Dissertation

General information

The dissertation requirements are satisfied through the completion of 30 credits of IME 999X in the course of developing and conducting an independent research project. A grade of Y will be supplied for all dissertation credits earned until the time at which the defense is successfully completed. At that time, all grades will be converted to 'S' - satisfactory. A student is not allowed to register for dissertation credits until they have been approved for candidacy after filing a Petition for Candidacy (available on the Graduate School Website). Students must complete four consecutive semesters of IME 999x (9991, 9992, 9993, and 9994). The Spring/Summer semester may or may not be counted towards the definition of consecutive semesters, at the student's discretion. Registration for all dissertation credits must be done through the Ph.D. office. A student may contact the Ph.D. office by phone at 313-577-2171 or in person. Once 30 credits of 999x are completed, students may register for IME 9995 (Doctoral Candidacy Maintenance) at a reduced tuition rate.  

Dissertation committee

When petitioning the Graduate School for Doctoral Candidacy status, the student must form a Dissertation Committee. Committee membership is described in the examinations section, below. Advisors have the primary responsibility for approval of the dissertation, but the Dissertation Committee must read, approve, and sign the manuscript. Such approval includes all academic and professional evaluations and judgments as to originality, accuracy, significance, methodology, conclusions, and correctness of style.  

Dissertation format

Candidates are instructed to closely follow the Graduate School regulations governing the format of the dissertation. Students should obtain a copy of the WSU Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations from the Graduate School (4327 FAB). These guides are updated regularly, and students should make sure that they have the most recent version. The Ph.D. office staff is available to assist advisors and students who have format questions or problems. The final draft of the manuscript should be submitted to the Graduate School for format check at least two weeks prior to the defense date. The dissertation format and appearance must be acceptable to the Graduate School before the Public Lecture Presentation-Defense shall be authorized.  

Deadlines

Students should obtain the deadline dates for graduation requirements from the Ph.D. Office of the Graduate School. These should be reconfirmed during the semester in which the dissertation defense is planned.

The dissertation manuscript must be submitted to all committee members at least three weeks prior to the planned defense date. When all members of the committee have tentatively approved the dissertation, the candidate prepares the Final Report form. After all committee members have signed it, indicating approval of the content of the dissertation for a public lecture presentation defense, the candidate brings the form to the Graduate School at least two weeks in advance of the defense date for processing. At this time, the Graduate School will appoint a Graduate Examiner to moderate the defense.  

Following satisfactory completion of the defense, the student must do the following within 10 calendar days:

  • Deposit with the Ph.D. office of the Graduate School: two unbound copies of the dissertation, each in its own bag or envelope, printed on at least 20# bond paper; two additional copies of the dissertation abstract; and one additional copy of the title page.
  • Pay binding, microfilming, and copyrighting (optional) fees.
  • Submit the Microfilm Agreement, Survey of Earned Doctorates, and Commencement Reply Forms to the Graduate School. These forms are provided to students when the manuscript is submitted for format approval.  

Dissertation proposal defense (Oral Examination)

Before taking the examination, the student must have filed the Plan of Work and the Petition for Doctoral Candidacy (available on the Graduate School Website) with the Graduate School. The Dissertation Committee previously selected by the student and his/her advisor administers the Oral Examination. It must consist of at least three members from the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Department, including the student's advisor, and at least one member from outside of the program. The expertise of these latter members must be appropriate to the student's dissertation work. All Committee members must hold current Graduate Faculty appointments. The Committee membership should be selected based on the proposed dissertation project.

The Oral Examination takes the form of the Dissertation Proposal and Proposal Defense. The proposal should be completed in close consultation with the student's research advisor. There is no set format. The defense will consist of an oral presentation of the proposed research project, followed by a period of questions on any topics termed relevant by the Examination Committee. The proposal should be submitted to the Dissertation Committee at least two weeks before a planned defense.

