Ph.D. Dissertation Research information.

The primary purpose of the dissertation is to demonstrate the student’s ability to do independent research on a topic related to their major subject and present it in a scholarly manner.

Dissertation Requirements

  • Each Ph.D. candidate is required to write a dissertation that is the culminating product of their independent research.
    • Ph.D. candidates enrolled in a dual-title degree program must write a dissertation that reflects their original research, integrating concepts from both graduate programs.
  • Taking both the dissertation and the final oral examination into consideration, the Ph.D. Committee shall evaluate the accomplishments of the student relative to the program’s defined Learning Objectives, particularly with respect to the student’s mastery of the major, and if appropriate, dual-title and minor fields of study.
  • For the dissertation to be accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree, it must be approved by the following:
    • at least two-thirds of the Ph.D. committee;
    • the head of the student’s graduate program; and,
    • the Graduate School.
      • Specifically, the dissertation must meet editorial standards specified by the Graduate School so that it constitutes an official University record for inclusion in the University Libraries.
      • Exceptions to the accepted format must be requested in writing to the Graduate School and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School or their designee.
  • The dissertation must be made available to the public through inclusion in the University Libraries.
  • After notifying the dissertation adviser, the student is responsible for providing a copy of the dissertation to each member of the Ph.D. committee at least two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the final oral examination.
  • The dissertation should be complete, with correct and polished content and style, appropriate notes, bibliography, tables, etc., at the time it is distributed to the committee members.
  • If any committee member finds that the draft submitted to them is not correct and polished with respect to content and style, it is their responsibility to notify the chair at least one week in advance of the final oral examination date. The committee member should indicate their concerns regarding the draft and recommend consideration of postponement of the examination to the chair.
    • The chair, in consultation with committee members, is responsible for notifying the student and assessing whether the student can make the necessary revisions to the draft before the examination date.
    • If it is determined that revisions cannot be made in time, the examination must be postponed.
    • If differences of opinion on this matter exist among committee members, and these cannot be resolved within the committee itself, the head of the graduate program must be consulted to hear the expressed concerns and determine whether the examination should be postponed.
  • The Ph.D. committee may require revisions to the dissertation after the Final Oral Examination. If they approve the dissertation, Ph.D. committee members indicate that approval only after all final revisions have been made.

Dissertation Submission

  • Become familiar with the requirements by reading the Thesis and Dissertation Handbook carefully.
  • Apply to graduate on LionPATH during the semester in which you plan to graduate. Deadlines for submitting your dissertation can be viewed on the Thesis, Dissertation, Performance, and Oral Presentation Calendar  page.
  • Upload a draft of your dissertation for format review (pdf only) to the eTD website by the specified deadline. Corrections and detailed instructions will be returned to you by email.
  • Defend the dissertation and make any changes required by your committee. This can be done either before or after the format review, as long as deadlines are met.
  • Review the dissertation one final time to be sure that no further changes are needed. It will not be possible to make corrections after final approval by the Office of Theses and Dissertations. Convert the file into a pdf for eTD submission. If you cannot do this, contact the Office of Theses and Dissertations for assistance.
  • Go to the eTD website and upload the final eTD; submit supporting materials to the Office of Theses and Dissertations. (Note: It does not matter if you upload first or submit the materials first.) Supporting materials are: ProQuest/UMI Agreement, Survey of Earned Doctorates, and $95 fee. The fee can be paid at the Payment Section of the Graduate School Thesis and Dissertation Information webpage.
  • Await notification of eTD approval by email. If changes are required, you will be notified. Your eTD will be accessible on the eTD website immediately after graduation, unless you have chosen restricted access.