Developing a Realistic Timeline

Upon confirmation of a Dissertation Chair and successful completion of the Comprehensive Assessment defense, , development of a realistic timeline for completing the tasks that culminate in a successful Dissertation should be established between the candidate and the faculty member Chair. Components of this process include (all steps in consultation with the Chair):

  • Preparation of the Prospectus

  • Prospectus defense

  • Preparation of the Proposal

  • Proposal defense

  • IRB application

  • Data collection (upon IRB approval)

  • Data analysis

  • Submission of the complete manuscript to the Chair

  • Preparation for the Pre-Defense

  • Pre-Defense

  • Preparation for the final defense

  • Final Defense

  • Completing revisions and preparing the manuscript for formatting review

  • Submission of the manuscript to the Graduate School via the university's digital repository

  • Completing final formatting revisions

  • Preparation for graduation

Anticipated dates will likely need to be revised along the way. The candidate must maintain a realistic schedule that allows sufficient time for each step in the process, including the project Chair’s reading of, and feedback on, drafts of the Prospectus, Proposal, and final manuscript. Sufficient time must be allotted for the committee members’ reading of those documents as well. Candidates and Chairs should recognize that each committee member may need up to 14 days to review each draft of the manuscript. During the break between semesters, committee members are responsible for syllabi preparation, course construction, and comprehensive assessment and other defenses, therefore, the customary 14-day time frame for reviewing dissertation drafts does not apply during the intersession. Committee members will return to the standard 14-day review guidelines on the first day of the semester. These factors should be considered when scheduling committee meetings and the final defense.

Graduation Deadlines  

It is also the responsibility of the Chair and candidate to consider deadlines for particular graduation dates. University graduation deadlines are published on the Graduate School website (links: Thesis and Dissertation and Graduate Calendar). Since deadlines may change from one year to the next, candidates are advised to refer to the current deadlines when approaching the final stages of the Dissertation process. Candidates and Chairs should also consider program minimum review requirements when considering a potential graduation semester. For doctoral candidates, the graduation application should not be completed until the Pre-Defense stage of the dissertation process is approved (link: Pre-Defense Process).