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Dissertation Submission, Final Defense, and Acceptance

Dissertation research is to be done while the student is in full-time residence. The research must be completed and the dissertation must be written and successfully defended before the Ph.D. is conferred. The primary requirement of a dissertation is that it shows evidence of high scholarly attainment through original and independent research work and creation of new knowledge. The acceptability of a dissertation depends upon its quality rather than the time and credit hours spent on the research work.

When the dissertation research is completed to the satisfaction of the dissertation advisor, the student will prepare a final draft of the Ph.D. dissertation. This draft is submitted to the dissertation advisor for critical review and evaluation before scheduling a final defense of the dissertation. After receiving advisor approval, the student prepares the dissertation in final form and submits a copy of the completed dissertation to each committee member for critical evaluation at least two weeks before the defense. Information concerning the required dissertation format, reproduction, and other regulations for preparing a dissertation is available from the EECS office and the UT Graduate School.

Final public defense of the dissertation is required of every doctoral candidate after he or she has fulfilled all other requirements of the doctoral program. This examination is administered by the student’s dissertation committee and is restricted to the content of the dissertation and closely related subject matter. The dissertation advisor is the chairperson of the committee. All members of the dissertation committee are expected to be present at the dissertation defense. The dissertation defense is presided over by the student’s faculty advisor and must be publicized and posted at least two weeks before the defense date.

The dissertation defense includes an oral presentation of approximately 45 minutes. This is followed by questions and comments from members of the dissertation committee and others. At the conclusion of the question and discussion period, all attendees present other than the dissertation committee members shall be excused. The dissertation committee may ask additional questions and will make a decision regarding acceptability of the dissertation and its defense and report these findings to the candidate. At least a 3/4 majority of the committee must concur in the final decision.

Major or minor changes and additions or deletions to the dissertation may be recommended by the dissertation committee. These must be made by the student and approved by the dissertation advisor before the student can be certified as having completed requirements for the dissertation.

After successful defense and corrections have been completed, the committee will complete and sign a dissertation approval page and forward it to the Graduate Program Director. Should the student not pass the final dissertation defense, the committee, in consultation with the Graduate Program Director, will decide upon a future course of action.

The doctoral candidate must submit a minimum of two journal papers based on the dissertation research.

The original signed dissertation manuscript and two copies (all unbound) must be submitted to the UT Graduate School.

Hard bound copies of the dissertation must also be provided to the advisor and the EECS Department. The student should prepare and bind additional copies for committee members, if requested. The student is expected to bear all costs associated with copying and binding.

Last Updated: 3/7/17