Search button


Print Page
Email Page
Highlights new content.: on | off
Reset text size to normal Increase text size to large Increase text size to largest

UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2013-2014

Texts and Technology PhD


 

Introduction

Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

 

Academic Integrity

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Starting Fall 2011, all students newly admitted to doctoral programs must complete Academic Integrity Training prior to the student's advancement to candidacy.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

 

Degree Requirements

Welcome to the University of Central Florida’s PhD  program in Texts and Technology. The Texts and Technology PhD (T&T) program is an important part of the mission of both the College of Arts and Humanities and the University of Central Florida that focuses on the challenges of digital and other technologies in twenty-first century literacy. The program provides a solid grounding in theory and research relevant to understanding literate practice in the digital age as well as practical experiences with digital technology and with the challenges of teaching in online environments.

The doctoral program in Texts and Technology initiates an interdisciplinary field combining scholarly study, creative production, and assessment of digital media texts. Texts include visual, audio, multimedia, and performance, as well as printed and spoken words. The curriculum emphasizes theory and practice in new media supplemented by historical grounding in pre-digital media studies. This unique and innovative program prepares students for research, teaching, and program development. Areas of research and production include web design, multimedia production, distributed education, entertainment, publishing, information architecture, digital archiving, and visualization.

The Texts and Technology PhD program requires:

  • Five core courses (15 credit hours);
  • Six Interdisciplinary Elective courses (18 credit hours);
  • Two courses in the internship and teaching area (6 credit hours);
  • Three credit hours of doctoral research/Candidacy Examination; and
  • Fifteen credit hours of dissertation work.

The degree requires a total of at least 57 semester hours of credit taken at UCF beyond the master's degree.

While not a formal requirement, students are strongly encouraged to develop a set of technical skills and proficiencies throughout their time as a PhD student in order to facilitate coursework, Candidacy Examination, and Dissertation performance. Knowledge of and experience with various forms of social media, web design and usability, and XML coding, for example, strengthen a candidate's credentials upon graduation and when they apply for academic and industry positions.

As part of their advanced studies, students are also strongly encouraged to submit at least one substantial scholarly article to a peer-reviewed journal with a national reputation with the approval and assistance of their Dissertation Committee Chair. Students are encouraged to participate in structured writing groups (or to form their own writing groups) to assist with developing regular and productive academic writing habits.

Milestones for Completion of PhD Degree (for full-time students)

  • Complete a First Year Review (scheduled with the Program Director following the conclusion of 18 credits in the program)
  • Complete Core Coursework and Electives (approximately two years)
  • Participate in an Internship
  • Successfully pass the Candidacy Examination
  • Develop and defend a Dissertation Prospectus (typically requiring one semester)
  • Write Dissertation (typically requiring one-two years)
  • Defend the Dissertation
 

Curriculum

Students must write a dissertation on their research that will explain and defend a significant original contribution to the field of Texts and Technology. Students choose their dissertation adviser and committee from within the program. Students will submit at least one substantial scholarly article to a national peer-reviewed journal with the approval and assistance of the dissertation chair and the director of the doctoral program.

Required Courses—15 Credit Hours

Core

  • ENG 6800 Introduction to Texts and Technology (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 6810 Theories of Texts and Technology (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 6801 Texts and Technology in History (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 6812 Research Methods for Texts and Technology (3 credit hours)*
  • DIG 6836 Design and Development for Texts and Technology (3 credit hours)

* Students may substitute ENG 6812 with an alternate 6000-level research methods course in another discipline, subject to approval by the program director.

Interdisciplinary Elective Courses—18 Credit Hours

Eighteen hours of advised interdisciplinary electives are required for students in the PhD Program in Texts and Technology. This requirement encourages students to find graduate-level coursework best suited to develop their research agendas and to prepare for their dissertation. Sample electives include:

  • DIG 6432 Transmedia Story Creation (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 6647 Science and Technology of Dynamic Media (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 5225 Theory and Practice of Document Usability (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6428 Rhetoric of Digital Literacy (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6426 Visual Texts and Technology (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 6740 Topics in Rhetoric and Composition (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 6814 Gender in Texts and Technology (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 6811 Cultural Contexts in Texts and Technology (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 6939 Topics in Texts and Technology (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 6948 Teaching Practicum in Texts and Technology (3 credit hours)
  • DIG 5137 Information Architecture (3 credit hours)

Dissertation—18 Credit Hours

Candidacy Examination—3 Credit Hours

  • ENC 7919 Doctoral Research (3 credit hours)

Students are admitted to doctoral candidacy status upon completion of a written examination with three parts—one part based on a reading list reviewed biennially by the Texts and Technology faculty and the other two parts based on reading lists prepared by each student and approved by the examination committee. The candidacy examination for each student is written and evaluated by a committee of three UCF graduate faculty chosen by the student; however, at least two members of each candidacy examination committee must be members of the Texts and Technology core faculty. Students must be registered for ENC 7919 during the semester in which they take their candidacy examination and they must find a Texts and Technology core faculty member to serve as the chair of their examination during the semester before taking ENC 7919. Students cannot register for dissertation credit ENC 7980 until the semester after they have successfully completed the candidacy examination. Students who fail the candidacy examination a second time cannot continue in the program. 

Admission to Candidacy

The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours:

  • Completion of all course work, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of the candidacy examination.
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submittal of an approved program of study.

Dissertation and Oral Defense—15 Credit Hours

  • ENC 7980 Doctoral Dissertation (15 credit hours)

Students choose their dissertation adviser and committee from among the faculty in the Texts and Technology PhD program. They choose the adviser and committee after they have completed approximately 27 credit hours toward the degree or after the first year-and-a-half of course work. All dissertation committee members, including outside readers, must hold a PhD or another relevant terminal degree.

Students must write a dissertation on their research that will explain and defend a significant original contribution to the field of Texts and Technology. It may be of a theoretical, historical or pragmatic nature, but must meet conventional academic standards. Students are required to submit and defend a written dissertation proposal during the first year in dissertation. The dissertation committee administers the candidate’s oral defense of the dissertation, with passing determined by acceptance by a majority of the committee. The dissertation adviser, the dissertation committee and the dean of the college or designee must approve the final dissertation. Format approval is required from the Thesis and Dissertation Office and final approval of degree requirement completion by the College of Graduate Studies (Millican Hall 230).

Students will submit at least one substantial scholarly article to a national peer-reviewed journal with the approval and assistance of the dissertation chair and the director of the doctoral program.

Internship and Practicum—6 Credit Hours

  • ENG 6813 Teaching Online in Texts and Technology (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 6947 Internship in Texts and Technology (3 credit hours)
  •  
 

Timeline for Completion

Full-Time Progression of Learning*

Full-time students who begin the program in Fall 2013 would pursue a schedule such as the one below. Core courses in the Texts and Technology program repeat every two years. 

Fall 2013 Spring 2014 Summer 2014
  • ENG 6800  Intro to Texts and Technology
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • ENG 6810 Theory of T&T
  • ENG 6813 Teaching Online in T&T
  • Elective
  • Elective
Semester Total: 9 Credit Hours Semester Total: 9 Credit Hours Semester Total: 3 Credit Hours
Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Summer 2015
  • ENG 6812 Research Methods for T&T
  • ENG 6947 Internship in T&T
  • DIG 6853 Design and Development for T&T
  • ENG 6801 T&T in History
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Study for Candidacy
Semester Total: 9 Credit Hours Semester Total: 9 Credit Hours
Fall 2015 Spring 2016 Summer 2016
  • ENC 7919 Doctoral Research
  • ENC 7980 Dissertation
  • ENC 7980 Dissertation

Semester Total: 3 Credit Hours Semester Total: 5 Credit Hours Semester Total: 1 Credit Hour
Fall 2016 Spring 2017
  • ENC 7980 Dissertation

  • ENC 7980 Dissertation
Semester Total: 5 Credit Hours Semester Total: 4 Credit Hours

 *The program reserves the right to change course offerings or schedules as needed – please refer  to myUCF for up to date course schedules.

