Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the nature of this program?
A: In short, this doctoral program prepares students for technical management positions in industry, government, or business. It also prepares selected candidates for faculty positions in colleges and universities.

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Q: Is the on-line delivery of a PhD program for me?
A: This is an Internet-based asynchronous program of study. As such, the student must be highly self-motivated and goal-oriented. Excellent skills in time-management are essential.

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Q: How is the coursework delivered?
A: All of the content-based coursework is taught via the Internet. The Research Seminars (COT 710 and COT 711) is offered at Indiana State University, and requires physical presence at the on-campus sessions at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. The dissertation defense requires on-campus attendance at your home university (and dissertation advisor’s university).

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Q: What type of background should I have?
A: The successful applicant will have at least 3 years of documented work experience in industry/business/government which closely relates to one of the Technical Specializations in the doctoral program. Further, applicants should have an appropriate educational background either at the BS or MS level. For those without the expected educational background, addition coursework, of a deficiency nature, may be added to the candidates program of study. Even though this is a post-baccalaureate degree, normally the student will hold a masters degree prior to admission.

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Q: How do I get additional information?
A: All information is at the web site, but you will likely need clarification and the assurance of talking with a human. After completely browsing the web site, please contact a Campus Coordinator. A Coordinator can best help you if you have specific questions. If you are close enough (geographically), we would like you to call one of the coordinators or director and visit face-to-face.

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Q: How do I apply?
A: You can apply online. The URL on the PhD website is: http://technology.indstate.edu/consortphd

The following chart summarizes admissions criteria for the PhD in Technology Management program.

Admissions Criteria

Criteria Category Criteria Standard Notes
Prior course work Prior technology course work of an industrial nature applicable to technology management and the specialization. The amount of necessary prior course work is dependent upon level (e.g., associate, bachelor, etc.), nature of instruction (e.g., how much was theory, how much was hands on), nature of the course work (i.e., how central was it to industry and technology), and the selected specialization (e.g., the HRD and Ind. Training Specialization may require less industrial technology hands-on lab work than does Digital Communications which requires substantial prior lab course work). Please see the PhD web site for detailed information about each Technical Specialization.
Graduate GPA Minimum 3.5 on a 4 point scale. Cumulative for all prior graduate course work.
Industrial work experience Minimum of 3 years industrial work experience of a technology nature. Examples of applicable work experience include technical industrial trainer, electronics technician, manufacturing supervisor, and other technical and technical management positions. Work experience must be validated by letter(s) from employer(s).
GRE Scores (or GMAT) No set minimum. Scores can be no more than 5 years old.
GMAT Scores (or GRE) No set minimum. Scores can be no more than 5 years old.
Career Goal Manuscript A written document which describes the students future goals and how this program fits into those goals. This document, in no more than two pages, identifies why a student feels this is the proper program for them, how it fits their future career goals, what areas of interest they have for future research as well as general statements on why they desire to pursue an advance degree.
Letters of Recommendation 5 letters that support the other criteria listed above. Letters should be from individuals who are qualified to address your standing on the criteria above.

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Q: What if I don't meet all the criteria?
A: Applicants who do not meet one of the criteria may be considered for conditional admission; However, it is rare that a student would be conditionally admitted due to the large number and high quality of applications received by the Consortium. We are currently accepting approximately 30-35% of those who apply for admission.

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Q: What is conditional admission?
A: If you are conditionally admitted, the condition may take many forms but will focus on resolving the deficiency. Additional course work (at the undergraduate and/or masters level), a specified internship, and/or maintaining a specified GPA in specified courses are common conditions. If you are deficient in more than one category or have a deficiency that is considered major, e.g., no industrial work experience, you will probably not be admitted to the program.

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Q: Is there a way to start courses under some sort of temporary admission until all my materials are in?
A: No, you must be admitted to the program before beginning coursework.

