Doctoral Degree: Dissertation 

Dissertation Committee

  • It is the responsibility of the student to form a Ph.D. dissertation committee consisting of a chairperson who will direct the dissertation and four (4) additional members. The chairperson must be a member of the department and a member of the graduate faculty with the endorsement to direct doctoral dissertations (see University Graduate School, Academic Bulletin). At least two of the remaining four members of the committee must be from the department, and one should be a representative of the minor(s). The final member of the committee may be from the department, outside the department or outside the University. All committee members outside of the department must be approved by the Dean. (Contact the Director of Graduate Affairs for information on this approval process.) Any exceptions must be approved by the Director of Graduate Affairs in consultation with the chairperson of the studentís dissertation committee.
  • The student must notify the Director of Graduate Studies in writing of the composition of the committee. The department shall then complete the ďNotification of Research Committee for the Ph.D.Ē and submit it for approval by the dean.
  • Faculty members who are on joint academic appointments 50% or more in the Department of Criminal Justice are considered to be inside the department.
  • All chairpersons of dissertation committees must have endorsements to direct dissertations. Exceptions may be requested by the departmental chairperson, if special expertise in an area is held by a member of the graduate faculty who does not have this endorsement.
  • All members of the committee must be members of the graduate faculty.

Dissertation Proposal

  • Dissertation proposals must be submitted only after successfully completing the required qualifying Ph.D. examinations.
  • Overlap in membership between the Committee on Graduate Studies and the dissertation committee does not violate departmental policies.
  • An oral defense of the dissertation proposal is required.
    • The chairperson of the dissertation committee shall be responsible for scheduling the defense and the defense is administered by the dissertation committee.
    • The oral defense is open to the public, but deliberation is only open to members of the dissertation committee.
    • At the end of the oral defense, the committee must vote upon the outcome. Three options are available to the committee:
      (a) accept
      (b) conditional acceptance
      (c) failure: In order to fail a student all committee members must elect to do so. If the decision is not unanimous to fail the student, then the outcome is conditional.
  • When all members of the committee approve and sign the proposal, the student shall provide the Graduate Secretary with one copy of the proposal for his or her file in the department office. The proposal is to be signed by all members of the committee. In addition, the chair of the dissertation committee shall notify all faculty members by memo of the title of the proposal and the presence of the signed proposal in the studentís file.
  • The student is also required to submit to the University Graduate School a one- or two-page prospectus of the dissertation research that has been approved by the studentís committee. The dissertation prospectus must be approved by the University Graduate School at least six months before the defense of the dissertation.

The Dissertation

  • Changes in the membership of the dissertation committee require the student to notify the chairperson of the committee and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • The reference format and style of the dissertation may conform to departmental format for theses, substantial papers, and dissertations.
  • Copies of the Dissertation
    • one bound copy on 100% cotton rag for the department archives;
    • one for the chairperson of the committee;
    • others as required by the University Graduate School; students should consult the University Graduate School regarding dissertation guidelines. Detailed information can be found at: http://www.indiana.edu/~grdschl/guide.html. For on-line dissertation submission guidelines, go to http://dissertations.umi.com/Indiana/
  • The candidate must also submit to the University Graduate School a 350-word abstract of the dissertation that has been approved by the dissertation committee.

Oral Defense of Dissertation

  • Doctoral students must be admitted to candidacy before the oral defense of the dissertation is scheduled.
  • The chairperson of the dissertation committee shall be responsible for scheduling the defense.   It is the responsibility of the student to submit to the University Graduate School a one-page announcement of the final examination thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled defense of the dissertation.  This announcement must follow a format available in the University Graduate School and rules established by the University Graduate School.  The announcement must bear the signature of the dissertation committee chairperson.
  • Once the final examination has been scheduled, the announced time and place of the defense cannot be changed without the approval of the Dean of the College.
  • The dissertation defense is administered by the dissertation committee.
  • The oral defense is open to the public, but deliberation is only open to members of the dissertation committee.  The defense may occur during any summer session provided the student obtains written permission from all committee members.
  • At the end of the oral examination, the committee must vote upon the outcome of   the examination.  Four options are available to the committee: pass, conditional pass, deferred decision, and failure.

Time Limits

The student must have received acceptance of his or her dissertation and must submit a copy to the University Graduate School within seven (7) years after passing the qualifying examination.  Failure to meet this requirement will result in the termination of candidacy and the student's enrollment in the degree program.