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Years 4, 5, & 6: Requirements, Expectations & Deadlines

Updated September 2020

Program Emphasis

During Years 4, 5, & 6, students research and write the dissertation.  The dissertation defense is held in the 18th Quarter.

During Years 4, 5 & 6, students are expected to enroll in LTXX 299 independent studies (8 units) under the direction of one of the members of their Doctoral Committee and have a 50% TA position.  For students who have other means of support and have already fulfilled their teaching requirement in another year, the LTXX 299 will be taken for 12 units.

Course Requirements (Year 4)

Fall (10th Quarter) Winter (11th Quarter) Spring (12th Quarter)
LTXX 299 (8-12 units) LTXX 299 (8-12 units) LTXX 299 (8-12 units)
50% TA 50% TA 50% TA

Course Requirements (Year 5)

Fall (13th Quarter) Winter (14th Quarter) Spring (15th Quarter)
LTXX 299 (8-12 units) LTXX 299 (8-12 units) LTXX 299 (8-12 units)
50% TA 50% TA 50% TA

Course Requirements (Year 6)

Fall (16th Quarter) Winter (17th Quarter) Spring (18th Quarter)
LTXX 299 (8-12 units) LTXX 299 (8-12 units) LTXX 299 (8-12 units)
50% TA 50% TA 50% TA

Additional Expectations & Deadlines

Tenth Quarter:

  • Prepare 8-10 page prospectus and bibliography; meet with Doctoral Committee to discuss prospectus
  • Begin dissertation research and writing

Eleventh through Eighteenth Quarter:

  • Dissertation research, writing, and revision
  • At least once a year (preferably in Winter or early Spring Quarter), meet with all Doctoral Committee members.  Inform committee members of your progress, current status, and upcoming steps in your dissertation writing.

Eighteenth Quarter:

  • Dissertation defense

Preparing the Prospectus

Before the end of the 10th Quarter, the student prepares a dissertation prospectus of 8 - 10 pages and a supporting bibliography.  The student arranges a meeting with the Doctoral Committee to discuss the prospectus and bibliography and to plan the subsequent direction of research.        

NOTE:  If, after passing the qualifying examination, advancing to candidacy, and presenting a prospectus, the student wishes to change the dissertation topic, the student must prepare another prospectus and obtain approval for it from their Doctoral Committee.  If deemed necessary by a majority of the committee members, the student will defend the new topic at an oral examination conducted by the committee. 

Dissertation Defense Overview

The student is required to present a dissertation defense in the form of a two-hour colloquium that, by order of the Graduate Council, is open to the public.  The final recommendation regarding award of the PhD degree is to be decided by the Doctoral Committee in a private caucus at the end of the defense.  If the committee approves the dissertation, they sign the necessary paperwork and endorse the signature page of the dissertation.  For instructions on formatting the dissertation and preparing the signature page, see Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Masters' Theses, available from GRAD DIVISION: https://grad.ucsd.edu/_files/academics/BlueBook%202020-21%20updated%2011.06.20.pdf.  GRAD DIVISION holds workshops intended to help students file their dissertations electronically.  Information regarding the workshops will be emailed to students.

At the beginning of the 18th Quarter (or the quarter of the dissertation defense, if it is earlier than the 18th Quarter), students should complete the following tasks:

  1. Dissertation:  Students should complete their dissertation and provide copies of the finished dissertation to the members of their Doctoral Committee (at least four weeks before the scheduled dissertation defense).
  2. GRAD DIVISION appointments: Students need to schedule two appointments with GRAD DIVISION through the online calendar (https://gradforms.ucsd.edu/calendar/):
    1. Preliminary Appointment: a preliminary check of the student’s dissertation/thesis. At the appointment, the format is checked and instructions on the final preparation and submission of the dissertation are given.  Students should print and bring the “Dissertation/Thesis Release Form” (or “Embargo Form”) (http://grad.ucsd.edu/_files/academics/DissertThesisReleaseTemplate.pdf) with them to discuss during their preliminary appointment.
    2. Final Appointment:  the submission of all final degree paperwork and final dissertation.  Students should thoroughly review the “Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Masters’ Theses” (https://grad.ucsd.edu/_files/academics/BlueBook%202020-21%20updated%2011.06.20.pdf) for detailed instructions.
  3. NOTE: The final appointment must be scheduled at least 2 days after the scheduled dissertation defense, and it must take place before the end of the quarter. In Spring Quarter, it is often difficult to secure final appointments on the last two days of the quarter, so students should plan accordingly when scheduling their dissertation defense and GRAD DIVISION appointments.
  4. Schedule the Dissertation Defense:  Students, working with their Doctoral Committee, will determine the date and time of the dissertation defense.  Students will then submit the “Ph.D. Defense of Dissertation Schedule Request” form online (see the “Forms” page of the website) at least one month before the proposed defense date.  Please see the “Committee Member Defense Participation” section below for details, and schedule the Dissertation Defense accordingly. Original signatures are required of committee members, so the timeline becomes complicated if a committee member cannot be physically present. 
    1. The PhD Coordinator will reserve a room in the department for the defense and post the mandatory announcement flyer in the building.
  5. Re-confirm the Doctoral Committee:  Students will notify the PhD Coordinator if any changes need to be made to their Doctoral Committee, so their committee may be reconstituted (see “Program: Year 3” page for more details on committee re-constitution).
    1. NOTE:  Changes to the committee may be required because of updates to individual faculty statuses.  The Doctoral Committee makeup may have met all the requirements at the time of the qualifying exam process, but no longer meet the requirements later in the program.  In these instances, the committee must be reconstituted, as the Doctoral Committee must meet all requirements for a valid committee at the time of the dissertation defense.
  6. Dissertation Defense:  The student will hold the dissertation defense with their Doctoral Committee, and they will bring the required paperwork to the defense (see the “Dissertation Defense Paperwork” section below).  The Doctoral Committee will deliberate and sign the appropriate paperwork if they approve of the dissertation.
  7. Dissertation Filing (Electronic):  Students will file the PDF online at least one day prior to final appointment with GRAD DIVISION, and the dissertation will meet all standards and requirements outlined in the “Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Masters’ Theses” (as mentioned above).   Details of the electronic doctoral dissertation filing are also included in the “Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Masters’ Theses”.
  8. Required Surveys: “Survey of Earned Doctorates” and the “UCSD Survey of Doctoral Degree Recipients” (exit survey)
    1. Students can access the SED survey at https://sed-ncses.org/, and they must print out the completion certificate to bring to their final appointment.
    2. Students will be emailed a link to the UCSD survey after their preliminary appointment with GRAD DIVISION, and they must print out the final confirmation page to bring to their final appointment.
  9. Final Appointment & Filing:  Before the end of the quarter, the student will submit all the required paperwork to GRAD DIVISION at their scheduled final appointment (see the “Dissertation Defense Paperwork” section below).

