Chemistry Graduate Program

The Dissertation and Oral Final Examination

Upon passing the comprehensive oral examination, the aspirant becomes a candidate for the Ph.D. The candidate shall recommend in consultation with the research advisor a dissertation committee to the Graduate School at this time. That committee should normally include the three members of the candidate’s research advisory committee. (All members of the committee are to be members of the Graduate Faculty. A member of the committee from outside the University will become an ad hoc member of the Graduate Faculty.) After passing the comprehensive, the candidate must be continuously enrolled--including summer sessions--until he or she completes the degree (at least five months must elapse between the successful completion of the comprehensive oral examination and the date of the final oral examination); and each enrollment shall reflect as accurately as possible the candidate's demands on faculty time and university facilities. (See Section I.A. for enrollment details.)

When the dissertation has been tentatively accepted by the dissertation committee, but before it has been electronically submitted to UMI, the chairperson of the dissertation committee may then request the Graduate School to schedule the final oral examination. To provide time and information for a general announcement, this request must be made at least two weeks before the date of the examination (See Graduate Secretary for details.).

The committee for the final oral examination shall consist of at least five members of the Graduate Faculty recommended by the chairperson of the dissertation committee and/or the department and approved by the Graduate School. Three of the members of this committee will normally be the three members of the research advisory committee. All members of the dissertation committee who are the official readers of the thesis must be present for the final oral examination. In the event that the research director is absent from the campus for a prolonged period of time and cannot attend the final oral examination, he or she must designate another qualified staff member to serve as chairperson of the committee for the examination, but must still accept responsibility for the thesis.

After the final oral examination has been completed successfully, the committee shall grade the result as "Honors" or "Satisfactory".

When the final oral examination has been passed and the dissertation has been signed by the members of the dissertation committee, two unbound copies are to be deposited at the Graduate School at least three weeks before the degree is to be conferred. In addition, the candidate must:

(a) Submit to the Graduate School an abstract of his or her dissertation (350 words or less) to be published in Dissertation Abstracts. Instructions are on file at the Graduate School.

(b) Make arrangements with the Graduate School to have the dissertation microfilmed.

Candidates should bear in mind that the Ph.D. degree is awarded only to those who, through independent, original research of high quality, have made a significant contribution to human knowledge. Satisfactory completion of courses and passing of examinations do not alone make one eligible for the degree. For this reason, if the student's advisory committee (see Section II.C.) determines that progress in the Ph.D. program is unsatisfactory, the faculty may recommend that the candidate discontinue graduate work.


Chemistry department receives more than $6 million in research grants annually
14 chemistry faculty members have NSF CAREER Awards
Longest-running chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates in the nation