A dissertation is required of all doctoral students. The dissertation should represent the culmination of an independent research project conducted by the student, and will show command of the literature and research methodology of her/his specialty. The dissertation is expected to be written in grammatically correct English and conform to accepted standards used in research writing. In special cases, languages other than English may be used; the substitution is not permitted as a matter of the student's convenience, but may be allowed when the student has sufficient skill at composition and has a dissertation topic that is, in the judgment of the advisor, especially suited to treatment in the second language. Graduate School approval of the use of a language other than English must be obtained in advance.
The student must have passed qualifying examinations and presented a prospectus to the dissertation committee and received approval of the proposed topic before being permitted to register for dissertation hours. The candidate's dissertation advisor and at least two graduate faculty members will constitute the dissertation committee. No more than one member of the dissertation committee may be from another institution.
Dissertation grading: Students who are judged by the dissertation committee chair to be making satisfactory progress in the term of enrollment will be assigned a grade of IP (in progress) by the chair for that term. Students who are not progressing satisfactorily will be assigned a grade of U. Students who receive a grade of U will not be permitted to continue.
Completion of dissertation: The dissertation defense should be completed at least 10 calendar days before the last regular class day, and the final draft of the dissertation must be submitted to the graduate school no later than 7 calendar days prior to the last regular class day. The Graduate School will review the dissertation for style and format, and return the manuscript to the student within 15 business days of submission.
Students may be required to make modifications and resubmit for additional review prior to signature by the Dean of the Graduate School. Once the Dean has signed the dissertation, the dissertation requirement is met, and the grade in all dissertation hours will be changed by the Registrar from IP to S. This entire approval process must be completed by the day before the next academic term begins or the student will not be eligible to graduate until the next term. For detailed information on the dissertation process, the student should refer to the Thesis and Dissertation Handbook, available from the Graduate School (http://www.graduate.appstate.edu/graduate-thesis-and-dissertation-manual).