The USC Graduate School
Graduate School Policies and Requirements
AdmissionAdmission to degree or certificate programs in the Graduate School is granted through the USC Office of Graduate Admission, which receives and processes all applications, evaluates credentials and issues notification letters. The Graduate School establishes and monitors the standards under which students are admitted for study in degree programs under its jurisdiction. Admission to the university, under the standards of the Graduate School, is determined by the Office of Graduate Admission on the recommendation of the appropriate academic department. The following are the basic requirements: (1) a Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university, comparable in standard to that awarded at USC; (2) satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE); (3) intellectual promise that indicates an ability to do acceptable graduate work; (4) strong personal qualifications, including good moral character. Credentials for admission must include a complete record of all previous college or university work.
It must be stressed that while every student must be qualified for admission to the Graduate School, the fact of qualification does not guarantee admission. Consequently, the higher an applicant's qualifications, the better the prospects of securing a place are likely to be.
Admission documents are reviewed by the applicant's prospective department. Applicants are advised that individual departments may establish additional admission standards, such as requiring the appropriate GRE Subject Test and letters of recommendation from professors in their major field to the chair of the appropriate department at USC. The applicant should contact the department in which graduate work is to be done for information on supplementary documents required. See the departmental sections of this catalogue.
The Graduate Record ExaminationsAs a supplement to other evidence of an applicant's preparation for successful graduate study, the General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is an integral part of the admission procedure. Individual departments may also require the appropriate Subject Test.
The GRE testing program changed significantly with the October 2002 test. The analytical portion of the GRE now requires a writing sample. The results are conveyed to any institution receiving an applicant's test results. Applicants should take the package of General Interest measures containing the Mathematical Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning Test as appropriate for their intended program.
Test scores on the GRE that are more than five years old at the time of application are not accepted. Students are advised to repeat the GRE if they have not taken the test within five years.
Students who are not residents of the Los Angeles area should inquire at their own institutions concerning times and places the examinations are given. Residents of the Los Angeles area may apply for the examinations at the USC Testing Bureau.
Deadlines and NotificationThe completed application for admission and all required supporting data should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admission early in the semester preceding that in which the student intends to register. In the case of a student enrolled in the last semester of the baccalaureate program, all credentials, including evidence of work in progress, should be submitted.
Some departments only admit graduate students to begin study in the fall semester and require completed applications as early as January 15. Departmental deadlines are listed in the Application for Graduate Admission booklet. Those who wish to submit applications after the deadline should check with the intended major department first to insure that applications will be accepted. Applications received subsequent to closing dates will be considered for the next available semester.
Notification of an admission decision depends upon the method of application review used in each department. Some departments send an informal notice of departmental recommendation for admission; official notice of admission, however, is sent only by the USC Office of Graduate Admission.
Correspondence with department chairpersons or individual faculty members does not constitute admission. Only a letter from the Office of Graduate Admission grants official admission to a degree objective in the university.
Acceptance with a Degree ObjectiveStudents will be admitted to the Graduate School with a specified degree objective. Admission to a degree objective and permission to enroll in the Graduate School does not imply that the student is or will be automatically guaranteed the right to continue in a degree program or to be a candidate for an advanced degree.
Candidacy for an Advanced DegreeAdmission to graduate study does not imply admission to candidacy for an advanced degree and gives no right or claim to be so admitted. Candidacy is determined after the student has demonstrated by work done at this university the ability to do graduate work with originality and independence.
Classification of Admission StatusStudents who have met all the basic admission requirements and filed all relevant documents with the Office of Graduate Admission are generally admitted to full graduate standing. Occasionally, applicants for admission may lack one of the qualifications listed above or may have difficulty producing appropriate documentation; such students may be conditionally admitted.
Conditional AdmissionConditional admission is a status for those students who have not yet met all requirements for admission to full graduate status or who have not filed all relevant documents with the office handling graduate admissions. Click here for policies governing enrollment as a conditionally admitted student.