Part-Time Progression of Learning*

Part-time students who begin the program in Fall 2013 might pursue a schedule such as the one below. Core courses in the Texts & Technology program repeat every two years.

Fall 2013 Spring 2014
  • ENG 6800 Introduction to Texts and Technology
  • Elective
  • ENG 6810 Theory of T&T
  • ENG 6813 Teaching Online in T&T
Semester Total: 6 Credit Hours Semester Total: 6 Credit Hours
Fall 2014 Spring 2015
  • ENG 6812 Research Methods for T&T
  • DIG 6853 Design and Development for T&T
  • ENG 6801 T&T in History
  • Elective
Semester Total: 6 Credit Hours

Semester Total: 6 Credit Hours

Fall 2015 Spring 2016
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
Semester Total: 6 Credit Hours Semester Total: 6 Credit Hours
Fall 2016 Spring 2017
  • ENG 6947 Internship T&T
  • ENC 7919 Doctoral Research (exams)
Semester Total: 3 Credit Hours Semester Total: 3 Credit Hours
Fall 2017 Spring 2018 Summer 2018
  • ENC 7980 Dissertation
  • ENC 7980 Dissertation
  • ENC 7980 Dissertation
Semester Total: 5 Credit Hours Semester Total: 5 Credit Hours Semester Total: 1 Credit Hour
Fall 2018 Spring 2019
  • ENC 7980 Dissertation
  • ENC 7980 Dissertation
Semester Total: 2 Credit Hours Semester Total: 2 Credit Hours

*The program reserves the right to change course offerings or schedules as needed - please refer to myUCF for up to date course schedules.

Graduation

Intent to Graduate

Students who intend to graduate must complete the online Intent to Graduate Form by logging into myUCF and navigating to the Student Center – Academics > Undergraduate and Graduate Careers > Intent to Graduate: Apply.

Once the online form is completed, students will receive e-mail communications from the College of Graduate Studies at various stages of the review process. Students can also log in to myUCF and check the status of their Intent to Graduate at any time by navigating to the Student Center - Intent to Graduate: Status.

The ability to file online opens at mid-term of the semester prior to the semester of graduation. Intents to graduate should be filed online no later than the last day of registration for the semester of graduation.

NOTE: If more than two Intent to Graduate forms are filed, Graduate Studies requires that the program review the student’s progress toward completion of the dissertation.

Deadlines for Dissertation Format Review

To qualify for graduation, students must also meet the deadlines associated with completing the dissertation and filing the final, electronic copy with the University Thesis Editor. The student should familiarize him/herself with the steps and deadlines required for the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD).  

Required Enrollment

UCF requires that doctoral students register for at least one hour of ENC 7980 in their graduating semester even if they have completed all the hours required in their degree plan.

Commencement

Commencement information is available on the College of Graduate Studies website.

 

Course Schedule

Please refer to the Timeline for Completion section herein for details regarding when the required Texts and Technology courses will be offered.  For elective course offerings, please refer to the schedule online via myUCF, or seek counsel from your adviser, the course instructor, or the graduate coordinator in the department offering the course.

Preparing for Doctoral Coursework

Doctoral coursework can be very intimidating.  In addition to a great deal of reading, writing, thinking, researching, and creating, students are also exposed to new groups of peers and faculty, various forms and files, administrative procedures and deadlines, and a variety of other stressful conditions.  It is recommended that students carefully develop a clear organizational plan and timeline to help manage their scheduled courses and assignments.  Such a plan should include sufficient dedicated weekly time for reading, taking notes, preparing lecture notes and teaching materials (if applicable), and completing assignments.  The following set of best practices guidelines, adapted from original recommendations developed by core T&T faculty member Barry Mauer, will be useful in structuring your approaches to readings and in-class presentations.

Best Practices for Reading

When reading, students should consider using the following guiding questions to gauge how well they are absorbing and understanding the material:

  1. What is the subject of the reading?
  2. What is the thesis?
  3. List at least three main points used to support the thesis.
  4. What evidence is offered in support of the major argument?
  5. What is the subtext (the author’s purpose)?
  6. Who is the audience?
  7. Is the work credible?
  8. What applications can the work have (how might it be used)?
  9. What are the implications/significance?

Best Practices for Classroom Presentations

In many courses, students lead roundtable discussion sessions or provide other class presentations of reading material to the instructor and class.  Because much of the reading material for T&T coursework is often abstract and complex, making it usable is crucial if students are to succeed in using the readings effectively. The student will often need to explain to others what was done and why.  To the extent that the work of the authors can be distilled, the student will do both his/her readers and him/herself a great favor.  In general, students should understand the formal elements of presentations:

  1. Orientation: What has been discussed in the class so far? How does the current topic relate to the cumulative knowledge generated by the class?
  2. Abstract: provide a brief synopsis of the topics to be covered.
  3. Problem statement: what is the significance of the material to be presented? What problems or areas of knowledge was it meant to address?
  4. Target: how is this knowledge going to help accomplish the assignments?
  5. Method: what steps are necessary in order to use this knowledge successfully? This could mean applying a concept to a particular case, or following a procedure.
  6. Demonstration: show classmates how it’s done.
  7. Assessment: discuss the value of the knowledge, how easy or difficult it is to apply, and how it will help in the work of students.

Additional Suggestions for Presentations and Roundtables

  1. Provide a printed handout or PowerPoint presentation to the students in the class.
  2. List and define key terms from the readings.
  3. As much as possible, show the relationship of key ideas using graphs and tables.
  4. The instructor may distribute discussion questions to the class before the readings are due. If so, use these or come up with new discussion questions. Good questions don’t always have definite answers. For instance, a great question is “who cares?”
  5. Discuss areas that are confusing or problematic. Also, be free to argue for or against the positions of the authors.  If the presenter is having trouble understanding a portion of the reading, chances are, s/he is not the only one!
  6. Indicate what these ideas suggest about papers or assignments and/or how best to plan to use these ideas in the paper or assignment.
  7. Engage the class in discussion about key findings. The point of these discussions should be to move the class closer to a goal of understanding and using particular theories or analytic methods effectively.
  8. Don’t aim for “coverage,” i.e. a detailed representation of all the readings for the week. Rather, be selective and strategic; choose the most significant parts and make the greatest use of those.
  9. Look for patterns across the readings. If the presenter notices the same themes, ideas, examples, arguments, topics, and/or terms reappear in the works of different authors, pursue the connections.
  10. If working in a group, members of the group may decide to divide the work of the presentation.  One approach is to have each member focus on a different part of the reading. Another approach is to work conceptually or by topic, with one member looking at history, another at theory, another at themes, and so on.

Satisfactory Academic Performance

Satisfactory performance involves maintaining the standards of academic progress and professional integrity expected in a particular discipline or program. Failure to maintain these standards may result in termination of the student from the program.  A T&T student’s academic performance is evaluated during a First Year Review and again during the Candidacy Examination.  The following policies governing satisfactory academic performance are enforced by the Graduate Office of the College of Arts & Humanities:

Students are required to maintain a 3.00 GPA in all coursework included in the program of study. A grade of B- (2.75) negatively impacts one’s GPA. Students are allowed to have no more than six hours of C (2.00) grades or lower (including U and I) in their program of study. Grades of D+ and lower count against a graduate GPA and cannot be used toward completion of a degree requirement.

A program GPA below 3.00 at the end of any semester will result in a student being placed on “academic provisional” status. In this status, a student is not eligible for tuition waiver support or employment in a graduate position. Such students are given the next nine hours of their program coursework to improve their GPA to 3.00 or better. Exceeding six hours of C or lower grades or a program GPA or 2.00 or lower will result in removal from the program.

Grading/Evaluation in Texts and Technology Courses

All T&T courses use the +/- system. In general, grading is more stringent in PhD-level courses than students may have experienced in masters-level graduate courses. Individual instructors, however, set the criteria for evaluation of assignments and assignment of final grades in their courses, but students can expect that instructors’ individual policies will reflect the following general guidelines.  

A     A final grade of “A” in a graduate course indicates consistently strong and outstanding achievement. Students receiving an “A” have not only fulfilled all course requirements but have exceeded them by the skill and originality of their written and oral work.  

