Last week I underwent the last of three steps to becoming a Ph.D candidate in my department. The first step, the written comprehensive exam, I passed in May, and the second step, the oral examination, I passed in December. This third step was a proposal of my dissertation work in front of my Dissertation Committee, made up of four professors in my department, on my topic of research. Ultimately a fifth professor, from outside my department, will be added for my future dissertation defense.
My proposal was on the topic that I have been developing with my advisor Dr. Laurie Garrow. The topic focuses on how depeaked airline schedules at hub airports affect revenue and the airline’s competitors. In my presentation, I discussed the literature review and planned methodology. I presented, with intermittent questions from my committee, for just around an hour. At the end of another question period and asking me to leave the room, I was allowed back in. They then informed me I had passed.
Three other students gave their proposals last week in my department, and although we are quite sure we can call ourselves Ph.D candidates now, there is a debate as to whether one has to finish all their classes to have that title. So either I am one now, or will be one at the end of this semester.