Information for Current Graduate Students

Doctoral Thesis

As soon as possible, graduate students should become familiar with the research programs available in the Department, choose a field of specialization, and arrange with a faculty member to serve as Thesis Adviser and principal Ph.D. supervisor. Many students start graduate school without a definite commitment to any particular field of specialization. During their first year of study, students should attend seminars and colloquia, speak with other students and with faculty members about their work, take reading courses, and in general explore the opportunities in the Department. It is each student’s own responsibility to find a thesis adviser. Usually, one’s adviser will provide financial support (in the form of a Research Assistantship) through some appropriate research grant.

The requirements for the Ph.D. include passing the examinations and required courses passing a total of 90 credit-hours of coursework, including reading and research courses, preparing a dissertation according to academic standards of independence and originality, and defending the work before a committee of professors in a Thesis Defense. The purpose of the Thesis Defense is to demonstrate the significance of the dissertation, and the adequacy of the arguments presented in support of the thesis. As such, the result of the Thesis Defense reflects the quality of each candidate’s contribution to the development of knowledge.