A-     A final grade of “A-” indicates that students have successfully fulfilled all course requirements satisfactorily.  

B+     A final grade of “B+” indicates that a student has fulfilled all course requirements with minor exceptions.  

B     A final grade of “B” indicates that a student has done passable work in the course although there may be some significant problems in some aspects of his/her performance. While this grade often indicates a potential greater than the finished work demonstrates, a student who receives “B” grades on a regular basis should seriously consider the kind and amount of commitment he or she is able to give to graduate school.  

B-     A final grade of “B-” indicates that while some of the student’s work was acceptable, other aspects of the work failed to fulfill the basic expectations for PhD -level work.  

C/D     Final grades of “C+,” “C,” “C-,” “D+,” “D,” and “D-,” indicates various degrees of substandard performance. Anyone who receives a grade below a “B-” must meet with the T&T Director to discuss the advisability of continuing in the program.  

F         Failure.

Students are also evaluated according to progress made in meeting each of the following Texts & Technology objectives:

  • Exhibits familiarity with a range of theoretic and analytic perspectives;
  • Exhibits understanding of appropriate theoretical perspectives;
  • Exhibits familiarity with the history of relations between Texts & Technology;
  • Effectively applies research methodologies to develop new knowledge;
  • Demonstrates knowledge of digital design technologies;
  • Demonstrates complexity and rigor of intellectual engagement;
  • Presents ideas clearly and coherently to others; and
  • Situates ideas within a professional context of existing discourse appropriate for publication

Enrolling in Courses

Students enroll in courses online through their myUCF accounts.  If Consent of the Instructor (CI) is required for a course in a department outside of Texts & Technology, then the student should contact both the T&T Program Director for approval to take the course, and the instructor of the course for permission to register.  If a T&T course requires a permission number, please contact the Texts & Technology office (phurter@ucf.edu) for the number.  Permission numbers can be used only once. If a student drops the course after having registered for it but then decides to take the course, s/he will need to obtain a new permission number to register for that course again.

First Year Review

At the end of the first year of study, each full-time student’s performance will be reviewed.  Students must submit a narrative self-evaluation of their performance in the first year of the program to the Program Director.  For part-time students this review will occur after eighteen hours of coursework or two years of study, whichever occurs first. The First Year Review is intended to help identify student strengths and weaknesses in completing the Texts and Technology program. Students who pass their First Year Review continue their coursework and face no additional programmatic evaluation until their Candidacy Examination. 

During the First Year Review, evaluation of a student’s progress is based on three components: GPA (3.5 or higher is expected), the student’s progress in moving through the program’s requirements (completing core courses successfully, clearing any incomplete grades), and evaluations written by the instructors of the student’s Texts and Technology courses during the appropriate period. The written evaluations are submitted to the T&T Program Director who will summarize the student’s progress (including both strengths and weaknesses) and inform the student of his/her progress.

Students whose First Year Review identifies significant problems will be given feedback about those problems and will be required to have a second review during the second regular (excluding summer) semester after their first review. Students who do not make sufficient progress in addressing the problems identified in their First Year Review by the time of their second review cannot continue in the program.

Internship

The purpose of the internship is to provide students the opportunity to integrate valuable practical experience with the theory and content of their courses in the Texts and Technology program. Additionally, students who are working as interns should make a meaningful contribution to the company or organization during the internship experience.

The internship will normally be completed in eight to fifteen weeks. In some cases, companies may need interns for a longer period. The minimum number of contact hours for the entire internship experience is eighty hours, and most students work 15-20 hours per week. Details of the internship, including timeframe and hours per week, must be outlined in the student’s internship proposal which is due at the end of the first week of enrollment in ENG 6947 Internship in Texts & Technology.

Internship Eligibility

To apply for an internship for credit in Texts and Technology, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of at least twelve credit hours of required coursework;
  • Enrollment in ENG 6947 Internship in Texts and Technology (3 credit hours);
  • Submittal of three copies of an internship proposal; and
  • Submittal of one copy of an internship approval form with the signatures of the student, the Texts & Technology Program Director, the faculty internship supervisor, and the company or organization mentor; and
  • Completion of the Texts and Technology Internship Rubric provided by the faculty supervisor.
Securing the Internship

Students in this course must contact and obtain an internship from an appropriate for-profit or non-profit company or organization in industry; local, state, or federal government; the military; the arts; or education. Involvement in various grassroots companies or organizations is encouraged.  The internship experience must include some emphasis on technology—ranging from using technology to helping to develop technology.

If a student is unable to find an appropriate internship, the faculty member teaching the internship course will attempt to locate one with them. Students should plan on doing the research and laying the foundation for the internship themselves.  If students have an interest in a company or organization or if they have a contact for a possible internship, they should follow up on any possible opportunities. In most cases, potential interns will need to submit an application, cover letter, and/or resume and then interview for the position.

Internship Proposal

By the conclusion of the first week of classes during the semester in which the student is participating in an internship, a proposal (in memorandum format) must be submitted to the T&T faculty internship supervisor.  The proposal must clearly describe the student’s background and research interests (submitting a current CV is desirable), a brief background of the company, the internship responsibilities, the time commitment for the internship, the name and title of the internship supervisor and details regarding how often the student will communicate and/or meet with the supervisor during the semester, the relevance of the internship to the student's graduate study and professional goals, and other helpful details concerning the student’s planned contribution.  The student will also be asked to complete a T&T Internship Rubric that will be provided by the faculty internship supervisor.

Compensation may be negotiated for some internships, but any negotiation for compensation is strictly between the student and the company or organization. The Texts and Technology program does not handle compensation for internships. Most internships are on a voluntary basis.

Internship Waiver

Students who have significant experience in industry may petition the T&T Program Director to waive this requirement. If this petition is granted, the student must replace this requirement with three additional hours of coursework in T&T or Interdisciplinary Elective courses.

 

Examination Requirements

Candidacy Examination Committee

Each part of the Candidacy Examination is written and evaluated by a committee of three UCF graduate faculty chosen by the student.  This Candidacy Examination Committee must be comprised of at least two members of the Texts and Technology core or associate faculty (associate faculty members are eligible to chair Candidacy Examination Committees, but not Dissertation Committees). Prior to registering for ENC 7919, students must submit a completed Candidacy Examination Committee form for approval by the Program Director. This form is available in the Texts & Technology office or by contacting phurter@ucf.edu.

Students may choose to add a fourth external member to their Candidacy Examination Committee.  This requirement is optional for the Candidacy Committee, but will be required when forming the Dissertation Committee.  There may be advantages to inviting the participation of an external member early so that s/he can contribute to the development of the dissertation prospectus.

A list of current Texts and Technology Faculty and their research specializations may be found on the T&T website and in the UCF Graduate Catalog.

Candidacy Examination

The Candidacy Examination is best viewed as a preparatory experience for the dissertation, one that serves as a bridge between formal course work and the dissertation.  Students should spend the equivalent of one full semester in ENC 7919 (Doctoral Research) preparing for the Candidacy Examination. Although students may begin preparing for their Candidacy Examination at any point during the program, they are not permitted to enroll in Doctoral Research hours or to schedule their Candidacy Examination until their last semester of formal coursework.

Students must be registered for ENC 7919 during the semester in which they take their Candidacy Examination, and are expected to begin the process of identifying a Candidacy Examination Chair and committee during the semester in which they complete their final coursework (typically the semester before they plan to begin doctoral research).

In the first semester in which a student enrolls in ENC 7919 Doctoral Research, s/he must enroll for at least three hours of credit. If the student does not take and pass all parts of the Candidacy Examination in that semester, s/he must be registered for at least one credit hour during the semester when s/he takes the examination or any portion thereof (the student must be enrolled in order to sit for any portion of the exam). Students who are on graduate assistantships or fellowships may enroll for up to nine hours of ENC 7919 in order to maintain their full-time status.

NOTE: students must be enrolled for at least one credit hour to use the university library facilities even during summer semesters.

