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Dissertation Credit Hours, Research and Writing

When performing dissertation research, students take RELI 9000 (Doctoral Research). While writing the dissertation, students take RELI 9300 (Dissertation Writing). The dissertation is developed under the direction of the major professor. When a draft suitable for oral defense has been completed, it is given to the major professor who then gives it to the other members of the dissertation committee. In some cases, individual chapters will be given to the readers as the dissertation is in development. In any case, the draft for defense must be given to the entire dissertation committee at least one month prior to the oral defense. (NOTE: If the dissertation in development has been given to the readers on a chapter by chapter basis, an entire, complete copy of the draft for defense must still be presented to the readers.)

The Graduate School requires that your dissertation follow a certain format. Copies of the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines can be obtained at the Graduate School website. The dissertation, and the “Approval form for Doctoral Dissertation and Final Oral Examination” form, must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the final day of classes for Fall and Spring Semester. See Deadlines.

The last semester of enrollment is not the time to begin researching and writing your dissertation! You should be finalizing your Dissertation your last semester. Your advisory committee will need time to read the dissertation and offer suggestions. You will need time to incorporate suggestions and resubmit a copy to the committee for any other changes. By the time you have your Final Oral Examination your dissertation should be in the FINAL stage. There are certain guidelines that the Graduate School requires concerning the format of your dissertation. When you begin typing the dissertation you will need to consult the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines. These guidelines are strictly enforced.

Deadlines for turning in the dissertation will have to be followed or you will not be able to graduate on time. You are REQUIRED to have a copy of your dissertation checked for formatting errors by the Graduate School prior to turning it in (this should be done as soon as you have a more-or-less completed copy of the dissertation). Check for the deadline for this FORMAT CHECK. They will alert you of any errors in meeting the guidelines that you will need to fix prior to turning in the final copy. 

The dissertation, and the “Approval Form for Doctoral Dissertation and Final Oral Examination” form (after the oral defense), must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the final day of classes for Fall and Spring Semester. See deadlines.

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