Psychology Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. Dissertation Requirements

Dissertation Committee

Once the independent project and portfolio are completed, the dissertation committee then takes the place of the portfolio committee in supervising the student’s work. A dissertation committee will be formed when the dissertation proposal is started, and a copy of the names of committee members and proposal title given to the departmental administrator. Upon formation of the dissertation committee, the student must arrange an initial meeting to discuss the proposal and dissertation timetable. All members of the committee should be kept informed as to the progress of the proposal and of the dissertation at regular intervals. Any changes in committee membership should be followed by notification of all members and the departmental administrator.

Dissertation Proposal

Its format is similar to a grant proposal and should include topics such as specific aims and hypotheses of the project, background to the research, design and methods, limitations, significance of the study, and timetable.

Proposal Defense

The purpose of the defense is to ensure that the candidate is ready to continue with a feasible project. The dissertation committee and others interested in the work will meet with the candidate to discuss the proposal and suggest any revisions. When the revisions are complete a signed statement should be submitted to the Psychology Department.

Dissertation Defense

The defense consists of an oral presentation by the student followed by a question-and-answer period led by the student’s advisor. In addition to the committee, two other faculty members and/or visiting scholars will be invited to participate.