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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. While completing the dissertation, students must be continuously enrolled in a minimum of 3 credits of PSY 7981 PhD Dissertation each semester they are completing their PhD.


Dissertation forms are available at the University Graduate School: Student Forms. Make sure to include all necessary documents such as transcripts, memoranda, or any other documents as specified. Adhere to the University Graduate School formatting guidelines. Incomplete forms will be rejected and may result in delay and missed deadlines.

Required forms include:

  • D-1 Appointment of Dissertation Committee
  • D-2 Program for Doctoral Degree and Application for Candidacy
  • D-3 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal
  • D-5 Preliminary Approval of Dissertation and Request for Oral Defense
  • Final ETD Approval of defense, dissertation, and electronic submission of dissertation
  • Annual Evaluation & Mentoring Form - completed each year
  • All doctoral committee members must fill out the Graduate Student Rubrics at the oral defense and submit them to

Students are expected to email the Director of Graduate Studies to arrange a time to drop off forms for review and signature.


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