Academics - [ Graduate Studies - How to get your Ph.D. dissertation approved]

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The library's Office of Thesis and Dissertation Format Review ( ) has produced a nice brochure that lists the steps necessary to get your Ph.D. dissertation approved in step 29 below. Paper copies of the brochure can be picked up at the library.

The purpose of the form below is to help you, the Department Office staff, and your Committee to perform necessary steps in a timely manner, and thus, avoid a crisis at the end of the semester.

The Department office staff must submit the DECLARATION OF EXAMINATION/DEFENSE form to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the defense and the Department Office staff must prepare or update paperwork for graduation as required.

Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Student's Name: __________________________________
Student's NetId: __________________________________
Major Professor: __________________________________
Minor Professor (if any): __________________________________
Planned date/time/place for defense: __________________________________ (same as 17. below)
Dissertation title: _____________________________________________________________________
Planned graduation term/year: __________________________________
Number of hours enrolled at time of defense: __________________________________ (Must be at least one.)

The following steps are necessary to get your Ph.D. dissertation approved, so you can graduate. Even though there are a lot of steps, most of the steps are quick. For more details, see Ph.D. Guidelines (

Begin early in your last semester.

In chronological order:

  1. Fill out this form.
  2. Preview the Library's instructions at
  3. (If needed) Major Professor gives Department Office staff information for preparing Committee Request form or Change of Committee form and Program of Study form. Due: __________________________________ (Students should not prepare these forms.)
  4. In Banner, under "Academic Records," select "Apply for a Degree" and complete the information for your target graduation semester. Last day to apply for a degree: *__________________________________
  5. Make plans to participate in Commencement and order regalia through the campus bookstore.
  6. Verify that your name in Banner matches your name on your dissertation. If Banner is wrong, the University has a procedure to make changes.
  7. Verify that the names of your Committee members on your dissertation signature page match the spelling on the list of Graduate Faculty exactly.
    If a Committee member is not on the University's list of Graduate Faculty, the Department Head will help resolve the situation.
  8. Verify that the title of your dissertation is correct on file at the Graduate School by having the Department Office Staff check your Department academic file. If not correct, then the Department Office Staff will notify the Graduate School of the correct title.
  9. Plan your dissertation defense date with your Committee at least three weeks prior to the defense. Do not plan your defense for the last day before the deadline, so that unforeseen events do not cause you to miss the deadline.
  10. Submit this worksheet to your major professor for approval at least three weeks prior to the defense. Due: __________________________________
  11. The major professor must must give the approved worksheet to the Department office staff at least two weeks prior to the defense, so they can prepare and submit the DECLARATION OF EXAMINATION/DEFENSE form to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the defense. Due: __________________________________
  12. Give the Review Version of your disseration document to your Major Professor for verbal approval. Review version due to Major Professor: __________________________________
  13. Give each Committee member a copy of the approved Review Version at least one week prior to the defense. (We suggest two weeks.) (Use email or paper.) Due: __________________________________
  14. Email a *.pdf of the approved Review Version of your dissertation to the Graduate Coordinator at the same time you give it to Committee members. The Graduate Coordinator will process this version with Turnitin to check for plagiarism. Due: __________________________________ (same as 13.)
  15. Email an announcement about one week prior to the defense, inviting department faculty, graduate students, family and friends to attend. Email to:
    Due: __________________________________
  16. Give draft presentation slides to your Major Professor for review. Due: __________________________________
  17. Pass your defense prior to the deadline.
    Time/day/place of defense: __________________________________
    Last day for dissertation defense: *__________________________________
  18. Revise your dissertation document to satisfy your Committee.
  19. Make the format of your dissertation document conform to the University's Standard and Department guidelines. In particular, the format of the signature page must conform to the University's Standard.
  20. Give the final version of your dissertation to your Major Professor for signature on the dissertation signature page. Due: __________________________________
  21. Get signatures of your Committee members on the dissertation signature page. All signatures must be on same page. (Scanned and faxed signatures are ok.)
  22. Get the signature of the Graduate Coodinator on your dissertation signature page.
  23. Give a copy of the signed signature page (except the Dean's signature) to the Department Office to put in your Department academic file.
  24. Complete the College of Engineering's graduate exit survey online at
  25. Print the survey, and get your major professor to sign it.
  26. Print the abstract of your dissertation.
  27. Bring the following to the Deanís office (Ms. Debbie Stafford in McCain 250):
    • Signed printout of graduate exit survey to show that it was completed
    • Signature page with all signatures completed except Dean
    • Abstract of your dissertation
  28. The Dean will sign the signature page. You will be notified by email that it is ready for you to pick it up.
  29. Follow the Library's instructions at
  30. Last day for first submission of dissertation to the Library: *__________________________________
  31. Last day for final submission of dissertation to the Library: *__________________________________
  32. Commencement date: *__________________________________ (This is the date on a dissertation.)

Check whether the planned dates are consistent with required dates.

Revised 7/24/14 EBA