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Ph.D. Dissertation and Defense Requirements

Ph.D. Candidates are required to complete a dissertation and oral defense in order to complete their degree requirements. Candidates should coordinate with their thesis advisor(s) and Dissertation Committees well in advance to schedule the completion of these elements, and to complete University requirements outlined on the Division of Graduate Education webpage.

The dissertation is a written exposition of the student’s thesis research work. It will be reviewed by the members of the Dissertation Committee, who are typically the same as the members of the candidacy exam committee. The form and style of the dissertation must conform to procedures described in the Division of Graduate Education Dissertations and Master’s Theses “Bluebook”. A final draft of the dissertation must be submitted to the Dissertation Committee no less than four (4) weeks prior to the planned oral defense date.

The oral defense is a public presentation of the thesis work, followed by a closed-door examination by the Dissertation Committee. This defense should be scheduled with the Dissertation Committee several months in advance of the anticipated completion date.

If corrections to the dissertation are mandated by the Dissertation Committee, these should be completed within four (4) weeks of the defense, or before the final submission date of dissertation materials to the Division of Graduate Education, whichever comes first.

Additional University requirements for the dissertation and defense, as well as templates for the dissertation file, can be found on the Division of Graduate Education webpage.