Graduate Student Resources

Dissertation Process - Doctoral

Once a doctoral student reaches candidacy, they are ready to begin the dissertation process. Below are the various topics that make up the dissertation process.

Dissertation Hours/Continuous Enrollment Requirements Dissertation Hours:

Students must be admitted to candidacy before they are permitted to enroll in dissertation hours. Students may not register for dissertation hours until the semester immediately following the semester of formal admission to candidacy by the USF Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. This requirement is strictly enforced at USF. Students who obtain an override and register for dissertation hours will be dis-enrolled by the Office of Graduate Studies. Faculty and staff who override this restriction may have their permitting privileges revoked by the university.

• If students have incomplete or missing grade(s) or are completing coursework during the semester in which they sit and successfully complete the doctoral qualifying examination, their admission to candidacy will be delayed until the grades are cleared. Once the admission to candidacy form has been filed by the COEDU, and while students are awaiting official notification of admission to candidacy, they may enroll in Directed Research hours (xxx 7910). These Directed Research hours, upon written request by the Major Professor to the Graduate Support Office (EDU 320), may be applied to reduce the total number of dissertation credit hours required. The written request should be sent during the semester in which the Directed Research hours will be taken. No more than 50% of the total number of dissertation hours required may be used in this way. Directed Research hours taken during the qualifying examination semester, and the semester during which admission to candidacy is awaited may be used in this way as long as they are not being used to fulfill course requirements.

• If students have completed all coursework prior to the semester in which they sit and successfully complete the doctoral qualifying examination, their admission to candidacy can occur during the same semester in which the qualifying examination is completed, if and only if, their admission to candidacy paperwork has been received in the Graduate School by the published university deadline in the semester during which candidacy is sought. If this condition is met, students may enroll in Directed Research hours(xxx 7910) in the semester during which the qualifying examination was taken, if they will also be working on the dissertation proposal during the semester and approval is requested by the Major Professor and approved by the Graduate Support Office (EDU 320). These Directed Research hours, upon written request by the Major Professor, may be applied to reduce the dissertation credit hour requirement.

Students are advised to consult their major professors to determine in which section of the Directed Research course (XXX 7910) they should register. Upon formal written request by the major professor to the Graduate Support Office (EDU 320), these directed research hours may be applied to reduce the total number of dissertation credit hours required. Directed Research hours taken during a semester when coursework is being completed may not be applied toward dissertation hours.

Once formally admitted to doctoral candidacy, student must enroll for Dissertation hours (xxx 7980 (for Ph.D. Students) or xxx 7987 (for Ed.D. Students)) while they conduct their research and complete their dissertation. For the specific course prefix and section of dissertation hours to register for student's will need to consult with their Major Professor and Department.

Continuous Enrollment Requirement:

Beginning with the semester immediately following the semester of formal admission to candidacy, a doctoral student must be enrolled for a minimum of 2 hours of dissertation coursework (7980 or 7987) each semester, including summer semester, until the dissertation has been defended successfully and graduates. This includes the semester during which the dissertation is defended, the semester in which final submission of the dissertation is made and the student certified for degree.

Unless a written exception has been approved by the Associate Dean of the USF Office of Graduate Studies, failure to enroll as specified may result in dismissal of the student from the program, or students may be required to register retroactively for hours that were not taken.

Students whose status reverts to that of non-degree seeking due to non-continuous enrollment after admission to candidacy must reapply/reinstate to the program and to candidacy. Another application fee is required. Students who are admitted after non-continuous enrollment must adhere to the policies at the time of their new admission and will be required to file a time-line for completion of degree and other documentation. Admission for students who reapply/reinstate is at the discretion of the program and is not guaranteed.


Important Deadlines/Defense Announcements

Important Deadlines

Proposals

Requests for Proposal Defense should be submitted 2 weeks prior to the actual defense date. Proposal defenses can be scheduled any time during the academic semester as long as the supervisory committee are present. When planning/scheduling a proposal defense please not that a student MAY NOT defend their final dissertation in the same semester or within 90 calendar days of the date in which they successfully defended their proposal.