The Candidacy Examination consists of three parts: (1) a general core exam based on a selection of texts from the core Texts & Technology PhD Candidacy Exam Reading list; (2) an exam based on the student’s primary field of concentration; and (3) an exam based on a distinct secondary field or subfield of the student’s research.

  1. Core Exam
    The general core exam is based on approximately 30 texts (chosen out of the 50 or so reviewed biennially by the Texts and Technology faculty). The exam is timed and proctored on campus using a Department (not personal) computer and students will have a maximum of five hours to write answers to two questions (typically out of 3-5 questions provided). Books, notes, electronic devices of any sort, and access to the Internet are not allowed.
  2. Primary Field Exam
  3. Secondary Field Exam
  4. These two examination areas or fields must be based on reading lists prepared by each student and approved by that student’s Candidacy Examination Committee. A “field” is typically defined by established period, subject, or approach, such as “narratology,” “digital humanities,” or “professional and technical communication,”  but other areas of specialty, such as “TEI coding,” will be allowed as long as they meet Candidacy Examination Committee approval and reading list guidelines.

    The reading lists for these two parts of the Candidacy Examination must each consist of 25-30 texts. At least 10% of the primary and secondary field reading lists (at least three sources on each) must be composed of scholarly digital sources (academic blogs, digital installations, or other relevant online materials).  It will be up to the student to explain to his/her Candidacy Examination Committee how these sources are relevant and appropriate for these reading lists.

    At the discretion of a student’s Candidacy Examination Chair, parts two and three of the Candidacy Exam may be conducted following the same procedure as the core exam  (for example, two additional timed and proctored five-hour sessions conducted on campus), or in a take-home examination format agreeable to the student’s examination committee.  If the latter option is used, it must be limited to a 48-hour period (for instance, over the weekend) to complete each section of the take-home portion. As with the core examination, each section should ask students to write answers to two questions. Students will not be apprised of the specific questions until distributed by the Candidacy Examination Chair.

Students must complete all portions of the Candidacy Examination within one semester or its equivalent.   A standard practice is to take the entire examination over the course of a semester, or over a 16-week period during the academic year: e.g., Part 1 in September; Part 2 in November; and Part 3 in January. In order to take any portion of the Candidacy Examination, the student must be enrolled in ENC 7919.

To promote testing equity within the program, core examination questions will be written by the entire Candidacy Examination Committee and access to previous examination questions may be requested from the Program Director.  Committee members will not solicit examination questions, in part or whole, from the student.

Students are encouraged to speak with Examination Committee Members about questions they may have as they prepare for their examinations. If practice examinations are used by a committee, actual examination questions will be sufficiently different to ensure rigor and fairness. All actual examination questions will be written by the entire examination committee, and will be retained by the committee, with final copies also provided to the Program Director.

Candidacy Examination Grading

All Candidacy Examination Committee members will review and make notes regarding the student’s responses on each part of the examination.  A student can expect to receive notification of examination status within two weeks following the taking of any portion of the exam unless the three exams are taken in an accelerated fashion.  If the three parts of the examination are taken in close succession, the student can expect to receive notification of his/her examination status, to include all reviews at once, within three to four weeks of submitting the final exam portion.

If the written answers provided by a student are not satisfactory, the Exam Committee Chairs will have the option to assemble the committee and ask the student more questions about the exam. At this point, the exam chair may specify whether an oral defense by the student or a written follow up from the student is most appropriate. An oral defense of the examination is not required; however, an Exam Committee Chair may choose to schedule one.   

Students who do not pass all three sections of the examination on the first attempt may retake the examination once. In such a case, the student’s Candidacy Examination Committee will decide whether the student needs to retake the entire Candidacy Examination or a portion thereof.  

Students who do not pass the Candidacy Examination on the second attempt will be dismissed from the program. 

Any student who enrolls for more than nine hours of ENC 7919, or who registers for ENC 7919 in three or more semesters before successfully completing the Candidacy Examination, must secure approval from the T&T Program Director before s/he can register for additional ENC 7919 hours. Students on university support who fail the Candidacy Examination can be supported for a maximum total of eighteen hours of ENC 7919.

Students are admitted to doctoral candidacy status upon successfully passing all parts of the Candidacy Examination.  Students will not be able to register for ENC 7980 Dissertation until the semester after they have successfully passed the Candidacy Examination and submitted a completed Dissertation Committee form.

Best Practices for the Candidacy Examination

Exams test a student’s overall knowledge of the larger field of Texts and Technology, as well as sufficiency of breadth and depth within his/her fields of specialty.  

When reading, students should consider using the following guiding questions to gauge how well they are absorbing and understanding the material:

  • What is the subject of the reading?
  • What is the thesis?
  • List at least three main points used to support the thesis.
  • What evidence is offered in support of the major argument?
  • What is the subtext (the author’s purpose)?
  • Who is the audience?
  • Is the work credible?
  • What applications can the work have (how might it be used)?
  • What are their implications/significance?
 

Dissertation Requirements

University Dissertation Requirements

The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for dissertation formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

The following requirements must be met by dissertation students in their final term:

  • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
  • Defend by the defense deadline
  • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
  • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
  • Submit final dissertation document by final submission deadline

Students must format their dissertation according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Dissertation Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the dissertation process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at editor@ucf.edu

Program Dissertation Requirements

Students must write a Dissertation on their research that will explain and defend a significant original contribution to the field of Texts and Technology. It may be of a theoretical, historical, or programmatic nature but must meet academic standards of rigor, scholarship, relevance, and excellence.

The following is from the UCF Graduate Catalog Dissertation Requirements section:

"The Dissertation consists of an original and substantial research study designed, conducted, and reported by the student with the guidance of the Dissertation Advisory Committee. The written Dissertation must include a common theme with an introduction and literature review, details of the study, and results and conclusions prepared in accordance with program and university requirements. The Dissertation is expected to represent a significant contribution to the discipline. Since this work must be original, it is very important that care is taken in properly citing ideas and quotations of others. Failure to do so is academic dishonesty and subject to termination from the program without receiving the degree. An oral defense of the Dissertation is required."

Enrolling in Dissertation Hours

After students have successfully completed the Candidacy Examination, they are admitted to doctoral candidacy and may begin taking the required dissertation hours (ENC 7980) during the subsequent semester. To register for ENC 7980, students must: (1) have formed an approved Dissertation Committee; (2) have a Dissertation Committee approval form completed and approved by the College of Graduate Studies; and (3) have a Dissertation Chair who is under contract to teach at UCF during the semester in which the credits are taken. NOTE: the third requirement is usually only a problem if a student’s Dissertation Committee Chair goes on leave/sabbatical or if the chair is not under contract to teach during the summer session.

Selecting a Dissertation Chair and Committee

Students should begin the process of identifying a Dissertation Chair and committee as they complete the Candidacy Examination.  Depending on their progress or the interdisciplinary nature of their study, some students may require additional time to form their committees, but as the Candidacy Examination draws to completion, students should begin formulating their dissertation project and prospectus. Depending on a student’s program or development, the Dissertation Chair and committee may, or may not, be the same members as the Candidacy Examination Chair and committee.The Dissertation Chair works with the student to focus the dissertation project and prospectus. The student must be accepted by the Dissertation Chair and, in consultation with him or her, select a Dissertation Advisory Committee.

The Dissertation Chair serves as a mentor, providing guidance on research and development of the Dissertation, the written Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD), course selection, meeting various benchmarks, and other areas of academic and professional interest. 

Dissertation Advisory Committee

Doctoral students must have a Dissertation Advisory Committee prior to advancement to candidacy status. The Committee will consist of a minimum of four members who are approved members of the Graduate Faculty or Graduate Faculty Scholars (see Graduate Faculty). At least three members must be Texts & Technology Graduate Faculty, one of whom must serve as the chair of the committee. One member must be an external member from either outside the College of Arts & Humanities or outside the university.

Students choose their Dissertation Chair from the core T&T faculty, matching as closely as possible their research interests with a faculty member’s research specialties. Because Texts and Technology is an interdisciplinary field, students also need to pay attention to selecting a chair and committee members who reflect as best as possible their chosen field with respect to its subspecialties. Students should seek a chair with whom they can establish a mutually productive working relationship. In this regard students should assess their strengths and weaknesses as a writer honestly, and find a faculty member who can work with them to improve their performance.

