Program of Work
The next step will be to have your program of work approved by the C&I Graduate Studies Committee (GSC). You MUST be in the final semester of coursework before your program can be circulated for approval. In other words, required courses for which you do not yet have a grade may be marked “IP” (in progress) but may not be listed as “to be taken” in a subsequent semester. The program of work form should be signed by your Program Area Adviser, then submitted to the Graduate Coordinator who will circulate it among the GSC for approval. This balloting process takes at least 2 weeks. During this time, you should familiarize yourself with all the information on the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) website.
Application for Doctoral Candidacy
Now that you have read and understand all of the candidacy instructions, you may start the online application process. Hopefully, you have already lined up your dissertation committee. If not, you should consult with your dissertation supervisor about potential committee members. Once you have your dissertation committee in place—i.e., they have each expressed interest and willingness to serve—you may submit the online application for candidacy. Note: You MUST be currently enrolled at the time you submit the application. Into the application, you will be asked to copy and paste a brief description of the dissertation proposal. It’s generally helpful to get feedback from your supervisor in writing this description, as the application will ultimately require his/her approval. Other electronic approvals include those of C&I Graduate Advisor and GSC Chair who certify departmental standards in the proposed committee and the program of work, as well as a Doctoral Degree Evaluator in OGS, and finally, Graduate Dean. The entire chain of approval can take 2 to 4 weeks, even longer if you factor in holidays.
(For a more complete set of instructions regarding advancing to candidacy, please see the Doctoral Candidacy page on this wiki.)
The Dissertation Course
After (and not until) you are advanced to doctoral candidacy, you may register for the dissertation course in the next available Fall or Spring semester. If you want to take advantage of early registration, but are not yet advanced to candidacy, it is recommended that you register for some type of individual instruction with your supervisor (e.g., independent study or directed research, as apposed to an organized course), with the goal of dropping and adding into dissertation post‐candidacy and before the 12th class day. You must be consecutively registered for dissertation during each Fall and Spring semester from the time you are advanced until the semester in which you defend the dissertation and graduate. In the course schedule you will see three different variations on the dissertations course, each with its own unique number:
You will notice that each designation is offered in three, six, and nine‐ hour increments every Fall and Spring semester. If you are employed full‐time (40 hours or more) off‐campus, you may petition to drop your registration to three hours; a letter of employer verification is required. If you are appointed with a graduate assistantship (TA, AI, GRA), or if you hold a scholarship, fellowship, or other form of financial aid, you may be required to register for nine hours.
The Dissertation Proposal
A proposal should be formally presented to your committee during your first semester of dissertation. You are responsible for coordinating a suitable date and time with your committee members. At least 3 committee members must be present. Once the date and time are agreed upon, you should reserve a room use the C&I Seminar & Conference Rooms reservation page. The GC will also notify your supervisor and provide the Approval of Dissertation Proposal form. The supervisor should bring this approval form to the meeting.
If you need additional time to present the proposal beyond your first semester of dissertation, you should petition the C&I Graduate Adviser. If after 2 semesters, you still have not presented a proposal to your committee, it may be determined that you are making unsatisfactory progress and you could have your program terminated by vote of the C&I GSC.