International Dual Ph.D. Degree Initiative
with Institutions in France
Under a new initiative described below, students may simultaneously pursue Ph.D. studies at the University of Chicago and at a degree-granting institution of higher learning in France, leading to two Ph.D. degrees—one from each of the two institutions. Every student will have an individualized cotutelle (joint supervision) agreement that specifies the details of his/her course of study, academic requirements, and plan/timeline for the completion of the two Ph.D. degrees. Students approved for this initiative pursue a specific course of study depending on their research and professional interests, must satisfy all the requirements of both doctoral programs, and must write and defend a single dissertation that meets the requirements for each degree.
Permission to participate in a dual degree initiative is a privilege extended only to those students who have demonstrated in their work a record of excellence and who can convincingly demonstrate that they will be able to complete the requirements for each of the two degrees within the maximum time period a student is accorded enrollment status at either institution. There is no guarantee that an application will be approved. Ongoing satisfactory academic progress will be a requirement for continued participation in a dual Ph.D. initiative until completion.
Any student interested in such a course of study should begin by discussing this option with faculty in their current institution: their prospective dissertation advisor and their department or program’s Director of Graduate Studies (or equivalent faculty member responsible for graduate education) as well as their Dean of Students (for current UChicago students). Next steps would include a conversation with their prospective dissertation advisor at the other institution, and submission of petition documents to the appropriate UChicago Dean of Students (see below Authorization to Participate in the Dual Ph.D. Degree Initiative).
Students in France: Students at an institution of higher learning in France must have completed the first year of the Master’s degree at the French institution at the time of application to the University of Chicago and will be required to have completed the second year of that Master’s degree prior to matriculating at the University of Chicago
Students at UChicago: Students at the University of Chicago enrolled in a doctoral program must have completed at least one year in a Ph.D. program at the time of application to an institution of higher learning in France and are expected to have completed the second year of the UChicago doctoral degree and associated requirements prior to matriculating into the French institution.
AUTHORIZATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DUAL PH.D. DEGREE INITIATIVE
Students in France: Students at an institution of higher learning in France must apply to the program of interest at the University of Chicago following the standard admissions procedures and deadlines and be admitted by that program. They must indicate in their application to UChicago that they plan to seek permission to participate in the dual Ph.D. initiative, and submit at the time of their application the petition documents described below to the appropriate UChicago Dean of Students.
Students at UChicago: UChicago students wishing to be considered for the dual degree option with a French institution of higher learning should meet with their Dean of Students to discuss eligibility and the petition process. They must apply to the Ph.D. program of interest at the institution of higher learning in France following the standard admissions procedures and deadlines and be admitted by that program.
Petition requirements for ALL students: Interested students must identify a faculty advisor in each institution and petition for approval by submitting the following documents to the appropriate UChicago Dean of Students office:
- a 1-page statement of intellectual interest that articulates the nature of the research to be undertaken and the reason(s) why the applicant wishes to pursue training in two doctoral programs
- a record of academic work completed and a plan and timeline for work to be completed to meet the degree requirements of each program, including: (1) a plan for funding each year required to complete this course of study in two institutions; (2) the language the dissertation will be in, as agreed upon by both institutions
- at least two letters of endorsement—one from each dissertation advisor certifying that the dual course of study forms an academic whole; letters should address why the two Ph.D. degrees are desirable for the applicant’s doctoral work and the applicant’s ability to complete the additional requirements within the standard framework for satisfactory academic progress
- as appropriate, identification of which institution—as agreed upon by both institutions—would have ownership rights in the event that the research results in intellectual property that could be owned institutionally
- a curriculum vitae
The petition to participate in this dual degree initiative will require approval by:
- the Chair of the student’s original department
- the Chair of the department at the other institution
- the Dean of Students for the student’s program at the University of Chicago
- the equivalent to Dean of Students at the French institution
A draft of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (or cotutelle agreement) should be submitted to the Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives early in the process for advice and consent. Authorization to participate in this dual Ph.D. degree initiative is contingent on final approval by the Office of the Provost, and will be consider complete once a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Chicago and the partner institution in France is drafted and signed.
As part of the approval process, the UChicago Dean of Students will notify the France Chicago Center of each student who has been given permission to pursue two Ph.D. degrees through this initiative.