Doctoral

Dissertation

The dissertation consists of significant scholarly research in the student's major area of study and represents the culmination of the doctoral studies. After successful completion of the comprehensive examination, a student is allowed four years to complete the dissertation. If this requirement is not met, the student must retake the comprehensive examination.

Designation of a Dissertation Chairperson and Committee

It is the student's responsibility to form a dissertation committee composed of faculty agreeing to supervise the student's work. No faculty member is obliged to serve.

The selection of a Dissertation Chairperson will occur only after successful completion of the comprehensive examination. The student shall nominate as Chairperson a faculty member having a tenure track appointment in the student's major field. The nominated faculty member shall then prepare a brief description of his/her research accomplishments demonstrating competence in research and scholarship and adequate qualifications to direct doctoral dissertations. The student will then petition the Associate Dean for Academic and Research Programs to have the nomination approved. An approved Dissertation Chairperson must be selected within two months of the completion of the comprehensive examination.

The student selects the remaining Committee members in consultation with the Dissertation Chairperson. The committee shall be composed of at least four tenure track faculty members, at least two of whom must be from the student's major field, including the Dissertation Chairperson. At least one member of the Dissertation Committee must be from outside the student's major field. One member may, under some circumstances, be a faculty member affiliated with another college or university.

Members of the Dissertation Committee must also be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic and Research Programs. This can occur at the same time that the Chairperson is approved, however, this is not a requirement. Approval must precede the scheduling of a dissertation proposal defense.

Changes in Committee Membership

Any changes in the composition of a Dissertation Committee must be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic and Research Programs.

A member of a Dissertation Committee who leaves the active employment of the University of Houston must be replaced if:

  1. The member is the Dissertation Chairperson
  2. The member does not agree to further advise the student
  3. The member cannot attend the proposal or dissertation defenses, or
  4. The dissertation is not successfully defended within the next long semester (i.e. Fall or Spring) of the member's termination of active employment at the University of Houston. The last condition does not apply if the member can qualify as an outside member of the Committee.

Registration for Dissertation Credit

A minimum of 18 hours of academic credit is required for completion of the doctoral dissertation. Dissertation hours acquired before candidacy (i.e., before successful completion of the comprehensive examination) cannot be applied to this total.

Proposal Defense

The dissertation proposal will be defended by the candidate at an open meeting. The Doctoral Program Coordinator of the student's major field will distribute abstracts of the proposal to all faculty members in the College two weeks before the defense and a copy of the complete proposal shall at that time be placed in the departmental office for inspection. All Bauer College faculty and doctoral students will be invited to the defense. The formal conduct of the defense is the responsibility of the student's Dissertation Committee. The final decision regarding approval of the proposal rests solely with the committee. While the Committee may wish to take into consideration inputs from other members of the faculty, they are under no obligation to do so. For the student to pass the proposal defense, the committee must approve the proposal unanimously. A record of substantive criticisms and/or required modifications must be provided to the student in writing.

The candidate must successfully pass the proposal defense within one year of completion of the comprehensive examination. Failure to do so will result in the student reverting to pre-candidacy status and being required to repeat the comprehensive examination process.

Final Defense

The dissertation will be defended by the candidate at an open meeting. The Doctoral Program Coordinator of the student's major field will distribute abstracts of the dissertation to all faculty members in the College two weeks before the defense and a final draft of the completed dissertation shall at that time be placed in the departmental office for inspection. All Bauer College faculty and doctoral students will be invited to the defense. The formal conduct of the defense is the responsibility of the student's Dissertation Committee. The final decision regarding approval of the dissertation rests solely with the Committee. While the Committee may wish to take into consideration inputs from other members of the faculty, they are under no obligation to do so. For the candidate to pass the final defense, the Committee must approve the dissertation unanimously. A record of substantive criticisms and/or required modifications must be provided to the student in writing. Minor changes to the dissertation may be stipulated by the Committee without requiring an additional dissertation defense.

Certification of Form

Written certification that the dissertation is complete and meets the college requirements in matters of format and style must accompany the dissertation at time of its submission for binding.(See Instructions for the Preparation and Submission of the Ph.D. Dissertation, Bauer College of Business.) Such certification is obtained from the Director of Student Records and Registration and must be requested at least two working days before the University dissertation filing deadline. Failure to meet this deadline will cause the student's graduation to be delayed one semester.

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