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F2.1 Doctoral Degrees with a Designated Emphasis

Updated: January 27th, 2014

A “Designated Emphasis” is defined as an area of study constituting a new method of inquiry or an important field of application relevant to two or more existing doctoral degree programs. Students are required to complete the academic work in the Designated Emphasis in addition to all the requirements of the doctoral program.  There are no adjustments made to the normative time of the student’s major when a student undertakes a designated emphasis.

Adding a Designated Emphasis (DE) as a program of study. After admission by the Designated Emphasis, students must complete a “Change of Major or Degree Goal” petition signed by the DE’s head graduate adviser and submit the form to the Graduate Services: Degrees Office (318 Sproul Hall, #5900). Students are required to be admitted to the DE before taking the qualifying examination since the student must have on the examination committee a representative of the DE must be examined in that area of study.

When students also enrolled in a DE are advanced to candidacy, the advancement application must include the signature of the Head Graduate Adviser for the DE to signify that the dissertation committee has an appropriate representative of the DE in its membership.  Prior to filing for the degree, a Final Report for the Designated Emphasis, verifying that all of the requirements for the DE have been met, must be submitted.

Students approved for a DE must include the name of the DE on the title page of the dissertation, following the major name. See “Instructions for Preparing and Filing Your Thesis or Dissertation,” available online (

List of Designated Emphases. The following Designated Emphases have been approved by the Graduate Council:

  • Communication, Computation, and Statistics
  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Computational and Genomic Biology
  • Critical Theory
  • Dutch Studies
  • Energy Science and Technology
  • Film Studies
  • Folklore
  • Global Metropolitan Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Nanoscale Science and Engineering
  • New Media
  • Renaissance and Early Modern Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality

See All Topics in the Category: F. Degrees, Guide to Graduate Policy