Academic Policies & Procedures
Research Skill/Foreign Language Requirement
A candidate for the Ph.D. degree must complete one of two research skill options. A minimum grade of B (3.0) must be obtained in each course used in meeting this requirement. Credits earned in meeting research skill requirements may be counted in the total of 90 credits required for the course prescription.
- Option I Appropriate research skill courses such as those described below, typically totaling 9 credit hours. Possibilities under this option include:
- Advanced statistics courses, typically SPH-Q 502, SPH-Q 601, and SPH-Q 602.
- Engineering (mandatory for biomechanics): one course in each of statics, dynamics, and mechanics of materials. These courses should have the content of standard theoretical courses in engineering. Acceptance of equivalent courses requires support of the student's advisor and approval of the associate dean for graduate studies.
- Other appropriate research skills that have been endorsed by the doctoral advisory committee and approved by the associate dean for graduate studies. Some examples of other appropriate skill areas are computer science, mathematics, and electronic techniques in physics.
- Option II Reading proficiency in the selected foreign language and at least 5 credit hours from the research skill courses described below. Possibilities under this option include:
- Advanced statistics courses (6 credits). Students typically select two courses from SPH-Q 502, SPH-Q 601, and SPH-Q 602.
- Other appropriate research skills that have been endorsed by the doctoral advisory committee and approved by the executive associate dean. Some examples of other appropriate skill areas are computer science, mathematics, and electronic techniques in physics.
- Reading proficiency in a foreign language. Reading proficiency in a foreign language is normally established in one of three ways: A.) By achieving an appropriate score on an examination administered on the Bloomington campus by the respective language department. Students should contact the language department for details. B.) By completing, with a grade of B (3.0) or better, the reading course _492 (e.g., FRIT-F 492 for French, GER-G 492 for German). Students may register for the first course in the sequence, _491, to prepare for _492. Those who feel they have sufficient preparation may register for _492, though they should consult the language advisor first. C.) By receiving, in the cases of Catalan, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish, a grade of B (3.0) or better in a literature or civilization course at Indiana University, numbered 300 or higher (exclusive of individual readings and correspondence courses) in which the reading is done in the foreign language.
International students will not be permitted to use their primary languages in meeting this requirement. Such students may, however, elect to present English proficiency as the foreign language, which requires a minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the paper-based test, or 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the Internet-based test. In addition, verification in English proficiency must be obtained from the Indiana University Center for English Language Training, Memorial Hall 330, (812) 855-6457. A special form requesting this action must be obtained from the School of Public Health - Bloomington records office, room 115.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: I completed SPH-Q 501 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health. May I use this course as three of the nine required research skill course credits?
Answer: No, SPH-Q 501 is an entry-level statistics, and as such, it does not qualify as an acceptable research skill course. In fact, SPH-Q 501 does not count anywhere on a doctoral student's course prescription.
Question: I completed SPH-X 590 Introduction to Research in Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation. May I use this course as three of the nine required research skill course credits?
Answer: No, SPH-X 590 is not an acceptable research skill course. However, it may be used in the major, minor, or elective portions of doctoral students required course work if a student's advisory committee determines that it belongs there.
Question: I meet the criteria for the research skill option II. Does this mean I only need to take two statistics courses?
Answer: No, it simply means that you only need two statistics courses in your research skills area. If your advisory committee decides that you need additional statistics courses in preparation for your dissertation project, they will be prescribed as part of your electives or possibly a minor.