PhD Program in Human Development

Important Dates For January 2017 Graduation:

Friday, November 11, 2016: Final date to submit dissertation/thesis to readers

Friday, December 2, 2016:  Final date to defend dissertation/graduate thesis

Important Dates For May 2017 Graduation:

Friday, March 10, 2017: Final date to submit dissertation/thesis to readers

Friday, March 31, 2017: Final date to defend dissertation/graduate thesis

Important Dates For August 2017 Graduation:

Friday, July 7, 2017 : Final date to submit dissertation/thesis to readers

Friday, July 28, 2017: Final date to defend dissertation/graduate thesis

Friday, August 11, 2017: Final date to submit dissertation/thesis/professional contribution to Dean's Office

Student Handbook

Ph.D. Student Handbook-- updated each summer prior to the start of the incoming Fall cohort class

Qualifying Experience -- PLEASE NOTE CHANGE

Students Are No Longer Required To Submit Hard Copies Of Their Qualifying Paper; Only Electronic Copies Are Required


Please note: Students need to draw upon primary resources that are relevant to and thoroughly support their qualifying experience topic/complex question. These primary resources need to relate to both a principle professional code of ethics and a moral philosophical code of ethics. Students should not simply "cut & paste" philosophical ideas into the ethics section of their paper.

Instead, students should think and write critically in this section of their paper by asking themselves the following questions: (a) What are the ethical implications of this topic/complex question?  (b) What are the ethical dilemmas/discrepancies of this question and how are they explained by both a professional and philosophical code of ethics?  (c) What kind of ethical complications/issues/problems arise from this topic/complex question?



For Spring 2017, the date for a first-time submission of a Qualifying Paper will be Friday, February 3, 2017, at 4:30 p.m.  Electronic copies can be submitted to Department Secretary Maureen Hart at

All students submitting papers for the first time are required to consult with the Ph.D. Program Director, Dr. Deborah Hokien, via email at or by phone at 570.348.6279, regarding the approval of the student's complex question proposal and the paper requirements. The consultation should be at least one (1) month in advance prior to submitting their Qualifying Experience Intent Form.

Students must submit their Qualifying Experience Intent Form to Maureen Hart, Ph.D. Program Secretary,(mhart@marywood.edutwo (2) weeks in advance prior to the posted deadlines for submitting the Qualifying Paper.

Two (2) electronic copies of the Qualifying Paper must be submitted to Maureen Hart, Ph.D. program secretary, at before or on the deadline dates. One electronic copy must be WITHOUT YOUR NAME, and the second must INCLUDE YOUR NAME. No hard copies are required.

Papers are reviewed, blind, by three faculty and rated using the Qualifying Paper Review Form (see below). An overall rating of 3.0 is necessary to pass; papers receiving average ratings of 4.0 or higher are considered Outstanding.


In order to provide adequate time for revisions and mentoring, a student who receives an unsatisfactory overall rating of 2.99 or below on their Qualifying Paper will be required to re-submit their qualifying paper in the following semester (excluding the summer). Additionally, students will no longer be allowed to prolong their resubmission beyond a semester, and must re-submit their revised Qualifying Paper in the following semester (fall/spring).

Beginning fall 2014, students will only have one (1) additional attempt to pass their qualifying paper based on the feedback from the Faculty Reveiw Committee. A student who fails to re-submit their qualifying paper in the subsequent semester will be withdrawn from the program immediately.

Students with unsatisfactory Qualifying Papers from the Fall 2016 qualifying experience may re-submit their papers on Friday, March 24, 2017, by 4:30 p.m. 

Two electronic (2) copies of the revised Qualifying Paper are required: 1 copy with the student's name,  1 copy without the student's name, sent to Maureen Hart, Ph.D. Program secretary, at

NOTE: The paper title and abstract paragraph for Qualifying Paper re-submission is not necessary, since the same three Faculty Reviewers assigned to the first submission will re-review the revised Qualifying Paper. Additionally, if an unsatisfactory rating is received, then a student will be required to consult with the Program Director. 


Students who pass their paper review are then scheduled for their oral presentation. The same three faculty reviewers serve as the oral presentation review committee and rate the presentation using the Qualifying Presentation Review Form (see below). The oral presentation given in a PowerPoint format should be approximately 30-minutes in length. A 15-20 minute question and answer period will follow. Similar to the written paper, an average overall rating from the faculty reviewers of 3.0 is necessary to pass; presentations receiving an average rating of 4.0 or higher are considered Outstanding. Students who are unsuccessful in the oral presentation must meet with the Program Director. Beginning fall 2014, a student will only have one (1) additional attempt to pass the oral presentation. 

May 5, 2017: Final date for repeat presentations to be scheduled.

NOTE: "Students may use as a tool to check for plagiarism in their qualifying paper before submitting the final copy to the Ph.D. Office. To use this tool, simply go to the web page: and enroll in Dr. Deborah Hokien's class entitled "QUALIFYING PAPER CHECK." The class ID# is 6631007 and the enrollment password is doctoral (all lowercase letters)."



Here is a sample of an Outstanding Qualifying Presentation PowerPoint /contentAsset/raw-data/b8be9f1c-569b-464f-a77e-cb0ed2c3765a/fileAsset

Here is a recent example of an Outstanding Qualifying Paper with a strong Ethics Section


The following forms are pdf files which you may either download and print or fill in electronically.