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Dissertation Guidelines


Dissertation Research and Writing

All doctoral students are required to complete a dissertation. The dissertation must represent an original contribution to scholarship based on independent investigation. Preparation of the dissertation should follow the guidelines in the current edition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) or American Institute of Physics (AIP) G37 style manual or in an appropriate professional journal in the designated field, as deemed acceptable by the dissertation committee. After being admitted to candidacy, students must be continuously enrolled for dissertation hours each fall and spring term until the defense of their dissertation. If a student is utilizing university resources toward completion of the dissertation in the summer (including faculty supervision or the use of university facilities), or if the student is graduating in the summer, they must be enrolled in at least one hour of dissertation credit for that term. All candidates for graduation must be enrolled in dissertation hours during the term in which the degree is to be conferred. Students must complete a minimum of 18 semester hours of dissertation research credit.

The student must submit to The Graduate College the approved dissertation in electronic format for publication with the Alkek Library. The graduate dean must approve the dissertation.

Dissertation Enrollment Requirements

After being admitted to candidacy, students must be continuously enrolled for dissertation hours each term until the defense of their dissertation. If a student is utilizing university resources toward completion of the dissertation in the summer (including faculty supervision or the use of university facilities), or if the student is graduating in the summer, they must be enrolled in at least one hour of dissertation credit for that term. All candidates for graduation must be enrolled in dissertation hours during the term in which the degree is to be conferred. Students must complete a minimum of 18 semester hours of dissertation research and writing credit.

Dissertation Time Limit

Students are expected to complete the dissertation within two years after Advancement to Candidacy. Any exceptions to this time limit require the approval of the doctoral program director and the dean of The Graduate College. The doctoral program director will review each student annually to ascertain their progress in pursuing the degree and will consult with the student‘s Ph.D. research advisor and dissertation committee on this matter as appropriate.

Dissertation Committee

The dissertation committee will be responsible for administering the Advancement to Candidacy Comprehensive Examination and will oversee the research progress of a doctoral student and the writing of the student‘s dissertation. The committee will consist of at least five members, including the student‘s Ph.D. research advisor, three other MSEC doctoral faculty and at least one external member from outside the MSEC program or the university. The student‘s Ph.D. research advisor will chair the committee. The student, doctoral program director, and the dean of The Graduate College will approve the composition of the dissertation committee. The Dissertation/Research Advisor form and the Dissertation Committee Request form must be completed to form the committee. These forms may be downloaded from The Graduate College‘s website.

Any changes to the dissertation committee must be submitted using the Dissertation Advisor/Committee Member Change Request form for approval to the dissertation committee chair, the doctoral program director, and the dean of The Graduate College. Changes must be submitted no later than 60 days before the dissertation defense.

The student is responsible for obtaining committee members’ signatures on the Dissertation/Research Advisor Assignment form and the Dissertation Committee Request form, which can be downloaded from The Graduate College website.

Committee Changes

Any changes to the dissertation committee must be submitted using the Dissertation Advisor/Committee Member Change Request form for approval to the dissertation committee chair, the doctoral program director, and the dean of The Graduate College. Changes must be submitted no later than 60 days before the dissertation defense.

The Research Advisor/Committee Member Change Request form may be downloaded from The Graduate College website or obtained from the doctoral program director.

Dissertation Defense

The dissertation defense will not be scheduled until all other academic and program requirements for advancement to candidacy have been fulfilled. A complete draft of the dissertation will be given to the members of the dissertation committee with sufficient time for review, typically two month before the date of commencement during the term in which the student intends to graduate. After committee members have reviewed the draft with the student and provided comments, the student, in consultation with the Ph.D. research advisor, will incorporate the recommended changes into a new draft of the dissertation. When each committee member is satisfied that the draft dissertation is defendable, the dissertation defense may be scheduled.

The dissertation defense will consist of two parts. The first part is a public presentation of the dissertation research. Notice of the defense presentation will be posted at least two weeks in advance. The second part of the defense will immediately follow the public presentation but will be restricted to the student‘s dissertation committee and entail an oral examination over the dissertation research. Approval of the dissertation requires positive votes from the student‘s Ph.D. research advisor and a majority of the remaining members of the dissertation committee. The Dissertation Defense Report form must be filed in The Graduate College before the dean of The Graduate College gives final approval to the dissertation. This form may be downloaded from The Graduate College website.

The student is expected to orally defend the dissertation in an announced public presentation within two years of the official date of being advanced to candidacy.

Approval and Submission of the Dissertation

Following approval and signing of the Thesis/Dissertation Committee Approval form by the members of the dissertation committee, the student must submit one copy of the dissertation to the office of The Graduate College for final approval. Specific guidelines for approval and submission of the dissertation can be obtained from the office of The Graduate College. Dissertations must be submitted in electronic format.

 

Please note that the student's dissertation must follow the most current Graduate College Guide available on their website at the time of final submission. Other dissertation information, including deadlines, forms, and how to format and submit the document to The Graduate College can be found at: https://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/students/thesis-dissertation.html