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Q: Can I take courses outside my Technical Specialization?
A: Generally, the answer is no, however in special circumstances with program planning committee approval, it is possible. It is not possible, however, to graduate from the degree program with two specializations.

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Q: Can I take courses outside by Program Of Study?
A: It would be ill-advised to take courses outside your program of study if you have visions of them counting toward your graduation requirements. There are no "back doors" to other specializations in the program, so the specialization area that you begin in is what you should finish in. It is also very important that you make constant progress towards meeting your degree requirements.

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Q: Can I change my specialization after being admitted to the program?
A: Yes, it is possible, however a student that wishes to do that would be required to go through a new admission evaluation. You would essentially be asking to begin a new program and your materials would be evaluated to see if your background is appropriate for you to be in the new technical specialization.

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Q: When can I enroll?
A: As soon as you get a letter saying you are admitted, you are eligible to enroll. A complicating factor is that every participating university has slightly different semesters and enrollment times. The information and/or the person to ask is linked to the PhD web site.

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Q: Do I have to register at each university that offers each course?
A: Yes. Please contact the registration person listed at the PhD web site. This is really easier than it sounds; just call or email the contact person listed on the PhD web site.

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Q: When will I be able to find out about courses that will be offered for the upcoming semester?
A: The schedule for courses and registration procedure should be posted on the course catalog pages as soon as information is obtained from all the consortium universities. Schedules will include courses offered on each of the consortium campuses. In addition, information for signing up for courses will also be listed on each of the campus specific pages.

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Q: What is the tuition?
A: Each university charges a different tuition rate. Regardless of the state you live in, you will pay distance-based tuition at each Consortium university. These rates are typically far below the rates charged to out-of-state students. You can refer to the PhD web site for additional details.

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Q: Do I have to send tuition payments to each different institution from which I am taking courses?
A: Yes. Please contact the registration person listed at the PhD web site.

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Q: Do I really have to take the GRE or GMAT, even though I have a M.S. degree and am a successful corporate executive?
A: Yes. The GRE or GMAT and other application materials are all required and used to determine your eligibility for admission into the program.

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Q: How long will it take for me to be considered for admission?
A: Indiana State University's Ph.D. in Technology Management Program admits a limited number of students on a rolling basis. A candidate's application materials are not evaluated until all required application materials are completely submitted to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at Indiana State University. Once complete, those materials are evaluated for admission at the next available admission date.

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Q: What should be included in the recommendation letters and Career Goals Manuscript?
A: We are looking for evidence that you have the desire and ability to complete a rigorous PhD degree in which the course work is delivered via the Internet. You will need to be computer literate and a self-motivated learner who can learn independently. Most importantly, the letters should show that the applicant is suited for the content of the degree. For instance, an applicant without appropriate work experience or without a BS/MS similar to the Technical Specialization may have to complete a substantial amount of deficiency course work as part of their program of study.

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Q: How many hours are required in the program? Or I have a Master's in Technology, and an MBA. What courses will I have to take? Or I already have a doctorate. What courses will I have to take?
A: The answers to all the preceding are related. It is best to think about this degree (as most with most PhD degrees) in terms of what requirements do I have left to complete, as compared to, what have I completed. PhD degrees are very content specific, especially the PhD in Technology Management. There will be required courses (in various categories). Most PhD programs do not require or give significance to having other graduate degrees, e.g., Masters, JD, MBA, doctorate, etc. Most PhD programs require certain courses and experiences on top of an academic degree. The course work in a previous graduate degree may or may not be equivalent to a course in the PhD program desired. There are also limits on the number of courses that can be transferred into the program (a maximum of 21 semester hours of graduate level coursework completed elsewhere can be used to meet degree requirements) and a minimum number of hours that must be completed in the program. Also, certain courses (or an amount of hours) are not substitutable (by previous course work or another PhD in Technology Management course). The preceding is true of most PhD programs. Concerning course transferability and size of program, the PhD in Technology Management is in the middle of the spectrum. Indiana State University allows a student nine (9) years after admission to complete the PhD program of study. The following is a summary of requirements in the PhD in Technology Management. Please visit the program web site for additional details.

