Fields of Expertise

Fields of Expertise (FOE) may relate to the Qualifying Paper, and must represent two broad and important bodies of literature related to the student's dissertation. Examples of broad fields of expertise include: poverty and mental health; child development and intimate partner violence; substance abuse and intervention science.

Students must submit the Declaration of Fields of Expertise for the Qualifying Examination Form for approval by the Doctoral Program Chair, minimally, in the semester prior to the Qualifying Exam. Effective Spring 2020, students must submit a brief statement (.5-1 page) for each FOE domain with their FOE form to their committee prior to the committee signing the document. Only after Fields of Expertise have been approved may a student schedule the Qualifying Examination.

Each QE chair may establish additional requirements for students to obtain their QE committee's approval of FOE topics. For example, a QE chair may require the student to produce a 1-page explanation of the topic that specifies an agreed upon scope, a list of sub-topics that will be subject to examination, a reading list that students and examiners will use to prepare for the examination, and/or other procedures. The selected approach for each student is expected to be well suited to their topics, communication patterns between committee members and students, stated individual preferences, and ultimately serve to promote shared expectations for the QE itself. Students and their QE Chair should discuss, well before the end of the semester, what, if anything, will be required in order to achieve committee approval of their FOEs in the semester before taking their QE.

If the QE committee changes membership after the Fields of Expertise have been declared, a student must re-submit the FOE form and potentially delay their QE to the next available semester.