- After passing the Preliminary Exam, students submit a formal dissertation proposal to the Advisory Committee. After the proposal is approved by the committee, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Office of Graduate Studies, the student is accepted to candidacy for the Ph.D.
- The dissertation is a substantial work of original scholarship written under the close supervision of the Advisory Committee, particularly the chair. Dissertations must follow the guidelines in the Thesis Manual. Address questions to the Thesis Office.
We are at present not offering the option to write a Creative Dissertation to incoming students, as the Creative Writing track in the department is being redesigned.
For students conducting research involving human subjects — for instance, those working on oral histories, subject narratives and other related areas — IRB approval must be sought and obtained. Find out more information on IRB approval and procedures for Human Subject research.
Students have four years after prelims to complete the dissertation. After four years, they must retake prelims to continue. All degree requirements must be met within 10 years of entering the program.
The dissertation must be in substantially final form, and all committee members must have adequate time to review it. The committee chair must notify the Office of Graduate Studies of the date and time of the defense at least two weeks in advance. In order to meet this deadline, notify the Graduate Office Associate of your plans at least three weeks in advance.
The defense is two hours long. it should be scheduled early enough to allow time for corrections before final submission to the Thesis Office. While the defense may cover a broad field of the candidate’s training, the major portion of the time should be devoted to the dissertation.