Degree Defense Policies
PhD Dissertation and MA Thesis Defense Policy:
The oral defense of a masters thesis or doctoral dissertation is open to the public. The Candidate and all members of candidate's committee must be present. For the oral defense:
- The candidate's presentation and defense are to be a singular public event and the duration for presentation and defense is not to exceed two hours for Dissertations and one-and-a-half hours for Thesis.
- The dissertation defense consists of a presentation of the work by the candidate (10 minutes maximum).
- A defense of the work before the candidate's dissertation committee and the public.
- A question and answer period from members of the public.
- The dissertation committee then convenes privately to determine the merit of the candidate's dissertation/defense.
Dissertation Prospectus Policy
Before advancing to candidacy, all PhD students must write and defend a dissertation prospectus that explains the justification for the dissertation research, reviews the relevant literature, identifies relevant theoretical and methodological issues, and provides a timetable for the completion of the work. The prospectus defense is both an assessment of a student's readiness to proceed with the dissertation after the completion of the QEP and an opportunity for the dissertation committee to provide constructive advice on the project. The dissertation prospectus should readily convey even to a non-specialist the nature and import of the student's project and should be understood as a provisional document that advances the basic argument of the student's dissertation project. It should include:
- A brief description and statement of the thesis for the project.
- An overview of the current state of research.
- A plan of research and statement on methodology.
- A preliminary outline of chapters.
- A preliminary bibliography.
The prospectus should be between 8 and10 pages (approx. 2500 words) in length, not including the bibliography.
Current Students: You must have a degree plan on file with the Department.
- M.A. Degree Plan (Thesis)
- M.A. Degree Plan (Non-Thesis)
- Ph.D. Degree Plan (Category 1)
- Ph.D. Degree Plan (Category 2)
- Ph.D. Degree Plan (Category 3)
- Degree Plan Modification Form
- Degree Defense Policies