Dissertation Guidelines

Because graduate students pursue a wide range of research and writing projects in the Department of English, there are no department-wide guidelines for the dissertation. Students should work with their advisors and committees to determine the relevant parameters for projects in their specific fields and areas of interest.

Finalizing the Dissertation Manuscript

All doctoral candidates must submit the final draft of the dissertation electronically; students are no longer required to submit a final paper copy to the Graduate School. However, hard copies of the dissertation are still required for distribution to the student's committee and to the outside Representative. For more details about the electronic submission process, including how to delay internet dissemination of the dissertation (strongly recommended) and how to format the dissertation, visit the Graduate School website.

Final Approval

Final approval of the dissertation cannot occur until the Final Oral Examination has been passed. Each Dissertation Committee member must sign the Final Approval Form. This form must be submitted no later than one week before commencement.

Students should be aware that the deadlines imposed by the Graduate School do not always allow enough time for their committees to evaluate their work.  Most committees will need to have a complete draft of the dissertation at least two or more months before all formal requirements are met, so that sufficient time for revision will be assured. A student who does not present a draft of the dissertation until the semester of anticipated graduation may encounter obstacles and delays. No faculty member is obliged to sign the Draft Approval Form until she or he is satisfied that the work is ready for scrutiny at the Final Oral Examination.