Students who plan to have an outside committee member who is not a faculty member at UCF must consult with the T&T Program Director. All Dissertation Committee members, including outside readers, must hold a PhD or other relevant terminal degree, and their credentials must be approved by the College of Arts and Humanities Graduate Office.  One adjunct or one visiting faculty member may serve as a departmental or outside committee member.  Adjuncts, visiting faculty, and external committee members who are not approved as graduate faculty at UCF must be nominated to serve as Graduate Scholars.  The nomination form may be obtained from the Texts & Technology office or by emailing phurter@ucf.edu

Committee membership must be approved by the Program Director and submitted to the College of Graduate Studies. All members must be in fields related to the dissertation topic. The UCF College of Graduate Studies reserves the right to review appointments to a Dissertation Committee, place a representative on any Dissertation Committee, or appoint a co-chair. A student may request a change in membership of the Dissertation Committee with the approval of the Program Director and submission of a revised Dissertation Committee form  to the College of Graduate Studies.

All members vote on acceptance or rejection of the dissertation proposal and the final dissertation. The dissertation proposal and final Dissertation must be approved by a majority of the committee.

Continuous Enrollment for Doctoral Candidates

UCF requires that doctoral students who have begun dissertation hours (i.e., have taken any ENC 7980 hours) must continue to enroll in at least one dissertation hour each semester (including summers) until they complete their dissertation and graduate.

NOTE: Doctoral candidates on UCF fellowship or departmental assistantships are considered full time if they enroll in three hours of ENC 7980 per semester. However, a student may be held to other requirements for full-time status outside of UCF (e.g., financial aid agencies, veteran status, or employers).

The Dissertation Prospectus

After completion of the Candidacy Examination, doctoral candidates prepare a prospectus that serves as a proposal for the dissertation project.  The prospectus is required to be submitted to the student’s Dissertation Committee within one year of beginning ENC 7980 Dissertation.  The prospectus must provide a description of the dissertation project that specifies its potential contribution to the field of Texts and Technology, a review of literature relevant to the project, a discussion of the methodologies that will be used, and a proposed timetable for completion of the project.  Proposals are generally 20-30 pages in length, but they can be longer or shorter depending on the preferences of the student’s Dissertation Committee. 

The purpose of a prospectus for the Texts &Technology Doctoral Program is to propose original and independent research under the guidance of the Dissertation Committee.  A dissertation prospectus should delineate a theoretically informed framework to guide the study that will make significant and substantive contributions to the body of knowledge in the field of endeavor.

The student’s Dissertation Committee will determine the format for the prospectus review and approval.  They may require an oral presentation and defense, or an alternate review process.   In all cases, the student should provide members of the Dissertation Committee a copy of the prospectus at least two weeks prior to the review session.    At the conclusion of the review, the committee may either approve the prospectus, often with modifications and changes, or disapprove the prospectus.  The prospectus must be approved by all members of the Dissertation Committee, and a copy of the final approved prospectus must be filed with the T&T office (phurter@ucf.edu).

A satisfactory prospectus contains four basic components: a research question; a statement of theoretical context including a short literature review; a research design; and a working bibliography.

1. The Research Question

What is the Dissertation about? The prospectus should begin by stating the central question or puzzle that is to be addressed in the Dissertation. The question should be phrased precisely, since it will determine what is or is not germane to the Dissertation. The central research question should be stated clearly and succinctly.  This is also the appropriate place to identify the general approach adopted in the Dissertation:  historical, geographical, temporal, and/or substantive scope.

Treat this as an opportunity to state with clarity and conviction exactly what the core of the Dissertation will be. This section should be no longer than two to three pages in length. It should be similar to writing an abstract.

2. Statement of Theoretical Context

This part of the prospectus addresses the important question, "so what?" In other words, why should one devote a thesis to the question set out in the preceding section? An effective answer requires two distinct arguments. First, you should provide a well-focused summary of the current debate(s) in your chosen subfield. This will allow your committee to see how you situate your project in the existing literature. Second, you should outline in precise terms the specific contribution(s) your dissertation will make to the subfield. If you believe you are studying a neglected yet significant subject, specify what part of that subject has been missed, and how your study will fill the gap. If you are building on an important literature in the field, say what has been achieved, and how your proposal adds to it. If your proposal is a case study or a comparison of multiple cases, this is an appropriate place to justify your selection of cases with reference to theory.

This section should contain specific research hypotheses the student is considering to test.  The rationale for developing hypotheses should be included.

Six or seven pages should suffice for this part of the prospectus. Although in cases where the resolution of contending interpretations is an especially important part of the thesis, a bit more detail is appropriate. Whatever you do, do not set out to review the literature in depth here.  Instead, write this part with the assumption that both you and your committee are familiar with the field.

3. Research Design

This part answers the question, "How will you answer the question set out in Part 1?"  While Part 2 shows the importance of the issue, this section indicates the process you will use to examine the issue(s)/question(s).  Depending on the area, this part will cover different elements, but all will need to address the following: What specifically do you intend to do and what does each research step contribute to the project as a whole? In what order do you intend to proceed? If your investigation is empirical, what sort of evidence will you consider? If theoretical, what material will you cover and what will you do with it? Are you planning to do library work, field work, and/or quantitative analysis or statistical modeling?

Obviously, you will not know everything you would like about this part at the time you have to defend your prospectus. But you should be able to provide your best, educated guess. In the end, your committee will be looking for solid evidence that (1) if everything goes according to plan, you will be able to complete a satisfactory Dissertation, and (2) there is a reasonable chance that everything will in fact go well. Ten to twelve pages should be enough to cover this material. You should try to provide the following types of information:

Data: What will be the raw material for your analysis? How do you propose to obtain it? Any information you provide that pertains to reading, coding, interviewing, observing, and the like is helpful. A clear statement of the methodology should be used to both identify and capture the data that will be analyzed.

Measurement Instrument(s):  What is your measurement instrument?  How do you determine the reliability and validity of the instrument?  Are the study variables operationally defined and measured?

Proposed Analytical Model:  You should specify the analytical model for validation if you formulate an analytical model.

Feasibility: Is there adequate data or other materials available? Do you know where to find it? Can you obtain it? Do you possess the necessary linguistic and/or quantitative skills, if relevant? Do you have any preliminary hunches or results with which to substantiate your claims? 

IRB: Are you using human subjects?  If so, have you addressed Institutional Review Board approval and included it in your timeline?

Selection of Method:  What specific research methods will you use?  If there are other ways to research your topic, why is yours preferable?  What is your sampling frame?  How do you determine the adequacy of your sample size?

Chapter Summary: Even at this early stage in the dissertation, it is helpful to construct a chapter-by-chapter organization of the project, however provisional. This will communicate to your committee the relative importance you attach to various aspects of your investigation, and the structure with which you will offer answers to your central thesis.

Timeline: How long do you expect various parts of your proposed research to take? Is there a part of it which is already substantially completed?

Funding Sources: If appropriate, specify the granting/funding agencies to which you have applied or intend to apply in the near future.

4. Working Bibliography

This is self-explanatory, and essential.

In preparing the prospectus, the student is expected to consult with the Dissertation Chair and other members of the committee. Additional guidance on the contents of a dissertation prospectus and formatting can be found in (1) MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed); (2) Robert Gaines’s the Chicago Manual of Styles 14th edition; and (3) James E. Mauch and Namgi Park’s Guide to the Successful Thesis and Dissertation The dissertation should follow the MLA Style Guide, but an alternate style may be adopted based on the requirements of the student’s Dissertation Chair and committee.

