Program Content

Graduation Requirements Summary - GLS Ph.D.

  • 6 credits of core courses
  • 12 credits of methodology courses
  • 36 credits of electives (21 credits can be transferred from a prior MA/MS degree program)
  • 6 credits of International Internship Experience (or GLS 705 and an additional elective course)
  • Comprehensive Qualifying Exam
  • Demonstrated proficiency in a second language through prior or current coursework or through testing
  • Dissertation research credits (1 credit per semester of dissertation work)
  • Successfully propose, research, and write a dissertation. The completed dissertation should bear evidence of independent research and should constitute a substantial contribution to the subject.
  • Pass a public oral defense of the dissertation. This defense will be given after the dissertation has been accepted by the director and readers, and will cover the specific subject and general field of the dissertation.
  • Submit the dissertation to the UMass Lowell Library for publication.


Assessment is an ongoing activity that the faculty and administration of UMass Lowell takes very seriously. Students are assessed course by course throughout the program, and when they reach the dissertation stage they will have available a portfolio which consists of the following:
  1. Examinations in courses
  2. Research papers in courses
  3. Qualifying Examination
  4. Dissertation Proposal
The doctoral program portfolio will provide evidence of the mastery of the knowledge base of the curriculum. Further, after completion of the dissertation, there will be formal evidence of student outcomes.

We further expect that students who complete the program will apply their knowledge, often in collaboration with faculty, by publishing scholarly articles and writing successful grant proposals to federal and state agencies and to private foundations to further work in this field. Finally, graduates will be successful in securing jobs in higher education and in policy planning, research and senior consultant positions. These accomplishments will indicate external recognition of the learning and further potential for professional contributions demonstrated by the graduates.