After passing the preliminary exam, you enter the second stage of the program, which is devoted to directed study. During this time, you work in close consultation with faculty members to prepare for research in your selected field. Intellectual support during the directed study phase is provided by the field research seminars and one or more individual study courses designed to prepare you to take the oral qualifying examination. The final product is a draft of a dissertation proposal emphasizing the methodological aspects of that proposal. The field research seminars provide doctoral students with an opportunity to read and hear papers and to develop critical faculties within their research areas.

During the directed study phase, each student finds a faculty member to work with in a directed study course. This faculty member is likely to chair the student’s oral exam committee. The faculty member assigns and discusses readings that will help the student search for a research topic, develop a research proposal, and prepare for the qualifying examination, an oral examination generally taken during the third year of study.

In the oral qualifying examination, the student is examined by four members of the faculty, one of whom is from a department outside the Haas School. Upon passing the oral examination, the student formally advances to the special status of doctoral candidacy.