Limited Student StatusSome students may wish to enroll in graduate-level courses for personal satisfaction or professional enhancement without at the same time wishing to seek a graduate degree. Other students may wish to enroll while the formal application for graduate admission is being completed. Such students may obtain a special form from the Office of Academic Records and Registrar at the time of registration which will permit them to register in the classification Limited. Click here for policies governing limited status enrollment.
Doctoral Admission with Advanced StandingSome doctoral programs at USC admit students with Advanced Standing (entry with an appropriate completed graduate degree from an accredited institution). Click here for policies governing Advanced Standing.
General Requirements for Graduate DegreesThe work for the master's degree or for the Ph.D. degree is based upon the baccalaureate degree or its equivalent comparable in standard to that awarded at USC from a regionally accredited college or university. Many doctoral students, of course, will already have received a master's degree.
University policies governing unit, grade point average and time limit requirements are stated in the Academic Policies section of this catalogue (click here for additional information). Graduate students should also consult this section for policies on transfer of credit, concurrent enrollment, continuous enrollment, leaves of absence, readmission, and waiver and substitution of course requirements.
Unit RequirementsThe course of study for the master's degree must include at least 24 units in required and elective courses. In addition, students in a program requiring a thesis must register for four units of 594ab Master's Thesis.
A minimum of 60 units of course work beyond the baccalaureate is required for the Ph.D. degree, including research courses and four units of 794ab Doctoral Dissertation. No more than eight units of 794 may be received or applied toward the degree.
A minimum of 36 units of course work beyond the first graduate degree, exclusive of 794 Doctoral Dissertation, is required for doctoral degree students admitted with Advanced Standing. Additional course work may be required if deemed necessary by the student's faculty. See Doctoral Admission with Advanced Standing here.
ResidenceResidency is a period of intensive study completed at USC. For the master's degree a minimum of 20 units of course work applicable toward the degree must be completed on the University Park and/or Health Sciences campuses and/or at one of the university's approved off-campus study centers.
For the Ph.D. degree a minimum of 24 units applicable toward the degree, exclusive of 794 Doctoral Dissertation, must be completed on the University Park and/or Health Sciences campuses. Internships, field work and other off-campus experiences do not count toward residency.
It is not intended that the Ph.D. degree be conferred as a certificate of residence, however faithful or extended, or as a certificate of the satisfaction of unit requirements, which are to be regarded as largely preliminary. It has been found that the scholastic requirements for the degree cannot be completed in less than the equivalent of three full years of work devoted wholly to graduate study and research with appropriate facilities and under university supervision.
Communication Skills RequirementAll candidates for advanced degrees awarded by the Graduate School must demonstrate the ability to communicate and transfer knowledge. The specific method(s) for satisfying this requirement will be established by each individual academic unit.
Exception to Graduate School PolicyRequests for exception to the policies and procedures governing Graduate School degree programs will be considered upon the submission of a general petition stating the specific request, supported by adequate reasons and information. The signatures and recommendation of the faculty advisor or committee chair and department chair are required.
Departmental RequirementsThe requirements and regulations set forth in this portion of the catalogue are to be construed only as minimal requirements established by the Graduate School. In addition, the student is obligated to meet all the requirements established by the individual department as described in the departmental sections.
Advisement and Program of StudyAcademic advisement of entering graduate students will be provided by a designated faculty member in the student's home department. During the first semester of graduate enrollment a formal program of study should be developed and agreed upon in writing. This academic plan should include: (1) the sequence of required and elective courses, with a diversity of faculty instruction and a reasonable balance between course work and directed research appropriate for the degree; (2) evaluation of available transfer credit for application toward the degree; and (3) the schedule and procedures for departmental evaluation of the student. The program of study should be on file in the student's department and may be modified in keeping with the student's progress toward the degree objective. This will become the responsibility of the student's guidance committee when it has been established.
Foreign Language/ Research Tool RequirementsAlthough the Graduate School does not require a foreign language examination, some departments do have specific language requirements for their graduate programs.
The foreign language requirement is determined by the individual departments or schools, subject to approval by the Graduate and Professional Studies Committee. For the Ph.D. student, these requirements should be met well in advance of the qualifying examination. Permission to take the qualifying examination will not be given until the requirements have been met.
