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General Requirements for a PhD Degree

Completion of FOR 500 Science of Creative Intelligence or STC 508 Exploring Consciousness, plus an additional forest academy for each semester in which the student is enrolled for at least three four-week blocks. Students in 1½-year or longer programs are allowed to miss one Forest Academy during their PhD or doctorate program, but this requirement may be waived when a doctoral student teaches a forest academy.

The Science of Creative Intelligence is the systematic study, experience, and development of the full range of life – both individual and cosmic. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of MIU, presents in this course the universal principles responsible for the creation, maintenance, and evolution of the individual, society, and the cosmos. Maharishi uses analogies and effective repetition in these comprehensive lectures to enable students to understand and integrate the principles of consciousness and intelligence underlying all creation.
Exploring Consciousness introduces students to three fundamental sources of knowledge that can be used together to evaluate any idea: personal experience, scientific reasoning, and traditional wisdom. On the basis of evidence from all three sources, a new consciousness-based framework is introduced that introduces new ways of viewing the world and new approaches to meeting its challenges. If students already practice Transcendental Meditation, this course includes a review of the principles and mechanics of the practice, based on their experience and questions.
A forest academy is a two-week period of study of particular themes of Maharishi Vedic Science, where students will explore, through direct experience and understanding, the most vital element in creation – the field of pure consciousness that is the inner intelligence at the basis of every individual and the entire universe – and how it applies practically to all areas of life.

Development of consciousness

Students are expected to participate in the Development of Consciousness Program on campus or online during their undergraduate or graduate career. This program, in addition to supporting the continuous development of a student’s cognitive and socio-emotional learning abilities, promotes holistic health and all-round happiness. It begins with instruction in the Transcendental Meditation® technique before or shortly after beginning classes and then continues with regular morning and afternoon meditation.

Course grades

A grade of “B” or higher in all courses

Core Curriculum

Completion of the essential courses, often called the “core curriculum”, for a specific program of study

Comprehensive exam (if applicable)

This examination is taken after completion of the core curriculum in each program. Based on the results of this exam, the student may be awarded a master’s degree. The student must be registered during the block in which this examination is taken.

Qualifying Exam

This examination assesses the ability of the student to pursue doctoral research. This examination should also cover any core curriculum beyond the master’s level for doctoral programs requiring a master’s degree for admission. On the basis of successful completion of this examination, the student is advanced to candidacy for the doctoral degree.

Advisory committee

This committee, formed by each doctoral student, should have at least four members including: the thesis advisor, a faculty member from the student’s department, a faculty member from Maharishi International University but another department, and one faculty member from another university or research institution. The membership of the advisory committee must be approved by the director of the doctoral program and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Dissertation proposal

The dissertation proposal is approved by the student’s advisory committee and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Teaching and research experience

All doctoral students who have passed their oral qualifying exams are asked to help teach courses and/or help as research assistants.These activities give the student necessary experience in teaching academic courses and in conducting research — two necessary skills in the career path of PhD graduates. Students who have reached the candidate stage are awarded PhD assistantships, which entail this teaching or research.

Advanced course work

Advanced courses will be prescribed by the thesis advisor and advisory committee to ensure that the student will have comprehensive knowledge of a major field and related subjects. The courses the student is required to take will depend upon prior academic background in relation to the selected graduate program and area of research interest.

Original research for a dissertation

Each student working toward a doctor of philosophy degree must conduct original research as the basis for a dissertation that makes a significant contribution to knowledge. The research is to be under the guidance of the thesis advisor and the advisory committee, and requires their approval. All doctoral students must be registered during each block in which they are working on their doctoral dissertation, whether or not they are in residence on campus. It is the policy of the University to permit and facilitate dissertation research by international students in their home countries, whenever feasible.

Written dissertation and abstract

Dissertation guidelines are available online at www.mum.edu/general-education/phd-requirements. Students should read these guidelines before beginning their dissertation.

When writing a dissertation, students work closely their major professor. Once the major professor has approved the dissertation, the student can submit the document to other committee members. The committee members will review the document and give their comments in a timely fashion – within two weeks. After incorporating all comments, the student will send updated copies of the manuscript to all committee members two weeks before the dissertation defense is scheduled.

When the dissertation committee has reviewed and approved the dissertation and the student has passed the dissertation defense, the student shall incorporate any further recommended changes and corrections before submitting it to the Library. To aid in completing the final dissertation, students present an electronic copy of their dissertations one month before graduation to the head librarian. Even if the dissertation is not complete, it should be presented to the librarian at this time. The head librarian will give the student feedback on formatting the dissertation. One week before graduation, the student must submit to the head librarian a final printed copy of the dissertation and abstract, an additional copy of the abstract, the microfilming and binding contract, the microfilming and binding payment receipt, and the required forms. Everything needs to be complete at that time.

Oral defense of the dissertation

The oral examination in defense of the dissertation will be conducted and evaluated by the dissertation committee supplemented, at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School, by additional appointed faculty members. The examination will be scheduled for a date not earlier than two weeks after the dissertation and abstract have been submitted to the major professor and dissertation committee. The student must be registered during the block in which the final oral examination is taken.

Microfilm and publish the dissertation

All doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School must be microfilmed. The University subscribes to the service offered by University Microfilms International.

  • Two copies of the dissertation will be put in the Maharishi International University Library and will be available for interlibrary loan. The abstract will be published in Dissertation Abstracts, which will announce the availability of the dissertation in film form.
  • The microfilming and binding fee required of all doctoral students submitting dissertations will cover the cost of the library microfilm copy, binding, and the publication and distribution of the abstract. The student may order additional bound copies through University Microfilms International.
  • An extra fee is charged if the dissertation is to be copyrighted. Information about the amount of this fee and method of payment may be obtained from the Graduate School. The University considers microfilming a form of publication; this does not, however, preclude publication of the dissertation in a journal or monograph, either in whole or in part.