Doctoral Dissertation Process

All doctoral students are expected to complete a doctoral dissertation: a supervised original research project that makes a novel and substantive scientific contribution to the student's area of interest or specialization.

Students qualify to begin their dissertations after successfully completing the qualifying exams or papers. While completing the dissertation, students must be continuously enrolled in a minimum of 3 credits of PSY 7980 PhD Dissertation each semester they are completing their PhD.

Online Dissertation Milestones (formerly D-Forms)


Students can access the Online dissertation milestone forms via PantherSoft FIU,  These online forms replaced the D forms as of Monday, May 23, 2022. The submission of the dissertation milestone forms listed below are managed online.

  • Doctoral Candidacy 
  • Establishment of Dissertation Committee 
  • Defense of Dissertation Proposal
  • Oral defense of Dissertation
  • Submission of Electronic Dissertation final document

Training guides for doctoral students and faculty can be found at

Revised dissertation committee and  thesis-bound milestone forms will be integrated to the online submission soon, but continue to email these forms to the Director of Graduate Studies Dr. Shannon Pruden at and copy Program Coordinator Brandon Isahack at These can be retrieved in PDF format at 



All dissertation milestone forms must be received by the Director of Graduate Studies two weeks before the UGS deadline. Review the University Graduate School deadlines. The CASE deadline is one week prior to the UGS deadline, and the Department of Psychology deadline is one week prior to the CASE deadline.

There is NO flexibility with deadlines. The deans of CASE and UGS will not accept late forms under any circumstances. Consult with Director of Graduate Studies if there are any issues meeting the department deadline.