When proficiency in a foreign language or a research tool is required, the evidence attesting to proficiency may not be more than five years old. This regulation applies regardless of the form of the evidence.
For specific information, see Foreign Language/Research Tool Requirement under the appropriate department and program sections of this catalogue.
Academic Warning and DismissalFaculty advisors and departments take factors other than satisfactory grades and adequate GPAs into consideration in determining a student's qualifications for an advanced degree. A student's overall academic performance, specific skills and aptitudes, and faculty evaluations will be considered in departmental decisions regarding a student's continuation in a master's or doctoral degree program.
Satisfactory progress toward an advanced degree as determined by the faculty is required at all times. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress will be so informed by their department or committee chair or school dean. The faculty has the right to recommend at any time after written warning that a student be dismissed from a graduate program for academic reasons or that a student be denied readmission.
General Requirements for the Master's Degree
Course RequirementsThe master's degree in the Graduate School is conferred upon the satisfactory completion of a carefully planned curriculum. A comprehensive examination may replace a thesis in certain departments. A student must enroll in GRSC 810 during the semester in which the comprehensive examination is to be taken if not otherwise enrolled. Consult the appropriate departmental section of this catalogue for specific course requirements.
For those master's degrees not conferred by the Graduate School, the degree-conferring school determines whether or not a thesis, comprehensive exam or other summative experience is required.
See Transfer of Course Work for the maximum number of units of transferred course work that may be applied toward a master's degree. Except in formally designated dual degree programs, this same policy regulates the number of credits that may be applied toward a master's degree from an advanced degree previously completed at USC.
Guidance CommitteeThe student's program of study and thesis and/or comprehensive examination are under the direction of a guidance committee composed of three tenure-track faculty members, at least two of whom must be from the student's home department, who are recommended by the chair of the student's major department, and must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. Those departments which allow a comprehensive examination in lieu of thesis and administer that comprehensive on a departmental, rather than an individual basis, may substitute a single advisor for the three-person guidance committee.
Application for the Master's DegreeApplication for the master's degree must be made during the semester preceding the one in which the student expects to receive the degree and prior to registration in 594a Master's Thesis. Application is made online by the academic department and then transmitted to the Degree Progress Department following approval of the program of studies by the student's home department. Degree Progress will prepare a Credit Summary reflecting course work and requirements completed and those remaining to be met. A copy of the Credit Summary is sent to the student and the home department.
Master's ExaminationsA student who fails the master's examination may be permitted, at the discretion of the faculty, to take it a second time. The retaking of a failed master's examination must be completed before the end of the second consecutive semester (excluding summer session) following the first examination. Requests for exception must be approved by the department chair. A student may not take the master's examination more than twice and must be appropriately enrolled at USC during the semester in which such an examination is taken or retaken. A student who fails the master's examination a second time may not continue in the degree program after the end of the semester in which the second examination was taken. No exceptions are allowed.
Master's ThesisThe thesis is supervised throughout its preparation by the student's guidance committee. It is desirable for the student to have a conference with each committee member promptly following the approval of the topic. Thereafter, thesis work is normally under the immediate supervision of the committee chair: Final acceptance is based upon the unanimous recommendation of all members of the committee.
A student who is required to write a thesis must submit a satisfactory outline and comprehensive bibliography for the proposed thesis and demonstrate a mastery of the subject satisfactory to the guidance committee.
During the five-year time limit allowed for completion of the degree and following the completion of all course work, the student must enroll in 594 Master's Thesis for two semesters and for each semester thereafter, excluding summer, until the thesis has been approved and the Approval for Final Typing Card has been signed by the student's guidance committee. Registration for the thesis in two semesters, excluding summer, is the minimum requirement entitling the student to thesis supervision by the guidance committee. No more than four units of credit in 594 may be received regardless of the number of semesters the student may be required to be enrolled. Students may enroll in 594 during one summer session but may not register for more than two units of 594 during a given semester; individual exceptions require the approval of the dean of the degree-conferring unit.