Writing the Dissertation

In writing the Dissertation, students must communicate clearly with their Chair and the rest of the Dissertation Committee in a timely manner. It is not uncommon for a student to submit drafts to his/her Chair one chapter at a time and revise these chapters until the Chair thinks they are ready for the committee to see. The revised chapters are then circulated to the committee members for their comments while the student is working with the Chair on the next chapter. Such a process provides the committee members with the necessary time to read the chapters. Students benefit from this arrangement because they learn about the various expectations that the committee members have and can learn to anticipate criticism and concerns while drafting, thus reducing the amount of subsequent rewriting. Also, by reading the chapters as the Dissertation is written, the committee members can communicate opinions and concerns to the Chair rather than waiting for the Dissertation Defense to introduce them at a point in the process that might delay graduation. One of the great challenges of writing a Dissertation arises when the advice of committee members’ conflicts; in these circumstances, the student should communicate clearly with all parties until a resolution is determined.

Remember that each committee is unique; some chairs may demand more or fewer drafts, as will some committee members. As a rule of thumb, students should be in frequent contact with their Chair throughout the writing process, and they should consult their committee members at least once a semester to apprise them of their progress in writing.

Publication/Article

As part of their advanced studies, students are strongly encouraged (but not required) to submit at least one substantial scholarly article to a peer-reviewed journal with a national reputation with the approval and assistance of their Dissertation Committee Chair. 

Dissertation Defense

Prior to the Dissertation Defense, it is good practice for the student to meet with his/her Dissertation Chair, and to meet with the committee members as well, to determine whether the Dissertation is ready to defend.

Students should discuss with their chairs the protocols to expect in the Dissertation Defense. The following norms provide a good set of expectations for students preparing for their Dissertation Defense, but students should consult with their Chair to determine if any variations from the following structure are planned:

The doctoral student begins the defense with a presentation of a conference-length paper. Students should prepare for this presentation as they would for a scholarly conference, as well as for potential job interviews. The goal is to present a succinct yet compelling overview of one’s contribution to the field. Typically, such presentations last no more than thirty minutes; some chairs prefer for them to run a shorter length, in the fifteen- to twenty-minute range. The presentation should be addressed to the committee. Although defenses are public, and friends and family may attend, the Dissertation Defense primarily involves a dialogue and discussion of the student’s project to show committee members its intellectual merit and its contribution to the field.

Following the student’s presentation, each committee member and the Chair asks his/her questions. This section of the exam lasts approximately forty-five minutes to one hour. The floor may then be opened for audience members to ask questions for a period of ten to fifteen minutes.

Following the Q&A session, the candidate and audience leave the room for the committee to discuss the examination. Frequently, committee members discuss ways in which they believe the student should advance his/her studies after graduation. Once consensus is reached, the candidate and audience are invited to return. The Dissertation Committee Chair  informs the student of the committee’s assessment of his/her work and the requirements for revision, including who on the committee requests an additional round of revisions. This portion of the examination requires approximately fifteen minutes.  Dissertations must be approved by the majority of the committee members, and all committee members must sign their approval on the necessary form for a Dissertation to be considered successfully defended. Members of the committee may withhold signing the Dissertation Approval Form until additional revisions have been made.  

Dissertation defenses run approximately ninety minutes to two hours. Again, remember that these are norms, not rules, and so it is to the student’s advantage to discuss with the committee their expectations for the defense prior to beginning the oral defense.

The Dissertation Chair, all members of the Dissertation Committee, the T&T Program Director, and the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities or designee must approve the final Dissertation.  Further approval is required from the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies before final acceptance of the Dissertation is confirmed as fulfilling degree requirements.  Format approval is also required from the Thesis and Dissertation Editor and final approval of satisfaction of all degree requirements must be confirmed by the Division of Graduate Studies (Millican Hall 230).  For complete details and information, please be certain to review all components of the College of Graduate Studies’ Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) process here: ETD Process.

Review for Original Work

The University of Central Florida requires that all theses and dissertations must be submitted to turnitin.com. Students should coordinate with their Dissertation Chair to make certain that this requirement is met.  At the beginning of the semester in which a student plans to graduate, s/he must check with the T&T office to ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed in preparation for graduation. Students -- not their Chairs, committee members, or the T&T office -- are responsible for filing the necessary paperwork to graduate.

Dissertation Formatting and Resources

The College of Graduate Studies maintains the Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) website and the Thesis and Dissertation Services Site specifically for graduate students.  Students should make certain to bookmark these pages and refer to them often as they are proceeding through dissertation. Preparation, submission, and acceptance of a dissertation must be in accordance with instructions within the University’s guidelines on these sites.  Invaluable information about policies, deadlines, processes, formatting requirements and resources, workshops, campus resources, copyright and a final semester checklist are also included. 

Dissertations from T&T alumni are listed here and may be accessed and viewed online through the UCF Library by entering the author’s name or dissertation title and clicking “search.”

Students are responsible for being aware of all important deadlines found on the UCF Academic Calendar.

 

Article

As part of their advanced studies, T&T students are strongly encouraged to submit at least one substantial scholarly article to a peer-reviewed journal with a national reputation with the approval and assistance of their Dissertation Chair.

 

Graduate Research

Research Methods

As an interdisciplinary field, Texts and Technology embraces a wide variety of research methods and requires the interplay of theory, history, and empirical research. T&T students are expected to demonstrate basic competence (i.e., the ability to read and understand research) in bibliographic, historical, theoretical, qualitative, and quantitative methods. In addition, T&T students must develop expertise in the research methods necessary to carry out innovative dissertation projects. Competence in bibliographic research provides a base for such expertise, but students must move beyond this base to ground their work in theory and to extend existing theory through the use of other research methodology (e.g., historiography, close reading/rhetorical analysis of texts, discourse analysis, and qualitative or quantitative empirical research).

Human Subjects

If students conduct research that involves human subjects (i.e. surveys, interviews, etc.), they must gain Institutional Review Board(IRB) approval prior to beginning the study. For access to the IRB submission form and sample consent forms, please visit the UCF Office of Research and Commercialization website.

Travel Support

The College of Graduate Studies offers a Presentation Fellowship award that provides funding for masters, specialist, and doctoral students to deliver a research paper or comparable creative activity at a professional meeting. Students must be the primary author and presenter.

The Student Government Association also funds individual student and group travel requests. Student Outreach Services in the Student Union, room 208, provides a brochure describing the steps in applying for this travel funding. Students can also pick up this brochure in the Graduate Student Center in Colbourn Hall 146 or by contacting sosgrad@ucf.edu.

Academic Integrity Training

All doctoral students are required to take training designed to inculcate an awareness and understanding of the fundamental issues of academic integrity and the responsible conduct of research in a manner that is consistent with federal regulations. Students must complete an online module and four face-to-face workshops prior to entering into candidacy.

More information on the Academic Integrity Training through CITI, and access to the enrollment may be found on the Graduate Studies website: Academic Integrity Training.

Ethics in Research

Researchers in every discipline are responsible for ethical awareness because the status of the profession rests with each individual researcher. The ethical collection and use of information includes, but is by no means limited to, the following: confidentiality, accuracy, relevance, self-responsibility, honesty, and awareness of conflict of interest.

Plagiarism, Cheating, and Academic Dishonesty

Professors in the Texts and Technology PhD program will assume for its courses that students adhere to the academic creed of UCF and will maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Representing the work of others as one’s own is a serious breach of the ethics and practices of academic research and will not be tolerated in the T&T program. All work that students submit for T&T classes must be their own. Any sources consulted for writing essays, exams, and dissertations must be properly documented. “Rewriting,” in which a student consults a source, changes a few words, and presents the ideas as his/her own, is plagiarism. All of the following activities can constitute plagiarism:

  • turning in someone else’s work as one’s own;
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit;
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks;
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation;
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit; and
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of one’s work, whether one gives credit or not.

As a rule, students are expected to produce new papers in each seminar, including substantively different arguments and secondary sources. If students want to use work for more than one class, they must discuss this situation with both professors before submitting the work. As graduate students are building a field of knowledge to successfully complete a dissertation, it is sometimes beneficial to one’s studies to continue a project from one class to another, or to work on related projects simultaneously; under these circumstances, explain clearly and beforehand to both professors how these projects interrelate but do not constitute “double-dipping.”  If students have any questions about plagiarism, they should contact their professors prior to submitting work for a grade.