The Dissertation Committee is responsible for examining and certifying that the student has an adequate command of knowledge in the field of study and can organize, apply, and convey that knowledge. The Exam should be conducted following the rules set forth on the Report on Doctor of Philosophy Oral Exam form (NOTE: This form is for information purposes only, it is not to be turned in. Use the Doctoral Dissertation: Prospectus and Record of Approval in its place.) The member of the committee from outside of the program shall serve as the lead examiner and complete the evaluation form. A student may be passed in the examination if there is not more than one negative vote. Abstentions shall be considered negative votes. If the Examining Committee determines that the applicant has not passed all parts of the written and oral portions of the examination, the committee must make specific recommendations as to admitting the applicant to a second examination and specify any additional work that should be completed prior to the examination. If the Chair of the Dissertation Committee certifies that the student has failed the oral part of the examination, a second examination may not be held until at least one semester has elapsed but must be held within one calendar year following the first exam. The second examination shall be considered final.

The Oral Examination must be satisfactorily completed at least 12 months prior to the Dissertation Defense.

On satisfactory completion of the Proposal Defense, the student must complete a Doctoral Dissertation: Prospectus and Record of Approval form. All members of the Dissertation Committee and the Graduate Committee Chair should sign the form. It should be forwarded to the Graduate School for final approval.

Dissertation defense

The Dissertation Committee shall normally consist of the same members who oversaw the Proposal Defense. There shall be at least three members from the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Department and at least one member from outside of the program. The expertise of the outside members must be appropriate to the student's dissertation work. In the case of co-advisors from within the program, the number of members from the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Department shall be increased to four. The outside member shall attend all meetings of the Dissertation Committee, including the Dissertation Lecture Presentation-Defense, as a voting member. After Graduate School approval of the committee, through the Petition for Doctoral Candidacy form, any change in the committee requires written approval of the Graduate School Dean.

The dissertation manuscript must be submitted to all committee members at least 3 weeks prior to the planned defense date. When all members of the committee have tentatively approved the dissertation, the candidate prepares the Final Report form. This includes the SafeAssign certification that must be obtained and signed by the committee chair or the graduate director.  Starting January 1, 2017, the first page of SafeAssign reports must be sent to the Ph.D. Office. After all committee members have signed it, indicating approval of the content of the dissertation for a public lecture presentation defense, the candidate brings the form to the Graduate School at least two weeks in advance of the defense date for processing. At this time, the Graduate School will appoint a Graduate Examiner to moderate the defense.

The Graduate Program Officer should confirm arrangements for the Lecture Presentation-Defense via written notice. If arrangements must be changed, the Graduate Program Officer or advisor should notify the Graduate School, the doctoral candidate, the committee members, and the Graduate Examiner.

The Lecture Presentation-Defense is conducted by the doctoral candidate's committee and is presided over by the Graduate Examiner. This final lecture must be publicized to the entire academic community in advance by the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Department. The student and/or the advisor normally do this. The Lecture Presentation is open to the general University committee. In this lecture, the student shall formally present the methodology, research, and results of the investigation. Following the formal presentation and an open discussion period, a closed examination will be held on any subjects deemed relevant by the Dissertation Committee. Finally, a closed-door session of the Committee will be held to determine whether or not the student has passed the Dissertation Defense.

Committee meetings and annual evaluations

Following petition for Doctoral Candidacy, each doctoral student is required to meet at least on an annual basis with his or her Dissertation Committee. If the outside faculty member is from a non-local institution, they may be involved in this meeting through teleconferencing or videoconferencing technology. The committee should discuss the student's progress in their dissertation research and complete the Annual Evaluation form. After the Oral Exam has been successfully completed, changes to the Dissertation plan that are agreed upon by the Committee should be noted for the student's file.

Paperwork requirement – Final report: Dissertation public lecture presentation - Defense

This Dissertation Public Lecture Presentation form should be completed by the student and signed by the members of the Dissertation Committee indicating preliminary approval of the dissertation manuscript. It must be submitted to the PhD office of the Graduate School, along with a draft of the dissertation and a copy of the public announcement of the defense, at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled defense. The format of the dissertation will be checked (if not previously approved) and a Graduate Examiner will be appointed for the defense. Following successful completion of the defense, the form must be signed again by all Committee members and submitted, along with the Graduate Examiner's Report, to the Graduate School.