Students who find it necessary to be excused from registration in 594 for a semester must request a leave of absence by petition to the Graduate School prior to the beginning of the semester. See, Leave of Absence, page 83. Endorsements from the committee chair, department chair and the line (program) dean are required. During a leave of absence students will not be entitled to assistance from the guidance committee or to the use of university facilities. The granting of a leave of absence will take into account the student's responsibility for meeting the time schedules for the completion of degree requirements.
The student's thesis or guidance committee is responsible for the content and bibliographical consistency of the thesis. At the time of submission, all required documentation and paperwork is to accompany the thesis, along with a verified Submittal Check List (signed by the staff advisor in the student's department and by the student). Each student whose thesis is accepted must pay a $100 fee, for ProQuest/UMI, Doheny Memorial Library and Graduate School processing fees and for publishing an abstract of the thesis in Master's Abstracts International, at the Cashier's Office, King Hall, prior to submitting the thesis to the Graduate School. An Abstract Submittal Form, signed by the committee chair (verifying that the student's thesis abstract has met the guidelines and has received approval for content) must accompany the student's abstract and thesis.
The university thesis editor reviews the final typed copy of the thesis for conformance to university regulations, which takes precedence over all other style formats and issues. The editor does not function as a proofreader or copy editor. The final version of the thesis must comply with university guidelines, which prepare the manuscript both for microfilming and publication at ProQuest Information and Learning, as well as binding and archiving in the university library. All manuscripts which have not been proofread and do not conform to university regulations will automatically be returned to the student or the student's department for compliance. If the university does not accept the final typed thesis within six months after the Approval of Thesis for Final Typing Card has been signed by the guidance committee, the student will pay a late fee. For requirements concerning preparation of theses the student must obtain the booklet Regulations for Format and Presentation of Theses and Dissertations, available from the Graduate School, Grace Ford Salvatori Hall 315, or download it from the Graduate School homepage. All other required forms and instructions can be obtained from the Graduate School prior to the student's defense.
Abstract of ThesisAs noted earlier, an abstract of the thesis, approved and signed by the committee chair, must be submitted to the thesis editor, Grace Ford Salvatori Hall 315, with the final typed thesis. This is a separate document from the thesis itself and will be published in Master's Abstracts International. It must be typed double spaced on 8 1/2 by 11 white paper and must not exceed 150 words. A thesis abstract containing more than 150 words (including title) will be returned to the candidate and his or her advisor for editing.
Schedule of DeadlinesThe Graduate School provides a schedule of specific dates for completing the various requirements to qualify the student for the master's degree at commencement in May or to receive the degree in August or December. Despite the date of submission, a student must complete all corrections to the manuscript as specified by the thesis editor, as well as all verification of documentation and necessary paperwork before a degree can be conferred. Not until all requirements of the entire process are completed will the thesis be approved by the editor and the triple cards forwarded to Degree Progress (where the degree will then be verified and finally posted). Thus, a student may not always graduate in the semester in which he or she first submits the thesis. Upon completion of all requirements, the official USC transcript will serve as evidence of the degree until the diploma is received.
General Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy DegreeQualified students will be received as applicants for candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in departments which are adequately equipped with staff, library and laboratory facilities to furnish the necessary training and opportunities for original research.
Screening ProceduresA screening examination or other procedure designated by the department or program is to be administered before the student has taken more than 24 units (including research courses). Passing this procedure is prerequisite to continuation in the doctoral program. Students who fail the screening procedure will be advised that they are not recommended to continue in the Ph.D. program and that any additional work may not be counted toward the degree. Failure to undertake the screening procedure before completion of 24 units of course work may jeopardize additional units. A faculty member will be appointed to serve as the student's advisor until an approved guidance committee is established.
Course RequirementsThe subject or field of concentration is called a major. The major is usually a departmental major, although several interdepartmental majors have been authorized.
Undergraduate prerequisite and graduate course work will be required in accordance with the regulations of the major department or program and the recommendation of the student's guidance committee. Consult the appropriate departmental section of this catalogue for specific course requirements.
