Ph.D. Candidates must complete a dissertation which makes an original
contribution to knowledge. During the period that students undertake
the dissertation, ordinarily at least two semesters, they must regularly
enroll for dissertation credit for a minimum of 12 semester hours
per term if they are in residence and serve as graduate assistants,
12 semester hours per term if they are on fellowships, or 3 semester
hours if they are not in residence. Exceptions to this policy will
be made only in cases of financial need. Dissertations are expected
to be of publishable quality, either in whole or in part, according
to the standards of the journals in the study field.
submission sample and required contents (PDF)
After passing the comprehensive examination, students must submit a dissertation prospectus. The prospectus must be approved by the supervisory committee after a formal meeting of the student and the committee. This should be accomplished as promptly as possible, ordinarily not later than three months after the successful completion of the comprehensive examination. The prospectus must be signed by the committee and by the Ph.D. Program Director. The required contents of the prospectus are described in Appendix B, "Required Contents for the Ph.D. Dissertation Prospectus." The student and the major professor shall be responsible for obtaining the required signatures on the Defense of Dissertation Prospectus form which can be obtained from the secretary to the program.
The major professor shall schedule the oral examination in defense
of the dissertation in consultation with the student and other members
of the supervisory committee. Each member of the supervisory committee
shall have an opportunity to examine a dissertation draft at least
one month before the defense date. When the defense is successful,
and the dissertation is approved by the supervisory committee, the
student must submit the Final Term Degree Clearance Form, as required
by the University.
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