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The dissertation must:
  • Be written on a subject approved by the candidate’s doctoral program committee.
  • Embody the results of original and significant investigation.
  • Be the candidate’s own work.

Forming a Dissertation Committee

The doctoral student should consult with his or her advisor about the program’s specific requirements for forming a dissertation committee.

Often, the student’s dissertation committee will be the same as their program committee.

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The doctoral candidate must remain continuously enrolled to defend the dissertation. The dissertation can only be defended when MU is officially in session.

Continuous Enrollment

Continuous enrollment provides access to an advisor’s support, doctoral program committee guidance and university research facilities for completion of the dissertation.

Candidacy is maintained by enrolling for two semester hours each Fall and Spring semester, and for one semester hour each Summer session up to and including the term in which the dissertation is defended. Failure to enroll continuously until the doctoral degree is awarded terminates candidacy.  Students typically fulfill this requirement with enrollment in Dissertation Research (9090/9990).

To maintain continuous enrollment, the student must self register for the required coursework each semester using myZou. Students without Internet access or those with other enrollment difficulties should contact the Graduate School’ doctoral academic advisor for registration assistance.

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Preparing the Dissertation

The doctoral student should ask his or her advisor about specific formatting requirements or citation style.

All dissertation defenses must be open to the general faculty. Academic programs are encouraged to announce dissertation defense dates to academic program colleagues.

Review Dissertation & Thesis Guidelines

Reporting Requirements

A Report of the Dissertation Defense form (D4), signed by all members of the doctoral committee, must be sent to the Graduate School before the deadline preceding the anticipated date of graduation.

For the dissertation to be successfully defended, the student’s doctoral committee must vote to pass the student on the defense with no more than one dissenting or abstaining vote.


Supplemental Documents that Accompany the Electronic Submission

Several supplemental documents must accompany your submission including a signed approval page indicating the committee’s approval of your written work and electronic release form.  These forms can be printed, completed, scanned, and submitted through canvas.

View Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines for More Information Graduation & Commencement Deadlines
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