Thesis/ Dissertation Procedures

Students are urged to begin thinking about their research topics as they progress through coursework. When coursework, language/research skill requirements and comprehensive examinations have been completed, students may register for the required number of POLS 8999 credits and begin the formal procedure for dissertation work. The following procedures have been established for the supervision, presentation, and approval of dissertations:

  1. Committee
    Dissertation committees must have three members of the graduate faculty of the Department of Political Science. Additional members from inside or outside the department may be appointed with approval of the graduate director.
  2. Research Proposal
    There shall be an oral defense of the research proposal. The session at which the presentation is made shall be open to all members of the faculty and to others. The acceptability of the research design shall be determined by at least a two-thirds vote of the members of the dissertation committee.

    Two copies of the research design shall be made available in the office of the Graduate Director at least two weeks in advance of the oral presentation. Members of the faculty must be notified by the dissertation committee chairperson of both the date of the oral presentation and the availability of the research design. The date selected by the chairperson and student must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
  3. Defense
    There shall be an oral defense of the dissertation. The examination shall be administered by the dissertation committee. The defense shall be open to all members of the faculty and to others. The acceptability of the dissertation shall be determined by at least a two-thirds vote of the members of the committee.

    Two copies of the dissertation to be defended shall be made available in the office of the Graduate Director at least two weeks in advance of the defense. Members of the faculty must be notified by the chairperson of both the date of the defense and the availability of the final typed copies of the dissertation. The date selected by the chairperson and student must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
  4. Reproduction
    The defended and approved dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate Office of the College of Arts and Sciences. Specific guidelines regarding the format and submission requirements of completed dissertations are available from the Graduate Office or from the Assistant to the Political Science Graduate Director.

Admission to Doctoral Candidacy

Upon successful completion of all coursework, language/ research skill requirements and comprehensive examinations, and approval of the dissertation research topic, students will be admitted to doctoral candidacy. Admission to candidacy must be achieved within four calendar years of admission to the doctoral program for full-time students. Students must apply with the graduate office for admission.