Sep 27, 2022  
2018-2019 Graduate Bulletin 
2018-2019 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Development, Ph.D.

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Admission Requirements:

Students will be selected for admission to the program and financial support based on the following criteria:

  1. a 1,000 word written statement explaining where the student's research interests fall in one or more of the program's research areas and ties to faculty research.
  2. a research paper writing sample preferably from the student's master's program.
  3. a master's degree in a related field with a minimum GPA of 3.50 for regular admission, 3.25 for conditional admission.
  4. official satisfactory scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
  5. three letters of reference, reflecting academic and professional endorsements, from people qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study. Letters should be submitted to the graduate school. Two of the three letters must be from academics, preferably from the applicant's masters program.
  6. For non-native English speakers, a satisfactory score on the TOEFL examination (currently a score of 550 is typical for Southern Miss graduate programs) and a demonstration of verbal communication skills through an examination administered by the Southern Miss English Language Institute.

Requirements for the doctor of philosophy degree include 54 semester hours of coursework to include 12 hours of dissertation research, 12 hours of core courses, 12 hours of major emphasis, 9 hours of minor emphasis, 9 hours of electives, successful completion of all research tool requirements (see below), passage of a written and oral comprehensive examination, completion of a dissertation proposal defense, original dissertation research and a successful dissertation defense. A 3.0 GPA is required before a student can sit for the comprehensive exams. Students must select a major and a minor emphasis area from the emphasis areas of International Development.

Comprehensive Exam Policies:

Qualifying to Sit for the Examination

In order to qualify to sit for the Comprehensive Examination, which includes written and oral components, a student must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Complete 42 hours of coursework, to include 12 hours of core coursework, 12 hours of coursework in a Major Emphasis Area, nine hours of coursework in a Minor Emphasis Area and nine hours of electives.*
  2. Compile an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on coursework.
  3. Earn grades of “B-” or higher on all core courses and all courses in the student’s Major and Minor Emphasis Areas.
  4. Be enrolled in at least three hours of coursework. If a student is not enrolled in at least three hours of coursework they will not be allowed to sit for the comprehensive exams.

*NOTE: A student can sit for the comprehensive exams before completing all of the above coursework, so long as s/he is enrolled in the remaining hours needed during the semester s/he sits for the comprehensive exams and meets the remaining requirements. It is recommended that the student talk to the IDV Program Director before choosing this option.

Notification of Program Director

A student must inform the IDV Program Director in writing (e-mail included) of their intention to sit for the comprehensive exams by the end of the first In-Person Session during the semester s/he will take the exam.

Attendance at Comprehensive Examination Workshop

If a student is enrolled in coursework that requires attendance at the first In-Person Session during the semester, s/he must attend the Comprehensive Examination Workshop offered during that session in order to sit for the exam.

Required (Core) Courses (54 hours):

International Development Emphasis Areas

Security Studies

Social/Cultural Development

Additional Requirements:

Research Tool(s)

Students satisfy research tool requirements by:

  1. completion of required coursework
  2. demonstration of international competency through one of the following: oral exam, and written exam
  3. successful completion of professional competency experiences to include a) submission of a publishable peer-reviewed article or book chapter, b) presentation of a research paper at a national or international academic conference.


Students must meet the residency requirements specified in this Bulletin.

Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.

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