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Dissertation Committee

     The dissertation committee must be composed of approved doctoral graduate faculty members. To form the dissertation committee, the Dissertation Committee Request Form must be completed and signed by the student, the committee members, the committee chair, the doctoral program director, and the department chair and then forwarded to the dean of The Graduate College for approval and signature. 

Dissertation Proposal and Defense

     The student must submit the dissertation proposal and an official Dissertation Proposal and Proposal Defense Form (Form D) to his or her dissertation committee. If the dissertation research involves human subjects, the student must obtain exemption or approval from the Texas State Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to submitting the proposal form to The Graduate College. The IRB approval letter should be included with the proposal form. Following the dissertation proposal defense, members of the dissertation committee, the doctoral program director and the department chair sign the Dissertation Proposal and Proposal Defense Form (Form D). The signed form and one copy of the proposal are then submitted to the dean of The Graduate College for approval before proceeding with research on the dissertation. 

Dissertation Enrollment and Credit

     A Ph.D./Ed.D. student may begin enrolling in a dissertation course during the term following completion of required course work. The number of dissertation credit hours students enroll in must reflect the amount of work being done on the dissertation that semester. It is the responsibility of advisor/chair to ensure that students are making adequate progress toward their degree throughout the dissertation process. Once the student advances to candidacy, the student must continue to enroll in at least one hour of dissertation course credit each fall and spring semester (and summer, if receiving dissertation supervision and/or using university resources) until the dissertation has been completed, defended, submitted, and approved by The Graduate College. Dissertation projects are by definition original and individualized projects. As such, depending on the topic, methodology, and other factors, some projects may take longer than others to complete. If the dissertation requires work beyond the minimum number of dissertation credits needed for the degree, the student may enroll in additional dissertation credits at the committee chair's discretion. 

     The only grades assigned for dissertation courses are PR (progress), CR (credit), W (withdrew), and F (failing). If acceptable progress is not being made in a dissertation course, the instructor may issue a grade of F. If the student is making acceptable progress, a grad of PR is assigned until the dissertation is completed. The minimum number of hours of dissertation credit ("CR") will be awarded only after The Graduate College has received the Survey of Earned Doctorates, and the dissertation has been approved by The Graduate College and released to Alkek Library.

     A student must be registered for a dissertation course during the term or Summer I (during the summer, the dissertation course runs ten weeks for both sessions) in which the degree will be conferred.

     The Graduate College provides a guide to writing and preparing the dissertation online at After the dissertation has been judged to be acceptable overall by the Dissertation Advisor and a majority of the dissertation committee members, the candidate, in consultation with the chair of the dissertation committee, will schedule a two-hour Dissertation Defense meeting at the mutual convenience of all concerned. Any member of the committee who has substantial criticism of the document should inform both the candidate and the chairperson before an oral defense of a dissertation is scheduled. The approval of the dissertation requires positive votes from the Dissertation Advisor and a majority of the members of the dissertation committee.