Information for Doctoral Students
Pursuing a doctoral program in the U.S. is quite an honor. Each doctoral program and experience is unique, however there is general guidance and information IIE highlights:
- The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has set limits on Fulbright sponsorship at a maximum of five years for a Ph.D. candidate including time spent in academic training. Individual Fulbright Commissions and Foundations abroad have also established maximum time limitations for their grantees. As a result, you might be expected to complete your PhD in less time than other students in your academic program. Please consult with your IIE Advisor about your Fulbright sponsoring and funding limits to plan your doctoral program and also communicate this with your academic advisor/faculty.
- Fulbright expects you to have a timely completion of your doctoral exams.
- Many Fulbright programs allow PhD students to pursue assistantships as part of their degree program. If this opportunity becomes available you should consider pursuing an assistantship for the academic and professional experience. Fulbright must approve all on-campus work prior to accepting the position but you can find information about this in the Working in the U.S. section.
- If you are in a doctoral program, have finished your coursework and are focused on the research phase of your degree, your university may allow you to engage in reduced enrollment while meeting full-time enrollment requirements.
- If your enrollment verification document confirms that you are enrolled full-time, you do not need to contact IIE. However, if your university allows the reduced enrollment, and your enrollment verification document states you are enrolled less than full-time, submit a complete Request for Approval of Reduced Enrolment for Doctoral Students Form along with your official enrollment verification form through IIE’s Self-Service Portal in the “Enrollment Verification” category. Both documents must be uploaded as one pdf.
- If your dissertation topic requires you to do fieldwork outside the U.S., please contact your IIE Advisor to discuss this. You are required to request approval from IIE before you depart for your fieldwork.
There are a few terms you should be aware of and your IIE Advisor will be asking you for an update regarding these as your progress through your program:
- A.B.D.: “All but Degree” or “All but Dissertation,” an informal title for someone who has completed all Ph.D. requirements except the dissertation.
- Preliminary Exam: A written or oral examination given to a Ph.D. candidate to determine readiness for the last stages of the doctoral program.
- Qualifying Examination: An examination that tests students’ qualifications for doctoral work.