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Dissertation Approval and Defense

For more information on dissertation writing, please see the Graduate School’s Dissertation Guidelines.

Dissertation Approval and Defense

The dissertation must constitute an achievement in research and advance in knowledge in Statistics or on the interface of Statistics and an area of its application. Dissertation topics take on a wide range from development of new theory to innovative application in substantially new ways. Because of the great diversity of topics in Statistics, standards of length and style cannot be prescribed. The basic criterion for approval shall be the excellence of the research conducted to meet the objectives of the approved Dissertation Prospectus. As a minimum guide, any dissertation should be of such quality as to yield at least two papers in refereed journals.

The dissertation is written by you, in consultation with your major professor. Your major professor advises you on the technical aspects of the dissertation topic, the presentation of results, and the organization of your presentationsand manuscripts.

The Advisory Committee is advised of progress on the dissertation, with members participating in those aspects of your research where they can offer guidance. Members of the Advisory Committee will assist you and your majorprofessor to ensure integrity, correctness and completeness of your research.

Preparation of the dissertation is your responsibility. The writing style in your dissertation must be of professional quality.

When your major professor is satisfied with the completed dissertation, s/he will certify that it has his/her approvaland is ready to be read.  The major professor will then distribute copies of the dissertation to the remaining members of the Advisory Committee and schedule a final oral defense. The dissertation must be given to the Advisory Committee at least 5 weeks prior to the last day to turn in the final copy of the dissertation to the Graduate School. The date for the final oral defense of the dissertation must be at least 1 week prior to the last day to turn in the final copy of the dissertation to the Graduate School.

The Graduate Coordinator must notify the Graduate School at least 2 weeks prior to the defense. Subsequently, the Graduate School will announce the time and place of the defense of the dissertation to the University community.

Written assent of the committee members (other than the major professor) will be required before a dissertation will be approved as ready for a final defense. No more than one dissenting vote may be allowed for the approval of the dissertation. If the Advisory Committee declines to approve the dissertation as ready for the final defense, the major professor will notify the student and the Graduate School.

The defense of the dissertation will be chaired by your major professor and attended by all members of the Advisory Committee simultaneously for the entire examination period. It is open to all members of the University community, and as such, is given as a Departmental Colloquium. The Advisory Committee must approve your dissertation and defense with no more than one dissenting vote and must certify their approval in writing. An abstention is not an appropriate vote for the final defense. The results of the defense of the dissertation must be reported to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to graduation for the current semester.

Once the dissertation has been approved by the Advisory Committee and the final oral examination has been passed, the dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School for final approval no later than two weeks prior to graduation.

Dissertations which are not submitted by this deadline must be defended again and approved by the Advisory Committee before they will be considered by the Graduate School for final approval.

Timeline for Defense

Let T be your defense date, which must be at least 1 week before the final copy of your dissertation is due to the Graduate School.

At T – 4 weeks you must give the next-to-final draft of your dissertation to your Advisory Committee, allowing them sufficient time to read it.

Items to address will almost surely come up during the reading of the dissertation, the Final Defense and FinalExamination, so you will be able to make the requested

changes during the week before the final copy must be turned in to the Graduate School.

Submitting the Dissertation

One complete formatted copy of the dissertation must be electronically submitted to the Graduate School for a format check no later than four weeks prior to graduation. The Graduate School must receive the Final Defense Approval form and an electronic submission of the corrected dissertation no later than two weeks prior to graduation.

This official copy of the dissertation will be electronically submitted by the Graduate School to the main library for archiving.

You may not submit a dissertation to the Graduate School for format checking or the dean's approval between the last day of classes and late registration of the following term.

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