Online Dissertation-Only PhD Degree

A new exciting 2 year online dissertation-only PhD program that serves the creative, inventive, and productive student by allowing the student to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree through the construction of a substantial creative independent work.

The dissertation only PhD program is open to anyone, from any field of endeavor,  and with any interest. There is no age or other requirement, nor any particular academic pre-requisite. The applicant has the burden during the application process of demonstrating that attendant skills have been mastered or obtained so as to result in a likely completion of the proposed independent project.

The work may be, by way of example and not meant to include all the categories, a novel, a work of history, an archaeological discovery, a film, a video, musical work, a research paper, a photographic journal, natural environment photography, a novel use of the internet or other modern technology, a unique creation of 3D modeling or virtual worlds, a contribution to robotics, a summary or review of medical technology…. in short--any topic of interest to the student for which an original work that contributes to human kind or society may be completed. Special preference will be given to students who create special items to enhance the University, such as a virtual world area for the website or otherwise.

Please carefully study the following materials before making an inquiry:

(A) Detailed Information on the Dissertation Only PhD Program :

We follow the European and Asian traditions of long standing that a student who creates a body of original work related to technology research or an original work in the filed of the humanities can be considered for the award of a doctoral degree. While typically, no time requirement is associated with award of the doctoral degree, the usual time requirement is 3-8 years.  However,  in most instances, such as particularly in the technological fields, the independent work may be accomplished in connection with employment and therefore an 8 year period is not devoted strictly to academic pursuits full time.

Please note before making an inquiry:

(1) We do not give advisory opinions about specific projects prior to the submission of a full Application, which can be submitted at any time and at no cost.

(2) Although every Application and Proposed Project is evaluated on a case by case basis, generally speaking, past publications submitted as satisfying our dissertation requirement are not favored. We are looking for a substantial body of work. We do not issue VAE degrees (Validation des acquis de l’experience) which are valid and commonplace in France and which are essentially based on work experience.

Suitability of the Applicant and the Proposed Project

In reviewing your submission, we will evaluate your abilities and past academic or other creative work to determine if you can be successful with your proposed project and bring it to completion.

In addition, the suitability of the proposed independent research or project is also evaluated.  It is not possible to list all the criteria that we consider specially, as this differs depending on whether a creative work, scientific research, invention, or other type of project is proposed. For research projects, the Applicant has the burden of demonstrating the current state of the science in the field of endeavor and in what respects the proposed independent work will advance the field. In addition, for all proposed projects, there is a subjective analysis as to whether or not the proposal is suitable for Blue Marble University to sponsor. The ability of the proposed work to be published, circulated, or disseminated is given a great deal of weight.

Pre-Planning vs. Planning

Pre-planning refers to sketching out an outline of the proposed project. This is done in connection with completing the “Supplement to Application” in which the Applicant demonstrates his/her plan for the project and gives preliminary details.

Formal Planning takes place after enrollment, in which the first 3-5 months are spent organizing the project, finalizing the procedure to be followed, planning for the publication and dissemination of the work, and ironing out any problems that may be evident.

(A) Who May Apply

The dissertation only PhD program is open to anyone, from any field of endeavor,  and with any interest. There is no age or other requirement, but see Academic Pre-requisites below.

(B) Academic Pre-requisites

Because the focus for this program is on the proposed independent work itself, rather than on past academic achievements and records, there are no academic pre-requisites for acceptance to this program. However, the ability of the student to complete a proposed project successfully, necessarily entails a review of the student’s skill levels in the areas of writing, communication, and presentation. The student has the burden during the application process of demonstrating that attendant skills have been mastered or obtained. This may be shown in part by past work or samples and/or other relevant demonstrations.

(C) How It Works

The Blue Marble University dissertation-only PhD requires the following:

(1) The student must complete an original work within the broad field of the Humanities and Liberal Arts.  And we use the word “humanities” very liberally, as that field initially included the sciences. Any and all topics and type of works and styles are considered. By “dissertation” we mean “an original body of work”. The work may be, by way of example and not meant to include all the categories, a novel, a work of history, an archaeological discovery, a film, a video, musical work, a research paper, a photographic journal, natural environment photography, a novel use of the internet or other modern technology, a unique creation of 3D modeling or virtual worlds, a contribution to robotics, a summary or review of medical technology…. in short–any topic of interest to the student for which an original work that contributes to human kind or society may be completed. Special preference will be given to students who create special items to enhance the University, such as a virtual world area for the website or otherwise.

(2) The work or goal of the work must be pre-approved by the Faculty of Blue Marble University in connection with the Application process.

(3) No academic courses are required as part of the program. However, depending on the type of project, suitable training and/or review may be prescribed. For example, a research paper requires the correct form for citations to references. So, some materials outside of the project itself may be suggested by the Faculty mentor.

(4) There must be an approved University Examiner which will serve as the principle guide, mentor, and evaluator of the work. The Examiner will be selected by the University from among its faculty where possible. In the alternative, and where required in those cases where we do not have qualified faculty, the student may suggest an Examiner that he/she would like to work with or to apprentice with that is outside the University. Payment of any fees or costs to such Outside Examiner selected and approved by the University is the responsibility of the Student.

(5) The Faculty have determined, based on a study of various criteria, that two years minimum is required for the completion of a worthy original work. Students may require longer, depending on their progress. However, from the University standpoint, we will consider a student’s original work that is submitted and completed after two years or longer. The first 3-5 months after enrollment is generally set aside for formal and final planning of the project.

