New doctoral programs must 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 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) Strong Programs at the Undergraduate and Master's
Levels. Doctoral programs, in most instances, should be undergirded
by strong 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 PhD's being produced
annually in the area and comparing that to the numbers of professional
job openings for PhD's in the discipline in question as indicated
by sources such as the main professional journal(s) of the discipline.
(5) Faculty Resources.
(A) There must be a strong core of doctoral faculty,
at least four or five, 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
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 guidance prohibitive.
(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. 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) 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.
(12) 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
(13) 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 may be used by the
institution or the Board to assist in evaluating the quality of a
proposed doctoral level program.
(14) 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.
(15) Essential Criterion for New Doctoral Degree Programs.
(A) An essential criterion for the approval of a new
doctoral degree program shall be that the institution's most recent
six-year baccalaureate graduation rate should equal or exceed the
most recent annual statewide average six-year baccalaureate graduation
rate. For the purposes of this rule, the six-year baccalaureate graduation
rates at Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin
shall not be included in the calculation of the state average. The
statewide average six-year baccalaureate graduation rate shall be
calculated using the six-year baccalaureate graduation rates of general
academic teaching institutions only. An institution may submit documentation
in support of an exception to this criterion based upon special circumstances,
including but not limited to significant external funding, compelling
regional need, and institutional mission.
(B) If an institution's six-year baccalaureate graduation
rate is below the state average as described, new doctoral programs
may still be considered if the institution meets at least two of the
following three alternative criteria:
(i) The percent of change in the ratio of baccalaureate
degrees awarded to the total undergraduate enrollment is at or above
the statewide percent of change over the most recent three years,
and the institution has had an increase in productivity over the most
recent three years.
(ii) The percent of change in the total number of baccalaureate
degrees awarded is at or above the statewide percent of change for
the most recent three years, and the institution has had an increase
in productivity over the most recent three years.
(iii) The percent of change in the number of baccalaureate
degrees awarded to "at risk" students as defined in Chapter 13, Subchapter
I, §13.150 of this title (relating to Performance Incentive Funding)
is at or above the state percent of change for the most recent three
years, and the institution has had an increase in productivity over
the most recent three years.
(C) If the institution meets at least two of the three
alternative criteria, all applications for new doctoral programs must
include an action plan to improve the six-year graduation rate and
the unmet alternative criterion. If additional new doctoral programs
are proposed within the same period during which the graduation rate
data are effective, applications must include an update on the effectiveness
of the initial action plan. A revised action plan is required for
new doctoral program applications in every year for which there is
new graduation rate data published by the Coordinating Board.
|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