The standard punishment for plagiarism and cheating of any kind on an examination, quiz, or assignment is an “F” for the assignment and, at the professor’s discretion, for the entire course; students may also be subject to expulsion from the T&T PhD program. A professor who suspects plagiarism during any aspect of the T&T program (coursework, Candidacy Examination, Dissertation) will inform the concerned student of the charge and the penalties that the professor plans to impose. If the student does not deny the charge of plagiarism, the penalty (or penalties) will be imposed. If the student denies the charge of plagiarism, s/he may appeal to the T&T Program Director in person and/or in writing. The Program Director will assess the case and render a decision, which either party may appeal by petitioning to the T&T Faculty Committee. Both the professor and student will submit their cases for review, and the Faculty Committee will render a final decision for the T&T program. Decisions to fail a student for a course or project must be reached by a simple majority of the faculty; decisions to expel a student from the T&T program must be reached by a two-thirds majority of the faculty. In addition to programmatic action, students who commit plagiarism may be referred to university authorities under the provisions of the Golden Rule and to the Office of Student Conduct for further disciplinary action. See the UCF Golden Rulefor further information.

Patent and Invention Policy

Although most of the research conducted by T&T students does not require significant financial support by UCF, T&T students should be aware that the products of some graduate student research may be the property of UCF. UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry; (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research; and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate students as inventor will, according to this policy, share in the proceeds of the invention.

The full policy is available online from the Graduate Catalog: Patent and Invention Policy.

 

Financial Support

Fellowships

The College of Graduate Studies at UCF awards over one million dollars in university fellowships to graduate students each year. Most fellowships awarded through the UCF College of Graduate Studies are reserved for incoming degree-seeking graduate students who plan to enroll full time. The Delores A. Auzenne Fellowship is currently the only graduate fellowship offered through the College of Graduate Studies that is available to continuing, as well as new, graduate minority students. For award details, visit Fellowships.  To be considered for a Fellowship, complete applications must be submitted early, so be mindful of deadlines.

Trustees Doctoral Fellowship
Yearly stipend: $25,000
Duration: 4 years
Eligibility: all new doctoral students
College-nominated, selected by UCF Graduate Fellowships Committee

Presidential Doctoral Fellowship

Yearly stipend: $17,000
Duration: 4 years
Eligibility: new doctoral students (U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens)
College-nominated, selected by UCF Graduate Fellowships Committee

MFA Provost’s Graduate Fellowship
Yearly stipend: $10,000
Duration: 2 years
Eligibility: students who are newly enrolling in one of UCF's Master of Fine Arts programs
College-nominated

Graduate Dean's Fellowship

Yearly stipend: $4,000 supplement to a qualifying assistantship or fellowship
Duration: 4 years
Eligibility: all new master's, specialist, or doctoral students
College-nominated 

UCF Graduate RAMP Fellowship
Yearly stipend: $10,000
Duration: 4 years doctoral;2 years master's
Eligibility: new graduate students who completed the UCF undergraduate RAMP program
Selected by UCF Graduate Fellowships Committee
Fellowship Application Due Date: January 15, 2014 for Fall 2014 Admission

UCF Graduate McNair Fellowship
Yearly stipend: $17,000 doctoral;$10,000 master's
Duration: 2 years doctoral; 2 years master's
Eligibility: new graduate students who completed a McNair Scholars program as an undergraduate
Selected by UCF Graduate Fellowships Committee
Fellowship Application Due Date: January 15, 2014 for Fall 2014 Admission

Boyd Lyon Memorial Fellowship
Yearly stipend: $18,000
Duration: 2 years
Eligibility: new doctoral students admitted to the Conservation Biology PhD program
College-nominated, selected by UCF Graduate Fellowships Committee

Summer Mentoring Fellowship
Summer stipend: $3,500
Duration: 1 summer semester
Eligibility: all new incoming minority graduate students (U.S. citizens or permanent resident alien)
Program-nominated, February 15, 2014

McKnight Doctoral Fellowship
Yearly stipend: $12,000
Duration: 5 years
Eligibility: new African American or Hispanic (U.S. citizens) doctoral students
McKnight Application must be submitted to the Florida Education Fund by January 15, merit-based

Florida A&M University Feeder Program
Yearly stipend: $10,000
Duration: 4 years doctoral;2 years master's
Eligibility: new graduate students who completed the FAMU Feeder Scholars program and graduated from FAMU within the last three semesters of their entry into a UCF graduate program
Fellowship application due March 1, 2014

Delores A. Auzenne Fellowship
Yearly stipend: $5,000
Duration: 1 year
Eligibility: new and continuing graduate minority students (U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens)
Fellowship application due March 1, 2014

GEM—National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Sciences, Inc.
GEM Application required, merit-based
GEM e-mail: gem.1@nd.edu

Graduate Assistantships

The College of Arts and Humanities provides a limited number of Graduate Assistantships. Graduate Teaching Assistantships pay a stipend ($14,000/year in 2013-14) and provide a tuition waiver in exchange for which students teach two courses in both the fall and spring semesters or perform equivalent work on other projects. A Graduate Teaching Assistantship also provides health insurance coverage for the student.  Graduate Assistantships are offered only to full-time students. 

Students on Graduate Assistantships are evaluated and contracted annually, contingent upon continued academic progress and budget availability.  In most cases a student’s award is renewed for a period of four years as a full-time student in the T&T program.

Tuition Waiver

The budget for tuition remission is provided by the College of Graduate Studies and may vary from year to year. In past years, the tuition waiver support has covered the costs for nine hours of graduate credit each semester per student; however, support may be reduced for non-resident students after their first year (see section on establishing Florida residence) and after students become doctoral candidates and no longer need to enroll in nine hours of coursework to maintain full time status.  Students are responsible for fees associated with registration.  Current Tuition and Fees and Residency information is online.

Applying for Graduate Assistantships

Most students apply for a Graduate Assistantship when they make their initial application to the program. However, students may apply for a Graduate Assistantship at any point during their program of study. The admissions committee for the T&T program assigns priority for Graduate Assistantships when they consider applications for the next academic year; therefore, all students must apply for GA funding before the admissions deadline for the following academic year (e.g. January 15, 2014 for the 2014-15 academic year). The admissions committee is charged by the T&T faculty to give priority first to those coming off fellowships, second to new students, and third to students not currently on GA support who have proven their competency. Within these categories, the T&T committee assigns priority according to the merits of each application.

Required Training for Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs)

All students employed as GTAs must complete GTA training.  Completing the 12-week Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program  offered by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning will satisfy  the requirement for GTA Grader, Assistant, and Associate Trainings, but will only meet the GTA Training requirement if completed in a prior semester. It is not sufficient to attend the Certificate course concurrently with your first teaching experience, if you have not taken the GTA Grader, Assistant, and Associate Trainings.

Only those graduate students who have satisfactorily completed and passed more than eighteen credit hours of graduate course work in the major may be classroom Instructor of Record (Graduate Teaching Associate-9183). Departments must complete the 18-Hour Verification section on the graduate contract for these students to be employed as instructor of record.

Mentoring of Teaching

New T&T students teaching within the College of Arts and Humanities on a graduate assistantship contract will be supervised by the T&T Program Director or a T&T faculty member assigned by the Director, and will be required to attend a T&T GTA orientation prior to the start of the fall semester. They are also required to attend workshops throughout the year focused on teaching at the undergraduate level.

Students assigned to teach courses in the Department of English will be supervised by faculty members in the English Department.  The Chair of the English Department, currently Dr. Patrick Murphy (Patrick.murphy@ucf.edu), can provide more information about specific policies and procedures for English GTA assignments.

Students assigned to teach courses in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric will be supervised by faculty members in the department.  Dr. Elizabeth Wardle, Associate Chair of  the Department of Writing and Rhetoric, can provide additional information regarding teaching assignments  (elizabeth.wardle@ucf.edu).  Graduate Teaching Assistants in the Department of Writing & Rhetoric will be required to attend a separate GTA orientation focused on teaching composition. For additional information regarding the Department of Writing and Rhetoric’s policies regarding GTAs, please contact Adam Salazar at Adam.Salazar@ucf.edu or by phone at 407-823-0118.

