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Handbook/Timeline

The Graduate School Academic Calendar can be found under the Calendars heading here. The specific steps and timelines for the Master's Thesis and the Ph.D. dissertation are listed below.

Steps and Timeline for the Master’s Thesis

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Graduate Committee

1)  Have your MS graduate committee members approved by the DGS (no required form). At least 2 committee members (in addition to your advisor) from the teaching and research faculty of the Department are required.

2)  At the beginning of your second semester, meet with your graduate committee to discuss your course selection and proposed area of study. This committee can meet on other occasions, as needed, to oversee the student’s progress towards graduation.

Research Proposal

3)  Submit your research proposal to your advisor and to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)prior to the end of your second semester of study. The DGS appoints one reader after consultation with the advisor. The proposal must be approved by both the reader and the advisor.

Thesis and Comprehensive Exam

4)  Have your thesis readers approved by the DGS (no form required). At least two readers (in addition to your advisor) from the teaching and research faculty are required.

5)  Submit a copy of your completed thesis (signed by your advisor) to the DGS and obtain approval before sending the thesis to the readers.

6)  Submit a copy of your completed thesis together with the Reader’s Report on Master’s Thesis Form to each approved Reader. The readers have 2-4 weeks to review the thesis.

7)  Submit a copy of your thesis to the Graduate School for a preliminary style check at the same time copies are sent to your readers. Graduate School approval of the format of theses and dissertations is a requirement for graduation. The Graduate School formatting guide may be accessed on the web at http://www.graduateschool.nd.edu.

8)  Arrange the date, time, and place of the oral examination defense of the oral examination defense of your thesis (no required form). DGS approval required. NO outside chair required. The thesis examination must be completed by the deadline set by the Graduate School for each semester (see the Graduate School Academic Calendar for the academic year you plan to graduate). (See Mollie Dash for help with scheduling.

9)  Submit a copy of your thesis to Mollie Dash in the CEEES department office with the following information (date, time, place, and readers).

10)  Obtain the final signature of your thesis director on the cover page of your thesis after you have passed your exam and content changes have been approved by your director. 

11)  Present your completed thesis to the Graduate School by the deadline set by the Graduate School for each semester (see the Graduate School Academic Calendar here).

All forms should be obtained from Mollie Dash in the CEEES Department Office (and are required to be typed) before signatures.

Steps and Timeline for the Ph.D. Dissertation

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Ph.D. Written Exam

1) Successfully complete the Ph.D. written exam by the beginning of your fourth semester. This exam consists of four individual exams, each of which covers a different subject area and is prepared by a different faculty member. Have the members of your Ph.D. written examination board and exam formats approved by the DGS by submitting four Ph.D. Written Exam Forms to the DGS at least two months prior to your exam.

Ph.D. Oral Candidacy Exam

2) The Ph.D. Oral Candidacy Examination must be passed by the end of the eighth semester of study. Have the members of your Ph.D. oral candidacy examination board approved by the DGS. Four voting members from the teaching and research faculty of the Department (advisor included). DGS approval required before a non-CEEES examiner is invited to serve on the student’s committee. No more than one committee member can participate at a distance (e.g., webcam).

 3) Submit a copy of your research proposal (approved by your advisor) to the DGS a minimum of three weeks prior to the Ph.D. oral candidacy examination and obtain approval for sending the proposal to the members of the Ph.D. oral candidacy examination board. The proposal should outline the literature pertaining to your research area, the hypothesis (or hypotheses) to be addressed by the research, the techniques to be employed, and a projection of the time requirements to complete the research.

4) Submit a copy of your approved research proposal to each member of the Ph.D. oral candidacy examination board a minimum of two weeks prior to the examination.

5) Submit the Ph.D. Oral Candidacy Examination Form to the Graduate School after you have arranged the date, time, place, and the examination board of the Ph.D. oral candidacy examination. DGS approval required.

Dissertation and Defense

6) Have the dissertation readers approved by the DGS (no required form). Four voting members (advisor included) are needed. DGS approval required before a non-CEEES examiner is invited to serve on the student’s committee. No more than one committee member can participate at a distance (e.g., webcam).

7) Submit a copy of your completed dissertation to the DGS and obtain approval for sending the dissertation to the readers. Your advisor must indicate their approval of the dissertation by signing the cover sheet or sending an e-mail to the DGS. Submit to DGS at least three weeks before your planned defense date. 

8) Submit a copy of your completed dissertation together with the Reader's Report on Doctoral Dissertation Form to each approved reader. The readers have 2-4 weeks to review the dissertation and return their signed Reader's Forms to CEEES office (Mollie Dash). Reader forms need to be at the Graduate School at least three working days prior to the defense. Check with the Graduate School that all Reader's Forms have been received.

9) Submit a copy of your dissertation to the Graduate School for a preliminary style check at the same time that copies are sent to your readers. Graduate School approval of the format of theses and dissertations is a requirement for graduation. The Graduate School formatting guide may be accessed on the web at http://www.graduateschool.nd.edu.

10) Submit a copy of your dissertation to Mollie in the CEEES Department. The dissertation must be made available to all students and faculty for at least two weeks prior to the doctoral dissertation defense.

11) After you have arranged the date, time, and place of the doctoral dissertation defense, provide Mollie with your name and Notre Dame Id No. (900#) and the name and departments of all committee members. DGS approval required. The dissertation defense must be completed by the deadline set by the Graduate School each semester (see the Graduate School Academic Calendar for the academic year that you plan to graduate).

12) After the defense is over and all committee members have signed the Reporting Form, the form must be delivered to Mollie, who will submit it to the Graduate School.

13) Obtain the final signature of your dissertation director on the cover page of your dissertation after you have defended and content changes have been approved by your director.

14) Present your completed dissertation to the Graduate School by the deadline set by the Graduate School for each semester (see here).

For more information please refer to the handbook.