Final Dissertations

Requests for Final Dissertation Defense should be submitted 2 weeks prior to the actual defense date. The Office of Graduate Studies Electronic Thesis & Dissertation website provides a list of ETD Deadlines for each semester. Below is the dissertation deadlines for the College of Education as they fit with the ETD Deadlines provided by the office of Graduate Studies. When planning/scheduling a proposal defense please not that a student MAY NOT defend their final dissertation in the same semester or within 90 calendar days of the date in which they successfully defended their proposal.

Fall 2017 Dissertation Deadlines

Spring 2018 Dissertation Deadlines

Defense Announcements

As students submit their request for defense their formal announcements are posted to the Defense Announcements web page. Proposal and Final Defense session announcements for student in the College of Education are posted for the current term. The list of announcements are posted as the Graduate Support Office (EDU 320) receives the requests for defense. Check back regularly for new announcements added.

Defense Announcements


Proposal Defense

Request for Proposals Form

Request for Ph.D./Ed.D. Proposal Defense

Title Page Formats

Ph.D. Students
Ed.D. Students

Request for Proposal Defense CheckList

Request for Ph.D./Ed.D. Final Dissertation Defense Form

The following information should be included on this form: 

  • The name of the student's Outside Chair Person
  • Date of the proposal defense
  • Time of the proposal defense
  • Location of the proposal defense (Students will need to check with their academic department regarding reserving a room prior to the submission of the request for proposal defense)

This form should be signed by the full supervisory committee and the student's department chair. The following should also be submitted with the form: 

  • A hard copy of the proposal with the correct title page from the list above. (2 copies will be needed in the event that the student's Outside Chair Person is not a member of their committee.)

Request for proposal Defense should be submitted with all signatures mentioned above by the student two (2) full weeks prior to the defense date to the Graduate Support Office (EDU 320) for the Associate Dean of Graduate Education's approval.

At the time that the Request for Proposal Defense is submitted, there is a survey that the student will fill out in the Graduate Support Office (EDU 320). Once approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Education, the formal announcement will be sent out via email to the college and posted to the website and Canvas group.

After the proposal Defense

Once the student has successfully completed their Proposal Defense, their Outside Chair Person will submit the following paper work to the Graduate Support Office (EDU 320):

  • Signed Proposal Title Page
  • Signed Outside Chair Person’s Report (including a list of any necessary changes for the student to make.)

Final Defense 

Important Forms: 

Title Pages Formats: 

Ph.D. Students

Ed.D. Students

Request for final dissertation Defense Checklist

The following information should be included on this form:

  • The name of the student's Outside Chair Person
  • Date of the proposal defense
  • Time of the proposal defense
  • Location of the proposal defense (students will need to check with their academic department regarding reserving a room prior to the submission of the request for proposal defense).

This form should be signed by the full supervisory committee and the student's department chair. The following should also be submitted with the form:

  • A hard copy of the Final Dissertation with the correct title page from the list above (2 copies will be needed in the event that the student 's Outside Chair Person is not a member of their committee).
  • The Successful Defense Form, Filled out but not signed
  • The ETD Certificate of Approval, filled out but not signed

Request for Final Dissertation Defense should be submitted with all signatures mentioned above by the student two (2) full weeks prior to the defense date to the Graduate Support Office (EDU 320) for the Associate Dean of Graduate Education's approval.

At the time that the Request for Final Dissertation Defense is submitted, there is a survey that the student will fill out in the Graduate Support Office (EDU 320). Once approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Education, the formal announcement will be sent out via email to the college and posted to the website and Canvas group.

After the final dissertation Defense:

Once the student has successfully completed their Final Dissertation Defense, They will need to submit the following paper work to the College of Education Graduate Support Office (EDU 320):

  • Signed Successful Defense Form
  • Signed ETD Certificate of Approval
  • Page of one (1) of the Turn-it-In Results (This is conducted by the Major Professor and shows the match percentages)
  • Certificate of Completion of Survey of Earned Doctorates

The Graduate Support Office (EDU 320) will obtain the Associate Dean of Graduate Education's signature on the ETD Certificate of Approval. The office will then submit the student's ETD Certificate of Approval, Page One of Turn-it-In Results, and Certificate of Completion of Survey of Earned Doctorates to the ETD Coordinator in the Office of Graduate Studies.