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 research
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 doctoral level 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 doctoral degrees
being produced annually in the area and comparing that to the numbers
of professional job openings for doctoral degrees in the discipline
as indicated by sources such as the main professional journal(s) of
the discipline. The institution must also provide data on 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 and 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,
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. If an institution
is required to hire additional faculty prior to opening the proposed
program and enrolling students, the institution will provide documentation
on a schedule determined by the Coordinating Board of the faculty
hires through submission of a letter of intent, curriculum vitae,
and a list of courses in the curriculum that the faculty hire would
be qualified to teach. 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 is offered.
(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 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. The proposed program
should be a carefully planned and systematic program with 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 students. There
should be a logical sequence 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 proposed degree 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 than length.
(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 and IT Resources. Library and information
technology resources must be adequate for the proposed program and
meet the standards of the appropriate accrediting agencies. Library
resources should be strong in the proposed doctoral program field
and in related and supporting fields.
(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. The proposed program
should meet the standards of the Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the accrediting standards
and doctoral program criteria of appropriate professional groups and
organizations, such as the Council of Graduate Schools, 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. The institution submitting the proposal
is responsible for reimbursing the Coordinating Board for the costs
associated with the external review by out-of-state contractors.
(17) Strategic Plan. The proposed program should build
on existing strengths at the institution as indicated by its Program
Inventory, should fit into the institution's strategic plan, and should
align with the state's strategic plan.
(18) Marketable Skills. There must be a list of the
marketable skills associated with the proposed program in keeping
with the state strategic plan, 60x30TX, and a plan for how students
will be informed of the marketable skills.
(19) First Doctoral Program. When an institution has
not previously offered doctoral level work, notification to the executive
secretary of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission
on Colleges, 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; amendedto be effective May 29, 2018, 43 TexReg 3347