Students assigned to teach undergraduate courses in the School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD) will be supervised by faculty members in that department.  Kelley Rasgaitis, the Graduate Program Coordinator for SVAD, can provide more information about specific policies and procedures for SVAD GTA assignments. 

Any other departmental GTA assignments will follow the policies and procedures of those departments.  However, students should remain in regular contact with the T&T Program Director to report progress, attend trainings, and complete necessary paperwork.

All Graduate Assistants, regardless of departmental placement, will need to attend the mandatory T&T GTA workshops.

Performance Evaluations

UCF requires that the teaching-related performances of all Graduate Teaching Associates (Position Code 9183), Graduate Teaching Assistants (Position Code 9184), and Graduate Teaching Assistant-Graders (Position Code 9187) be assessed at the end of each term that the student serves as a GTA. To retain a graduate assistantship, students must complete their duties satisfactorily. All graduate assistants who teach courses for the university are evaluated annually by both the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Graduate Studies. Those who do not pass these evaluations may lose their assistantships unless they can be assigned other responsibilities. GTAs are evaluated according to criteria on the GTA Performance Assessment Form in addition to departmental criteria.  Graduate assistants with assignments other than teaching are evaluated by their supervisors and/or the Program Director. 

The student’s supervisor will observe the student’s teaching at least once every semester. Prior to observing the student, the student should provide the supervisor with the course syllabus as well as the current unit assignment sheet and any materials relevant to the day of observation. After each observation, the supervisor will write a teaching observation letter, at least one each semester.

The observation letter will describe and evaluate the clarity, rigor, and effectiveness of the course goals, materials, and activities. The letter may mention:

  • What course was observed and the date of observation
  • The goals of the day/unit
  • The materials (including syllabus) in support of the unit/day goals
  • The day’s activities
  • Student/teacher interaction
  • Student engagement

The supervisor will make suggestions for improvement if necessary, and might recommend that the student draw upon resources such as Teaching Circles and the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.

The observation letter will be used along with the GTA’s student perception of instruction evaluations to monitor the GTA’s teaching and alert the Program Director to the need for additional training and mentoring. At the end of each semester, the Program Director will write a summary of the GTAs. If the evaluations indicate problems with the student’s teaching, the Program Director will request a meeting with the student to determine ways for the student to improve his/her teaching or, if necessary, to terminate the assistantships of the students who demonstrate a pattern of ineffective instruction from their GTA position.

Other Employment

Because of the demanding nature of the PhD program, T&T students receiving a departmental Graduate Assistantship should not to have full-time employment elsewhere. If it is discovered that students do have full-time employment, the assistantship may not be renewed for the next term.

International Students / General Employment

According to INS regulations, graduate students who are on an F-1 or J-1 visa may accept employment on campus without prior INS approval. International students may work on campus for 20 hours per week while school is in session and up to 40 hours per week during summer semesters and school breaks. Students beginning academic programs during summer semesters may only work up to 20 hours per week. International students should not violate their immigration status by working on-campus for more than 20 hours a week while school is in session or more than 40 hours a week during summer and school breaks.

There are various types of off-campus employment available to international students. Eligibility for these types of employment varies and restrictions apply. Off-campus employment always requires authorization from an International Services Center immigration adviser prior to the student beginning employment. Students required or interested in completing an internship must obtain authorization from an immigration adviser prior to beginning employment. ISC defines employment as any work performed or service rendered for money, tuition, fees, supplies, room, food or any other benefit. Failure to follow employment regulations may lead to termination of an international student’s immigration status.

Additional information for international students may be found on the International Services Center site.

English-speaking Ability for Graduate Teaching / SPEAK Test

Students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must pass the SPEAK test before they will be permitted to teach as Graduate Teaching Associates (position code 9183) or Graduate Teaching Assistants (position code 9184). The SPEAK test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187).

The SPEAK test is administered by the Center for Multilingual Multicultural Studies and takes about 20 minutes.

English-speaking ability will be evaluated at UCF using the SPEAK test provided by the Educational Testing Service at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters. Should you need to take a SPEAK exam in the summer, please contact the Center for Multilingual Multicultural Studies directly.

The university provides you with free English-speaking training if your scores are between 45 and 55 on the initial SPEAK test.   Further details and useful links may be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.

 

Graduate Student Associations

 The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit their website. For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see the Program Director.

Sigma TauDelta is the International English Honor Society. 

 

Professional Development

Professional and Personal Development Workshops

The College of Graduate Studies has partnered with several offices around campus to offer professional development workshops for student and post-doc development. Students are free to take advantage of any of the workshops.

Graduate Research Forum

The Graduate Research Forum provides an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards are presented in various categories, and all participants will receive recognition.

Graduate Awards

UCF sponsors awards for excellence for graduate students. Additional information regarding the awards and the application/nomination process is available online (Graduate Student Awards) or from the T&T  Program Director.

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant

This award recognizes excellence by Graduate Teaching Assistants who are responsible for a laboratory or other similar teaching assignment under the direction of a faculty member who serves as the instructor of record. It focuses on the quality of the assistance provided by the GTA to the lead instructor and students in the class.

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching

This award recognizes excellence in teaching by Graduate Teaching Associates who have independent teaching responsibilities. It focuses on the quality of the student's teaching activities and the academic contributions to those activities.

Outstanding Dissertation

The Award for the Outstanding Dissertation recognizes doctoral students for excellence in the dissertation. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's dissertation. Excellence of the dissertation may be demonstrated by evidences such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognition from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field.

Order of Pegasus

The Order of Pegasus recognizes exemplary performance by University of Central Florida students. Graduate students are selected based on academic achievement, professional or community service, leadership, and publication or research experiences. The Order of Pegasus is the most prestigious and significant student award that can be attained at the university. Please visit the Order of Pegasus website for more information. 

Other Opportunities

Students should take opportunities to present a poster or a topic of research at a conference. To obtain financial support to present at a conference (other than through the T&T program) or to engage in comparable creative activity at a professional meeting, visit Travel Support.

For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: www.csgs.org/ > Awards.

For grant-proposal writing resources: http://uwc.ucf.edu/gradwriting.php

 

Job Search

UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources.  

The Modern Language Association offers a variety of resources for students and graduates, such as career and job market information and  its Job Information List.

The Chronicle for Higher Education and Academic Keys are useful sources for faculty positions. 

To see where Texts & Technology PhD. alumni are currently working, visit the T&T Alumni site.

 

Forms

  • College of Graduate Studies Forms
    A complete listing of general forms and files for graduate students, with direct links, may be found here.
  • Thesis and Disseration Manual
    The Thesis and Dissertation Manual is UCF's source for graduate thesis and dissertation formatting requirements. Please Note: students will not be able to format their document correctly using the manual alone. In order to obtain a properly formatted ETD, students need to reference the Formatting the ETD page.
  • Traveling Scholar Form
    The Traveling Scholar program enables graduate students to take advantage of special resources available on another campus but not available on the home campus; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections. A traveling scholar must be recommended by his or her own graduate adviser, who will initiate a visiting arrangement with the appropriate faculty member of the host institution. A traveling scholar will normally be limited to one term for a total of six credit hours. Credits earned at another institution while in Traveling Scholar status will be considered resident credits and are not counted as transfer credits under the nine-hour rule. Graduate students should not be traveling scholars in their final term. The Traveling Scholar Form must be completed and submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Transfer of Credit
    Only 9 hours of graduate credit can be transferred into a graduate program from another institution, and only grades "B-" or better will be considered.  This form is required when a student wishes to transfer graduate credits into the T&T program from another institution.
  • Dissertation Committee Approval Form (College Form)
    Dissertation Committees must be in place and approved by the T&T Program Director and the CAH Associate Dean of Graduate Studies prior to a student’s enrollment into Dissertation Research (ENC 7980).
  • Graduate Petition Form
    When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested.  Students should contact their program adviser to start the process. Please refer to Academic GrievanceProcedure in the Graduate Catalog for  more details.  The Graduate Petition Form should be completed and submitted by the student.

The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
(1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels.

Technical Questions? | © 2012 University of Central Florida - College of Graduate Studies