All doctoral candidates are required to complete and defend a dissertation. Only students who have been admitted to candidacy may register for dissertations hours. The University requires a minimum of 9 hours of dissertation credit; however, most doctoral programs require more hours.

The dissertation is an independent scholarly contribution to knowledge in the student’s area of specialization. By researching, writing, and defending a dissertation, the student demonstrates a high level of knowledge in the chosen field and the ability to conduct independent research.

Dissertations are regarded as publications and will be made available to the public once they are approved and submitted to the Graduate School. In order to protect patent or other intellectual property rights, the Dean of The Graduate School may, upon request, delay for a period of up to one year the binding, distribution, and/or publication of the dissertation. This request must be supported by a written recommendation of the Supervising Professor.

Doctoral candidates are required to register for a minimum of 3 credits of dissertation during each semester until the dissertation is accepted by the The Graduate School. (See, Enrollment Requirements)