Each Ph.D. and Ed.D. candidate must write a dissertation based upon an investigation which makes an original contribution to the literature and research of the student’s discipline. The Dean of the Graduate School appoints the dissertation director upon recommendation of the chair and/or dean of the college of the doctoral major. In final form, the dissertation must be approved by the student’s committee, specified administrators of the appropriate college or school, and the Dean of the Graduate School.
Doctoral students must have candidacy approval prior to being enrolled in dissertation. Prospectus approval is required by the Research Committee; the department chair, director, or associate dean; dean of the college (if required); and the Dean of the Graduate School, prior to the student beginning research for a dissertation (even if IRB approval is not required). The prospectus must be filed no later than the semester prior to the graduating semester. An approval notification will be sent to the student and copied to the research committee chair and the department chair. Then and only then may the study be implemented. Failure to submit a prospectus and receive approval will result in rejection of the dissertation.
To secure semester credit hours for work done on the dissertation, the student must register for this work. When “Dissertation’’ appears on the schedule, it is counted as three or six semester credit hours in determining both load, tuition, and fees. A dissertation requires a minimum of six credit hours to a maximum of eighteen credit hours, to be established by program requirements and shown on the student's degree plan. Any additional enrollments will be for (PR) in progress, (LP) lack of adequate progress, or (NP) no progress and will not receive credit (see Grades and Grade points). The grade of PR will be assigned to indicate a dissertation is in progress. A student writing a dissertation for six semester credit hours will be given a PR (in progress) for for the first enrollment (usually 6983) until the prospectus is complete and has been approved by the Graduate School, at which time a CR (credit) will be given. The student will then enroll in 6993 and receive PR (In Progress) for all subsequent enrollments until the last, for which CR will be given again. A student writing a dissertation for twelve semester credit hours will be given CR for the first two enrollments, usually the completion of the prospectus (6983) and for the last two enrollments (usually 6993) and PR for enrollments in between. Students not making adequate progress, or no progress will be given LP (lacks adequate progress) or NP (no progress) assignments. Each department has policies for dealing with LP or NP grades, possibly resulting in the removal from the program. (See Financial Aid implications for repeating courses under Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy.)
Enrolled graduate students may use the computer and research consulting services of the Center for Research Design and Analysis (CRDA) in the preparation of their professional papers, theses, and dissertations. The center also provides assistance with qualitative and quantitative research designs. Students may also access the services of the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence and the Write Site.
Only an officially registered student may hold conferences with faculty concerning the preparation of a dissertation. This rule applies both to the student in actual residence and to the student not in residence who is receiving aid or guidance through conferences or correspondence. This rule does not apply to preliminary conferences held before the dissertation subject has been selected. Registration for dissertation in one term is good for that term only and does not extend to the next term.
Digital submission of the student's dissertation must be completed no later than the filing date listed in the Graduate School “Graduation Deadlines.’’ Copyright ownership of theses and dissertations is retained by the student, but the student must grant to TWU royalty-free permission to reproduce and publicly distribute copies of the thesis or dissertation. In circumstances where the research for the thesis or dissertation has been done in conjunction with other policies discussed in the Texas Woman’s University Policy on Intellectual Property, those policies will apply with regard to the students.
All dissertations are uploaded to Texas Digital Library (TDL) and dissertation abstracts are included in Dissertation Abstracts International. The student pays for digitizing at the time of filing the dissertation and abstract. Details concerning submission, copyrighting, and fees are available on the Graduate School website.
Students are urged to consult the Graduate School publications Guide to the Preparation and Processing of Dissertations, Theses, and Professional Papers and Formatting Navigator for additional information. (See also Policies and Guidelines for Graduate Students: General Requirements and Regulations for Doctoral Degrees, Committees on Dissertations, Theses, and Professional Papers.)