A doctoral candidate who has satisfied all other requirements for the degree will be scheduled by the dean of The Graduate School, on the recommendation of the Doctoral Committee to take a final examination.

Upon completion of the dissertation, the student is required to pass an oral examination given by his or her Ph.D. advisory committee. The final oral exam will be based on the student's written dissertation which shall be prepared in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the AEPS graduate program.

As author of the dissertation, the Ph.D. student is responsible for meeting all the Graduate School deadlines, format and signature requirements, as well as the dissertation fee. The student must apply to graduate on LionPATH at the beginning of the semester he/she plans to defend the dissertation. See application instructions and a listing of deadlines.

The student's completed dissertation should be submitted to his or her Ph.D. advisory committee at least 10 days prior to the scheduled final oral exam. The thesis should be in a technical and grammatical form that is acceptable to the advisory committee and conforms to Graduate School guidelines. A final dissertation exam form should be completed in advance of the exam.

The student should be able to marshal a satisfactory defense of the methods, findings, and conclusions of the thesis, and be able to relate the findings to pertinent literature and demonstrate acceptable knowledge in the major and minor fields. The advisory committee typically requests a presentation during the oral exam. A favorable vote of a two-thirds majority of the committee is required for passing. After passing the exam the advisory committee will sign the appropriate forms (see Graduate Program Coordinator for forms) for completion of the Ph.D. Degree. If the student fails the oral exam, the committee will determine whether another exam may be taken at a later date. Only one re-examination shall be offered. After passing the oral exam the student makes edits suggested by the advisory committee members. Once all edits are completed and accepted by the committee, the student uploads a draft of the thesis for format review (PDF only) to the eTD website. All doctoral dissertations and master's theses must be submitted electronically. When a thesis or dissertation is submitted to the eTD website, it must meet the deadline requirement and formatting standards set forth in the Thesis and Dissertation Guide. Corrections and detailed instructions will be returned to the student by email. For more information on electronic theses and dissertations (eTDs), visit the eTD website.