Program Requirements

Category of course/credit Program Requirements Non Substitutable Program Requirements Notes
Technology Core 4 courses 12 hrs All 4 courses - no substitutions  
Research Core 4 courses 12 hrs COT 702, 703, 710 & 711 may not be substituted. The 1st research course may be substituted. Most students will take 9 hours because they have had a 1st level research course.
Specialization 6 courses 18 hrs 12 hours in the specialization are not substitutable. Up to 6 hours may be substituted.  An appropriate M.S. degree will be supportive of or similar to the selected area of specialization.
Residency
(Period of Concentrated Study)
  18 hrs Required Completed over one calendar year. See web site for additional details.
Professional Studies 3 Courses (equivalent) 9 hrs min. Formal and/or independent study courses Usually supports specialization and/or investigation into topics like, tech transfer, intl dev, sustainability, or internship, etc.
Dissertation   18 hrs No substitutions. Nine hours are taken at ISU and Nine hours from your home campus.
Deficiencies   N/A Variable If the student does not have an appropriate educational background which supports his/her chosen Specialization, he/she may have to take additional course work in this category.
Totals Masters degree required for admission 66 hrs min As a student in the program, i.e., on top of whatever other graduate degrees you might have. Most students in the PhD program take a minimum of 66 hours in addition to any other graduate degree(s) and or coursework.

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Q: Is financial aid available?
A: Yes, students that require financial aid may apply through Indiana State University’s Office of Financial Aid. Assistantships are also available at most of the Consortium Universities. Contact program coordinators for fellowship details. The combined stipend is approximately $15,000 on each campus. An assistantship constitutes a 50% workload. A graduate assistant can be required to teach or assist in other responsibilities as assigned. You may be required to pay fees associated with registration for a course. In addition, depending on the requirements of the institution offering the assistantship, a portion of the stipend may be in the form of tuition remission. Application for an assistantship is made to the university that you have selected as your Home University and awarding of the assistantship is made by that university. You may apply for an assistantship at more than one university. Continued financial aid has a requisite of continuous progress towards graduation requirements.

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Q: What are Preliminary exams?
A: Preliminary Exams are three days of written exams combined with an oral exam which are completed when no more than 6 hours of course work remain in the Program of Study. The exams cover the technical specialization, the technology core and also the research core. These exams are not a repeat of final exams within each of the courses, but are a synthesis of each of the program areas. By successfully completing these exams, students in the program show their capability to complete the final requirement of the program, the dissertation.

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Q: What does it mean to be admitted to candidacy?
A: Once you have passed the Preliminary Exams, you are considered a PhD Candidate. You may now prepare a dissertation proposal and, once the proposal is approved, conduct your study. Note: You cannot be admitted to candidacy until several criteria are met, including but not limited to, the following: completion of (almost all) course work and meeting residency requirements.

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Q: How often do I have to visit campus...or how will I meet residency requirements?
A: To meet Period of Concentrated Study/Residency expectations within our program requires that a student complete a minimum of 18 semester hours in one calendar year. In one of the semesters during that calendar year, a student should be enrolled in COT 711 (2 semester hours) which requires sessions on Indiana State University's campus. Those sessions start on a Wednesday and end on Sunday. A further requirement is that during the residency year, the student has at least one semester when he/she is enrolled in a minimum of 9 semester hours. Other than the requirements of stated above, students must be on their home campus for the final defense of the completed dissertation. Finally, there may be other times where it would be in the student's best interest if they could be on campus such as the oral exam associated with the preliminary exam process, the defense of their dissertation proposal, however, reality is that in most cases, students will used distance techniques to complete tasks that, before our current levels of technology, required campus residency.

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consortium flyer link

Consortium Members:

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Bowling Green State University

ucm link

ecu link
East Carolina University

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North Carolina A&T