Guidance CommitteeThe student's program of studies is under the direction of a guidance committee. Admission to graduate standing is prerequisite to establishing a guidance committee. The guidance committee should be established within the department at least two semesters prior to taking the qualifying examination. The Request to Take the Qualifying Examination, obtained in the Student Services Office of the Graduate School, is the means by which the guidance committee is formally established. This form should be filed with the Graduate School the semester before and not later than 30 days before the beginning date of the examination.
The guidance committee is composed of at least five members; a minimum of three, including at least one tenured member, must be from the student's home department and one must be a faculty member from outside the student's home department. In the case of schools which are organized into several departments (e.g., business, education, music), but for which a single Ph.D. program is authorized, the outside member must be from outside the school. The Dean of the Graduate School is ex officio a member of all guidance committees.
Normally, all members of the guidance-dissertation committee must be regular officers of instruction of the rank of assistant professor or above in departments offering the Ph.D. degree at USC. In exceptional cases, faculty in departments or schools not offering the Ph.D. degree; research, adjunct, and emeritus faculty; and faculty from other universities may be acceptable as members of guidance committees. Such exceptions must be approved on an individual basis by the Dean of the Graduate School or his or her nominee prior to the establishment of the committee. Approval will be based on the special expertise and academic relevance afforded the individual student's research. A current curriculum vitae of the proposed member must be submitted to the Graduate School with a letter from the student's committee chair citing the particular academic merits of the requested appointment. Such a member must meet the standards of academic training and research experience expected of faculty members serving on such committees. A specially approved member may serve as co-chair of the committee but usually may not serve as the outside member representing the Dean of the Graduate School. Exceptions may be made if the specially approved member has an appointment at USC and has served on at least two doctoral committees.
The committee member from outside the department is defined as a person from a discipline different from that of the student's department and whose own department affiliation is different from that of the student. A faculty member who holds a joint appointment in the student's department may only serve as an outside member when the primary appointment is in an outside department or school. The outside member serves as the representative of the Dean of the Graduate School. As such, the outside member determines if the qualifying examination and dissertation processes are conducted at a level that warrants awarding the Ph.D. degree. The outside member also ensures that the student is justly and fairly treated by a committee and department. Finally, it is hoped that the outside member will contribute to the student's preparation as a scholar.
The guidance committee has the responsibility for supervising the student's program of studies and preparation for the qualifying examination, and the administration and evaluation of the written and oral parts of the qualifying examination. The committee continues to serve until the qualifying examination has been passed, the dissertation topic approved, and the student is admitted to candidacy.
Changes in Guidance CommitteesThe Graduate School provides a Change of Committee form which must be completed whenever a change is made in the guidance committee. All such changes must be made in advance of the qualifying examinations. Informal substitutions for either the written or oral parts of the qualifying examination are not permitted. Changes in the guidance committee are not permitted between the written and oral portions of the examination. The examinations must be scheduled at times when it is possible for all members of the committee, including the outside member, to participate. Changes made without the prior approval of the Graduate School are not recognized and may result in the invalidation of the examination.
A student may not change committee members after failing the qualifying examination the first time. The student must be reexamined by the same faculty on the same subject matter. If a faculty member is unable to serve on the committee (for example, due to serious illness, retirement, or transfer to another institution), the Graduate School must be notified in writing in advance of the rescheduled exam in order to approve the change. The faculty replacement must be approved by the Graduate School, and the student must file a Change of Committee form well in advance of the exam.
Qualifying ExaminationThe examination qualifying a student for candidacy for the Ph.D. degree is comprehensive in nature, partly written and partly oral, designed, at least in part, to test the student's fitness to undertake independent research. Prior to taking the qualifying examination, the student must have met all of the departmental requirements for doing so and have the recommendation of the guidance committee. The qualifying examination is normally taken not later than during the fifth semester of graduate standing. The student should note the maximum time limit for completing the degree.
To be eligible to take the qualifying examination, the student must have completed at least 24 units applicable toward the degree in residence at USC and must have achieved a GPA of at least 3.0 on all USC course work available for graduate credit. A student must enroll in GRSC 800 during the semester in which the qualifying examination is to be taken if not otherwise enrolled.