(6) The Examiner is the principle person that works with the student in defining the final outline of the project, guiding the student where appropriate as to form, funding, and publication/dissemination of the work. The Examiner will be called upon to report to the Faculty from time to time, and at least quarterly, as to the progress of the student. The role of the Examiner is to assist the student and to support the student’s efforts. Naturally, it is the student’s conception of the project that is the most important, and the Examiner should be supportive but not interfere with the creation and production of the work by the student. Likewise, the student should realize that it is the student, not the Examiner, that is responsible for the creation, production, and completion of the work.  Finally, the student may at any time request a change in Examiner. A reason must be articulated for the request, and a change is within the discretion of the University keeping in mind that it is in the best interests of all that the student’s efforts be promoted toward a successful completion of the proposed work.

(7) Criteria for Judgment of the work: First off, it is the intention of Blue Marble University to award a dissertation-only PhD after the completion of  two years of work, provided the project is complete. It is not our goal either to extend the time period or to require lengthy periods. Of course, a student may require additional time to complete a project, which is OK as well, but additional annual tuition may be required in that event depending on the level of guidance required and the proximity to projected completion.  Because there are so many different types of works that may be submitted, there is no judgment criteria applicable to all. Each work must stand or fall on its own merits. The two primary principles involved in judging a successful work and in granting of a PhD degree are (1)  the work be original and substantial; (2) the work should be something that both the student and the University may be proud to present as an accomplishment worthy of the grant of a doctoral degree.

(8) Time spent on the project and the scheduling of time is up to the student. There are no set times that the student must report in, nor any classes. Students of course must communicate their progress to the Faculty mentor from time to time, and upon request, as well as submit progress reports and samples of work in progress.

(D) Cost

There is no cost to apply. Tuition is $2,950 USD per year (With OurPayment Plan, $950 down payment and 8 monthly payments of $250 USD); or $2700 USD advance lump sum payment per year.

(E) Degree Awarded and Academic Credentials

Upon completion of the project and approval of the student’s work, the University will issue its Diploma with our standard wording, to the effect that the student named was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Arts and Sciences, and specifying the field of endeavor. More information on the Form and Text of our Degrees can be found under the Academics section of our website at: https://bluemarbleuniversity.wordpress.com/form-text-and-issuance-of-diploma/

In addition, while no transcript of grades will be issued, an academic record similar to a transcript will be prepared which identifies the student and which details the independent work undertaken, the time frame to completion, and the approval of the work. If published in some manner, the publication details will be given. Transcripts, and a copy of the degree awarded are maintained permanently on the internet at the University website using password protected pages. The student or anyone to whom the password has been given may access such records at any time and for free.

(F) Copyright and License to Use

All independent work created by the student is the intellectual property of the student and may be published and used by the student for any purposes. The student, by entering into the program grants to Blue Marble University in perpetuity the right to use the work for non-commercial use, such as but not limited to promoting the academic excellence of the University, or publishing examples of student accomplishments. Separate considerations would apply to works intended for the direct benefit of Blue Marble University, such as the creation of a virtual world area for its website.

(B) Required Supplement to the Application to the Dissertation Only PhD  Supplement to Application

(C)New Guidelines for Submission of Already Completed Works or Works Substantially Completed

Since opening our program, we have had many inquiries from applicants wishing to submit works, research, and other materials essentially completed or substantially completed, and requesting that the program thus be achievable in one year. We have routinely denied consideration of such applications or inquiries.

However, upon further review, we have determined that such prior or ongoing works, research and other materials should in fact be considered as meeting our criteria for a scholarly body of work.

Blue Marble University will therefore consider  the submission of already completed works or works substantially completed, as meeting our requirements,  in part, for acceptance into our program with the following guidelines to be kept in mind:

(1) We do not give advisory opinions about the acceptability of specific projects prior to the submission of a full Application, which can be submitted at any time and at no cost.

(2) Every Application and Proposed Project is evaluated on a case by case basis, but generally speaking, past publications or substantially completed works  submitted as satisfying our dissertation requirement continue not to be favored and are held to a higher standard than work which will be supervised by Blue Marble University. We continue to be looking for a substantial body of work.

(3) Applicants must submit a General Application  https://bluemarbleuniversity.com/how-to-apply/application-procedure-for-most-applicants/

accompanied by the Supplement to Application https://bluemarbleuniversity.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/dissertationonlysupplement.pdf

and accompanied by the partially completed or completed work in pdf form if available.

(4) The Details of the Program (except for the time requirement) are all applicable.

(5) As additional criteria, the Applicant’s overall educational background and prior history of achievement will be reviewed and will weigh heavily on our decision for admittance into the program.

(6) Greater emphasis will also be placed on what evidence can be supplied from an independent qualified person or other source to the effect that the work is new, and advances the field of endeavor in some material way.

(7) Greater emphasis will be placed on the amount of work completed (although quanitity is not always a good criteria…wasn’t  E=mc2 written on a napkin?).

(8) Greater emphasis will also be placed on the plan for publication/dissemination of the proposed work.

(9) The cost of the program, assuming it can be completed in one year, is $2950 USD with no discount for advance lump sum payment. This is required because normally our student set-up costs, cost of individual student portal, is normally spread over multiple years.

(10) Please note that these additional new guidelines ONLY apply to those applicants seeking to submit already completed or substantially completed works. Normal applicants to our 2 year Dissertation-Only PhD program please continue to follow the details, descriptions, and application procedures given above at: 
(A) Detailed Information on the Dissertation Only PhD Program 

How to Apply Summary

(A) Complete the Blue Marble University General Application Procedure, which can be found on our APPLY page, as well as HERE

(B) Complete and Submit the Supplement to Application to the Dissertation Only PhD Program, which can be be found HERE

As a virtual  university, Blue Marble has no campus, but delivers educational opportunities over the internet to international students from everywhere, including the USA, Canada, Europe, many African countries, India, and Asia.

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