Dissertation Defense Process

Doctoral Committee Defense Participation

For the Dissertation Defense, all members of the student’s Doctoral Committee must participate in accordance with campus policy.  When scheduling the defense, students must ensure that they are meeting the following requirements for committee member participation:

  1. A doctoral committee member can participate in one of three ways: physically present (meaning they are in the room), telepresent (meaning they participate by live video teleconference), or in advance (if they must be absent on the exam date, it is permissible to examine the candidate in advance of the exam date).
  2. More than half of the doctoral committee must be physically present. No more than two members may be telepresent.
  3. The committee chair, or one co-chair, must be physically present.
  4. The outside tenured member must be physically present or telepresent.
  5. If an emergency situation arises that will affect the number of committee members present, the student must notify the PhD Coordinator immediately. Every effort must be made to reschedule the dissertation defense so all committee member may participate according to policy.  If this is not possible and an exception to policy is needed, the Committee Chair must submit the request to the PhD Coordinator for further processing.

It is the student’s responsibility to work with their committee to schedule the defense and meet the above requirements.  If any committee members will be telepresent or participating in advance, students should notify the Graduate Coordinator as soon as possible.  Required paperwork for the defense must have wet signatures, so plans must be made to obtain original signatures from all committee members who will not be physically present (usually well in advance of the defense).

Dissertation Defense Paperwork

There are a number of documents that students will need to submit the GRAD DIVISION at their final appointment in order to complete the dissertation filing process and be awarded their PhD.  Several of the documents will be entirely the student’s responsibility to create and bring with them, while others will be created by the Graduate Office and provided to the student before the final appointment.

Student’s Responsibility:

  • Original signature page (signed at the defense, in permanent ink) and one additional copy of the signature page
  • “Dissertation/Thesis Release Form” (or “Embargo Form”), signed by the Committee Chair or Co-Chairs at the defense
  • Three copies of the abstract (on plain paper)
  • Completion certificate for the “Survey of Earned Doctorates”
  • Final confirmation page for the “UCSD Survey of Doctoral Degree Recipients”
  • Any other documents that GRAD DIVISION mentions at the preliminary appointment

Department’s Responsibility:

  • “Report of the Final Examination and Filing of the Dissertation”, prepared by the Graduate Office and signed by all Doctoral Committee members at the defense, attesting that the student has passed the defense and that the student has completed all requirements for the degree

This form must be returned to the Graduate Office following the defense.  The Graduate Office will route it to be signed by the Department Chair, and the PhD Coordinator will notify the student when it is ready to be picked up for filing with the GRAD DIVISION.

Occasional Circumstances

Students Returning to Defend after a Withdrawal

Students returning to complete their PhD and defend should contact the PhD Coordinator for information about the process.  In some cases, returning students will need to re-advance to candidacy.  The details of this process will be coordinated by the department and the student’s Doctoral Committee.

  • This process will also require additional paperwork to what is listed above.  The additional paperwork will be prepared by the Graduate Office, signed by the Doctoral Committee at the defense, and then returned to the Graduate Office following the defense.  The PhD Coordinator will notify the student when it is ready to be picked up for filing with the GRAD DIVISION.

Paying a Filing Fee in Lieu of Registration

In the quarter of their defense, students have the option of paying (the much cheaper) Filing Fee, instead of registering for courses and paying the regular tuition/fees.  Students interested in this must contact the department in the quarter prior to their defense.

  • This process will also require additional paperwork to what is listed above.  The additional paperwork will be prepared by the Graduate Office, signed by the Doctoral Committee Chair at the defense, and then returned to the Graduate Office following the defense.  The PhD Coordinator will notify the student when it is ready to be picked up for filing with the GRAD DIVISION.
PhD Program Advising
(858) 534-3217
litgrad@ucsd.edu

Director of Doctoral Studies
Daisuke Miyao

Doctoral Affairs Committee
2020-2021

Daisuke Miyao (Chair)
Hoang Nguyen
Dan Vitkus