When the student and the guidance committee have determined that the qualifying examination can be taken, the student should obtain, in the Student Services Office of the Graduate School or in the student's home department, the Request to Take the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination form. The student secures the signatures of the department chair, the guidance committee and the Graduate School, which verifies that the student has met residency and GPA requirements. The student should return the completed form to the Graduate School the semester before and not later than 30 days before the beginning date of the examination. The examination must be taken during the semester for which permission is granted. The qualifying examinations may be scheduled by the department at any time during the semester, provided all members of the guidance committee are available to administer it. All portions of the examination must be completed within 60 days. Postponement of the examination after permission has been granted must have approval of the Dean of the Graduate School.
The written examination will be prepared, administered on campus and read by the guidance committee; in a few departments there will be a department-wide committee examining all doctoral students. When the student's written examination is satisfactory, an oral examination is given covering, in depth, topics discussed in the written examinations or touching upon additional material. The fact that a student has done well on the written examination is not to be construed to mean that the oral examination is to be a pro forma exercise. The oral examination is a serious and integral part of the qualifying procedure. If on the written examination the judgment of the committee is such that an oral examination cannot counterbalance a poor performance, the committee is not obliged to give an oral examination and the report to the Graduate School will be one of failure. In the case where the written examination is marginal, the committee may use the oral examination as an opportunity to confirm or alter its judgment of the student's performance.
A student must pass both the written and oral portions of the qualifying examination in order to pass the examination. The examination may not be reported as being passed if there is more than one dissenting vote. Ph.D. examinations cannot be passed conditionally. A pass on the examination cannot be made contingent upon other factors such as the completion of additional course work, the preparation of extra research projects, etc.
During the oral examination, all members of the guidance committee must be present and must render a judgment on the student's qualifying examination. Only the guidance committee may participate in the oral portion of the examination.
A student who fails a qualifying examination may be permitted, at the discretion of the faculty, to take it a second time. The student may not be required to repeat parts of the qualifying examination which were passed on the first administration. The retaking of a failed qualifying examination must be scheduled at a time mutually satisfactory and not less than six months from the date of the first examination. The second examination must be completed before the end of the second consecutive semester (excluding summer session) following the first examination. Requests for an exception must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. A student may not take the qualifying examination more than twice and must be appropriately enrolled at USC during the semester in which such an examination is taken or retaken. A student who fails the qualifying examination a second time may not continue in the degree program after the end of the semester in which the second examination was taken. No exceptions are allowed.
Admission to CandidacyGraduate students enrolled in the Graduate School are officially admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree when they have completed the residency requirement and passed the written and oral portions of the Ph.D. qualifying examination upon the favorable recommendation of the guidance committee to the Dean of the Graduate School. All Ph.D. candidates are required to engage in original research.
Application for the Ph.D.After being admitted to candidacy, students must contact their academic department to initiate an online degree check which is transmitted to the Degree Progress Department. Degree Progress counselors prepare a degree summary report for each student listing any remaining requirements. The requirements will not be checked or the degree conferred if the student has not applied.
Dissertation CommitteeAfter the qualifying examination has been passed and a dissertation topic approved, the guidance committee shall be known as the dissertation committee, and may be reduced to three members, upon the committee's unanimous recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School. At least one member from the student's home department must be tenured and one of the three members must be a faculty member from outside the major department. Refer to the Guidance Committee section for additional membership requirements. Special permission for a member of the research faculty to serve as chair of a Ph.D. student's dissertation committee may be granted by the Dean of the Graduate School or his or her nominee on an individual case basis upon the written request of the department chair establishing that (1) the person has a research appointment in the student's home department; (2) no tenure-track faculty in the department has the necessary knowledge or expertise required; and (3) the researcher has demonstrated special expertise in the particular area of the proposed dissertation. The Dean of the Graduate School is ex officio a member of all dissertation committees. The dissertation and its defense, or final oral, must have the unanimous approval of the dissertation committee.
