The culminating demonstration of successful performance in the student’s Ph.D. program is the design, execution, and documentation of the dissertation, and its defense. Any form of research deemed acceptable and appropriate to the Ph.D. committee may be used to satisfy this requirement.

Quality research cannot be rushed. Given this, it is encouraged that students and Ph.D. advisors begin work on the research project as early as possible. Often, for students employing a typical four year timeline, the third year is appropriately used to define the research topic and generate the proposal (or fifth year for a six year timeline). The earlier this occurs during this time the better. The gradual use of TECH 699 credits is one way to encourage such progress, although the bulk of them should be taken only after the student has completed the preliminary examination and has an approved dissertation proposal.

Procedurally a student must:

  • Enroll in TECH 699 (typically one (1) credit hour) to generate and successfully defend the dissertation research proposal
  • Defend the proposal in front of final examination committee (comprised of at least four members)
  • Obtain appropriate approvals (if applicable) to conduct research (CITI, IRB, HIPAA, FERPA, etc)
  • If approved, execute the dissertation research (during this time students enroll in subsequent hours of TECH 699)
  • Upon completion of the dissertation:
    • Thesis students must meet with the college Thesis Advisor for approval of their format
    • Defend project in front of final examination graduate committee

Upon successful defense of the project, students deposit the dissertation with the university, college, and with their committee.