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Learning Goals for Examinations

Learning Goals

First Doctoral Examination
At the successful completion (i.e., passing) of the first doctoral exam, the student will be able to:

  1. demonstrate breadth of knowledge in at least three substantive content areas by taking three courses in areas other than behavior analysis
  2. demonstrate the ability to write a coherent scientific discourse in one or more areas of research related to the training area in a course in Scientific Writing and Inference
  3. produce at least one major written work relating to research in learning and behavior analysis.
Second Doctoral Examination
The primary goal of the Second Doctoral Examination is to determine whether the student has mastered the relevant research literature and acquired an understanding of the research skills needed for proceeding towards the dissertation research in an oral examination with the student’s three-person committee.
At the successful completion (i.e., passing) of the second doctoral exam the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate their depth of knowledge of the core phenomena in learning and behavior analysis through oral discourse with an examination committee of experts
  2. demonstrate the ability to respond to critical questions regarding the relationship between behavioral phenomena and concepts in behavior analysis with in-depth conceptual analysis and critical thinking.
Doctoral Dissertation
In order to have successfully completed the dissertation the student will have
  1. demonstrated expertise in and knowledge of the area in a literature review pertaining to the dissertation topic.
  2. designed an experimental approach to a significant, unresolved research problem in learning and behavior analysis.
  3. identified and initiated a research design appropriate to that approach, including critical controls.
  4. mastered the methodologies required for data collection.
  5. organized and presented the research data effectively in both oral and written forms.
  6. effectively defended the dissertation and displayed an understanding of the current state of research in areas cognate to the dissertation topic.