Doctoral Learning Outcomes and Competencies

Recognizing that students in higher education are expected to demonstrate learning, we have agreed that one distinguishing characteristic between baccalaureate education and doctoral education is that the doctoral candidate moves beyond thinking and acting to leading others in action. It is not enough that they produce original research; at UI&U they are expected to use that research to lead new action. These competencies reflect demonstration of learning and encouragement to act.

These learning outcomes apply to all doctoral programs at UI&U, but individual programs may extend them further or adjust for greater specificity.

I. Communication:

Express and interpret ideas clearly, using a variety of written, oral and/or visual forms.

  • Display clarity, precision, and sophistication in written and oral presentations characterized by logical coherence and consistency, by the proper use of evidence and citations.
  • Exercise rigor in the scholarly research.
  • Persuade others of the credibility and viability of innovative results of the doctoral degree (dissertation).

II. Critical & Creative Thinking:

Use multiple modes of disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry to explore ideas and issues from multiple perspectives.

  • Assess established interpretations.
  • Explore implications of theories, ideas, conditions, and/or practice.
  • Formulate relevant questions.
  • Construct alternative interpretations, applications, and/or theoretical frameworks.

III. Ethical & Social Responsibility:

Express ethical & social implications in one’s social, professional, artistic and/or scholarly practice.

  • Explain social and ethical theories upon which the profession is built and assess their applicability and effectiveness.
  • Address historical, sociological, psychological, political, philosophical and ethical influences on the presence of difference among individuals, alternative identities, and social groups and encourage others to address these issues on their lives.

IV. Social and Global Perspectives:

Articulate a perspective on power in the world and one’s own place in the global community.

  • Analyze and evaluate alternative theories of the proper distribution of a society’s resources.
  • Defend equitable approaches for working with people within and outside the social majority, including prominent as well as diverse socio-economic and social-cultural constituents.

V. Area of Concentration:

Include learning outcomes that are specific to each doctoral program.