifetime of teaching,
creative activity, research, or other professional activity. The administration
and the faculty of institutions initiating doctoral-level programs
should exhibit an understanding of and commitment to the long tradition
of excellence associated with the awarding of the traditional doctorate
degrees and of the various doctoral-level professional degrees.
(2) Freedom of Inquiry and Expression. Doctoral programs
must be characterized by complete freedom of inquiry and expression.
(3) Programs at the Undergraduate and Master's Levels.
Doctoral programs, in most instances, should be undergirded by quality
programs in a wide number of disciplines at the undergraduate and
master's levels. Quality programs in other related and supporting
doctoral areas must also be available.
(4) Need for the Program. There should be a demonstrated
and well-documented need for doctorally prepared professionals in
the discipline of the proposed program both in Texas and in the nation.
It is the responsibility of the institution requesting a doctoral
program to demonstrate that such a need exists, preferably through
an analysis of national data showing the number of PhDs being produced
annually in the area and comparing that to the numbers of professional
job openings for PhDs in the discipline in question as indicated by
sources such as the main professional journal(s) of the discipline.
The institution must also provide data regarding the enrollments,
number of graduates, and capacity to accept additional students of
other similar doctoral programs in Texas, demonstrating that current
production levels of graduates are insufficient to meet projected
workforce needs. The institution should also provide evidence of student
demand for a doctoral program in the discipline, such as potential
student survey results or documentation that qualified students are
not gaining admission to existing programs in Texas.
(5) Faculty Resources.
(A) There must be a strong core of doctoral faculty,
at least four, holding the doctor of philosophy degree or its equivalent
from a variety of graduate schools of recognized reputation. Professors
and associate professors must be mature persons who have achieved
national or regional professional recognition. All core faculty must
be currently engaged in productive research, and preferably have published
the results of such research in the main professional journals of
their discipline. They should come from a variety of academic backgrounds
and have complementary areas of specialization within their field.
Some should have experience directing doctoral dissertations. Collectively,
the core of doctoral faculty should guarantee a high quality doctoral
program with the potential to attain national prominence. The core
faculty members should already be in the employ of the institution.
Proposed recruitment of such faculty shall not meet this criterion.
No authorized doctoral program shall be initiated until qualified
faculty are active members of the department through which the program
(B) In evaluating faculty resources for proposed degree
programs, the Board shall consider only those degrees held by the
faculty that were issued by:
(i) United States institutions accredited by accrediting
agencies recognized by the Board; or
(ii) institutions located outside the United States
that have demonstrated that their degrees are equivalent to degrees
issued from an institution in the United States accredited by accrediting
agencies recognized by the Board. The procedures for establishing
that equivalency shall be consistent with the guidelines of the National
Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Education Credentials, or its
(6) Teaching Loads of Faculty. Teaching loads of faculty
in the doctoral program should not exceed two or three courses per
term, and it must be recognized that some of these shall be advanced
courses and seminars with low enrollments. Adequate funds should be
available for attendance and participation in professional meetings
and for travel and research necessary for continuing professional
(7) Critical Mass of Superior Students. Admission standards,
student recruitment plans, and enrollment expectations must guarantee
a critical mass of superior students. The program must not result
in such a high ratio of doctoral students to faculty as to make individual
(8) On-Campus Residency Expectations.
(A) Institutions which offer doctoral degrees must
provide through each doctoral program:
(i) significant, sustained, and regular interaction
between faculty and students and among students themselves;
(ii) opportunities to access and engage in depth a
wide variety of educational resources related to the degree program
and associated fields;
(iii) opportunities for significant exchange of knowledge
with the academic community;
(iv) opportunities to broaden educational and cultural
(v) opportunities to mentor and evaluate students in
(B) Institutions are traditionally expected to meet
these provisions through substantial on-campus residency requirements.
Proposals to meet them in other, non-traditional ways (e.g., to enable
distant delivery of a doctoral program) must provide persuasive and
thorough documentation as to how each provision would be met and evaluated
for the particular program and its students. Delivery of doctoral
programs through distance education and/or off-campus instruction
requires prior approval of the Board as specified in §4.261(3)
of this title (relating to Standards and Criteria for Distance Education
(9) Adequate Financial Assistance for Doctoral Students.
There should be adequate financial assistance for doctoral students
so as to assure that most of them can be engaged in full-time study.
Initially, funds for financial assistance to the doctoral students
usually must come from institutional sources. As the program develops
and achieves distinction, it increasingly shall attract support from
government, industry, foundations, and other sources.
(10) Carefully Planned Program of Study. There should
be a carefully planned and systematic program of study and a degree
plan which is clear, comprehensive, and generally uniform but which
permits sufficient flexibility to meet the legitimate professional
interests and special needs of doctoral-level degree candidates. There
should be a logical sequence of stages by which degree requirements
shall be fulfilled. Consideration must also be given to alternative
methods of determining mastery of program content, such as competency-based
education, prior learning assessment, and other options for reducing
student time to degree. The plan should require both specialization
and breadth of education, with rules for the distribution of study
to achieve both, including interdisciplinary programs if indicated.
The plan should include a research dissertation or equivalent requirements
to be judged by the doctoral faculty on the basis of quality rather
(11) External Learning Experiences. There must be a
plan for providing external learning experiences for students, such
as internships, clerkships, or clinical experiences, in disciplines
that require them. The plan should include provisions for increasing
the number of opportunities for such experiences if the number of
students in existing programs equals or exceeds the available number
of opportunities in Texas.
(12) Support Staff. There should be an adequate number
of support staff to provide sufficient services for both existing
programs and any proposed increases in students and faculty that would
result from the implementation of the proposed program.
(13) Physical Facilities. There should be an adequate
physical plant for the program. An adequate plant would include reasonably
located office space for the faculty, teaching assistants, and administrative
and technical support staff; seminar rooms; laboratories, computer
and electronic resources; and other appropriate facilities.
(14) Library Resources. There should be an adequate
library for the proposed program. Library resources should be strong
not only in the doctoral program field but also in related and supporting
(15) Costs and Funding. The institution should have
a budgetary plan for the proposed program that clearly delineates
the anticipated costs and the sources of funding. Costs for new personnel
and physical resources should be adequate and reasonable, existing
programs should not be negatively affected by the reallocation of
funds, state funding income should be calculated correctly, and total
revenues should exceed total costs by the fifth year of projected
(16) Program Evaluation Standards. Proposed programs
should meet the standards of the Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools, and the accrediting standards and doctoral program criteria
of appropriate professional groups and organizations, such as the
Council of Graduate Schools in the United States, the Modern Language
Association, the American Historical Association, the Accreditation
Board for Engineering and Technology or other bodies relevant to the
particular discipline. Out-of-state consultants shall be used by the
institution and the Board to assist in evaluating the quality of a
proposed doctoral level program.
(17) Strategic Plan. Proposed programs should build
on existing strengths at the institution, should fit into the institution's
strategic plan, and should align with the state strategic plan.
(18) First Doctoral Program. When an institution has
not previously offered doctoral level work, notification to the executive
secretary of the Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools, is required at least one year in advance of program implementation.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §5.46 adopted to be effective May 28, 2003, 28 TexReg 4125; amended to be effective February 22, 2005, 30 TexReg 835; amended to be effective February 23, 2011, 36 TexReg 918; amended to be effective August 27, 2012, 37 TexReg 6589; amended to be effective February 26, 2013, 38 TexReg 1151; amended to be effective November 24, 2013, 38 TexReg 8427; amended to be effective February 22, 2016, 41 TexReg 1228