The culminating requirement of the Ph.D. program is the dissertation. The dissertation is evaluated by a Dissertation Committee which is usually, but not necessarily, the same committee that conducted the Preliminary Exam. As with the Preliminary Exam, a Minor Area Representative is required. Any committee changes should be registered with the DGSA as soon as possible.
The dissertation may be book style or article style, as described in the section on the Preliminary Exam. Most dissertations are article style, comprising two to three standalone papers, generally 6,000-12,000 words each. We encourage students to use sole-authored or first-authored papers that have been published, accepted, or submitted to journals as part of their dissertation. Dissertations that contain co-authored work must be accompanied by a disclosure statement as described in the section on the Preliminary Exam.
The dissertation should be defended by the deadline set by the Graduate School. Because of Graduate School requirements, we can only guarantee students funding for the first 5 years but in practice we always fund students in good standing for 6 years if they need the extra year. Only in extraordinary circumstances is it possible to receive funding for a 7th year. See Financial Support for more information.