Doctoral DissertationA dissertation is an original contribution to current knowledge in the field and a demonstration that the Ph.D. candidate has achieved sufficient mastery in the field to pursue independent research and scholarship. A dissertation represents the individual candidate's research and writing. In fields where collaborative research has become the norm, the candidate is the sole author of the dissertation and specifies his or her contribution to the research and also delineates colleagues' contributions.
Dissertations are expected to be written in English. Exceptions require the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School or his or her nominee prior to beginning the work and will be granted only when there is strong scholarly justification.
The student is expected to be enrolled in 794 Doctoral Dissertation each semester excepting summer sessions after admission to candidacy until all degree requirements are completed. Registration for the dissertation in the two semesters, excluding summer sessions, following admission to candidacy, is the minimum requirement entitling the candidate to dissertation supervision by the dissertation committee. Enrollment in 794 prior to admission to candidacy is not permitted and such registration is invalid. If the dissertation is not completed and accepted within two semesters the candidate must continue to register for 794 each semester thereafter until the dissertation has been approved and the Approval for Final Typing card has been signed by the dissertation committee. Students may enroll in 794 during one summer session but may not register for more than two units of 794 during a given semester; individual exceptions require the approval of the dean of the degree-conferring unit. No more than eight units of credit in 794 may be received regardless of the number of semesters the candidate may be required to be enrolled. Department approval is required for registration in 794.
A candidate who finds it necessary to be excused from registration in 794 for a semester must request a leave of absence by petition to the Graduate School prior to the beginning of the semester. See, Leave of Absence, page 83. Endorsements from the committee chair, department chair and the line (program) dean are required. During a leave of absence the candidate will not be entitled to assistance from the dissertation committee or to the use of university facilities. The granting of a leave of absence will take into account the candidate's responsibility for meeting the time schedules for the completion of degree requirements.
Defense of the DissertationAfter passing all required course examinations and the qualifying examination, and after meeting all other requirements, the candidate must defend the dissertation. This defense will be conducted in such a manner as to determine to the unanimous satisfaction of the dissertation committee that the candidate has attained the stage of scholarly advancement and power of investigation demanded by the university for final recommendation to the doctorate.
While the oral examination is open to the general university community, only the members of the dissertation committee shall have the authority to recommend acceptance of the dissertation. During the oral defense, all members of the dissertation committee must be present and must render a judgment on the student's defense. The recommendation must be unanimous.
If the defense is satisfactory, the committee then signs the Approval for Final Typing Card; if additional work is required, the card is signed at a later date. Departments differ concerning the time of the defense of the dissertation, some holding it prior to the approval for final typing, some holding it subsequent to final typing. No matter the preference, the student's dissertation committee is responsible for the content and bibliographical consistency of the dissertation. At the time of submission, all required documentation and paperwork is to accompany the dissertation, along with a verified Submittal Check List (signed by the staff advisor in the student's department and by the student). Each student whose dissertation is accepted must pay a $110 fee, for ProQuest/UMI, Doheny Memorial Library and Graduate School processing fees and for publishing an abstract of the dissertation in Dissertation Abstracts International, at the Cashier's Office, King Hall, prior to submitting the dissertation to the Graduate School. An Abstract Submittal Form, signed by the committee chair (verifying that the student's dissertation abstract has met the guidelines and has received approval for content) must accompany the student's abstract and dissertation.
The university thesis editor reviews the final typed copy of the dissertation for conformance to university regulations, which takes precedence over all other style formats and issues. The editor does not function as a proofreader or copy editor. The final version of the dissertation must comply with university guidelines, which prepare the manuscript both for microfilming and publication at ProQuest Information and Learning, as well as binding and archiving in the university library. All manuscripts that have not been proofread and do not conform to university regulations will automatically be returned to the student or the student's department for compliance. If the university does not accept the final typed dissertation within six months after the Approval of Final Typing Card has been signed by the guidance committee, the student will pay a late fee. For requirements concerning preparation of dissertations the student must obtain the booklet Regulations for Format and Presentation of Theses and Dissertations, available from the Graduate School, Grace Ford Salvatori Hall 315, or download it from the Graduate School homepage. All other required forms and instructions can be obtained from the Graduate School prior to the student's defense.