Ohio University

History Ph.D. Dissertation

A Ph.D. student must write a prospectus or proposal for his or her dissertation. Doing so requires close consultation with the adviser. The student should establish a four-member dissertation committee, which will read the prospectus and, eventually, the dissertation itself. Usually, the committee consists of the adviser and two other faculty members in the department. The fourth member is the Dean's Representative, who must be an Ohio University faculty member from outside the History Department. If appropriate to the subject of the thesis, a faculty member from outside Ohio University can participate as a fifth member of the dissertation committee. The student should schedule an oral defense of the prospectus and provide the graduate office with advance notification. Each member of the dissertation committee must approve the prospectus in writing at the end of the defense. Once the prospectus is approved, the student should file the Ph.D. Dissertation Prospectus Approval Form [PDF] and a copy of the prospectus with the department's graduate office. A student should defend the prospectus no later than the first semester after completing the comprehensive examinations.

The student must defend the dissertation during an oral examination. The student should arrange a date and time for the defense with each member of the committee and then complete the form, Arrangements for the Oral Examination on the Dissertation [Word] Please note that forms are grouped by college. This form must be filed with the History Department Graduate Office at least 14 days prior to the defense. Each member of the student's dissertation committee must receive a draft copy of the dissertation at least two weeks before the defense. There is another form to complete to report the results of one's dissertation defense: Report of the Oral Thesis Examination/Dissertation Defense [Word]. Students should bring a copy of this form to their defense. Each member of the committee as well as the graduate director must sign it. The form must then be submitted to the College of Arts & Sciences.

During the semester in which they plan to graduate, students must meet university deadlines for defending their dissertation and submitting the final copy. Early in the semester they must apply to graduate through the Registrar's Office and pay a $50 fee. There are deadlines for arranging your defense, holding the defense, and submitting the final copy of the dissertation.

Please note that the deadlines for the completion of graduate degrees are university requirements. The History Department cannot change them. Please also note that a Ph.D. candidate must be enrolled for at least two credit hours during the semester in which he or she graduates.

Changing Thesis or Dissertation Committees

If a student or his or her adviser believes that a change in the membership of a thesis or dissertation committee should occur following the approval of the prospectus, the student should explain the proposed changes and the reasons for them in a memo to the Director of Graduate Studies. The change will be implemented if approved by the student's adviser and the director. In the event that there is a disagreement between the student and the adviser or between the director and the adviser over the proposed changes, the department's Graduate Committee will decide how to resolve the issue.

Thesis and Dissertation (TAD) Services

Ohio University has requirements for formatting the final copy of your thesis or dissertation—including margins, pagination, and table of contents—and the process by which you go about submitting it. To standardize and simplify these requirements, the University has an office of Thesis and Dissertation (TAD) Services. The website contains much useful information about how to prepare the final copy of a thesis or dissertation and the forms that students must file when they submit it. TAD also holds workshops that explain the process of submitting final copy and provide technical assistance. Students should arrange to attend one of these workshops or consult the web page for detailed information. The TAD staff will review a student's thesis or dissertation before one's defense to make sure that it conforms to university requirements so that the student can make any required changes prior to the deadline for submission in any given semester.

Students may submit the final copy of their thesis or dissertation in electronic form.