In order to obtain a doctorate degree, every student must submit a thesis based on original and significant observations. Students are required to present a seminar on his/her/their dissertation research, which is followed directly by the final examination. The final examination will be an oral defense of the thesis to the thesis committee. Three weeks prior to the scheduled oral defense, the student must obtain the Ph.D. warrant from the Graduate School through a request from the program coordinator. For the student to pass the final exam, four of the five-committee members must sign the warrant to affirm passage.
To allow everyone adequate time to review the material, the thesis thesis should be handed out to the thesis committee at least 6 weeks in advance of the defense date. The presentation and defense of the Ph.D. thesis will follow the usual procedures of the Graduate School. The Graduate School states that the thesis must be the candidate’s own work. It may be the result of research enterprises in which others have collaborated, but in those cases the candidate is required to present a substantial portion that represents his/her/their own contribution. Any work in the thesis that was completed by someone other than the author must be clearly indicated as such.
The Graduate School has extensive resources to guide students through the process of finalizing dissertations. The degree coordinators at the Graduate School also offer support in group or individual format to assist students as they finish their PhD careers.