Texas Tech University

Ph.D. Final Exam & Dissertation Procedures

Final Examination

A final public oral examination, usually over the general field of the dissertation, is required of every candidate for the doctorate. The oral examination must be scheduled by the student and the advisory committee after the committee has read the completed dissertation and prior to the defense deadline during the semester of graduation. Students should present their dissertation to all committee members at least three weeks before the defense date. In addition, the Graduate School requires three weeks notification prior to the oral examination. The required Defense Notification Form noting the time, place, and other information concerning the examination is available on the Web site www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/current/thd.php

The advisory committee and the graduate dean or a professor designated to act in place of the graduate dean conduct the examination. All members of the committee participate fully in the examination and cast a vote. Professors other than members of the committee, including the graduate dean's representative who is expected to come from outside the academic department, may participate in the examination but have no vote in determining the outcome. At the conclusion of the examination, the chairperson of the advisory committee will send a written notice to the Graduate School giving the result of the examination.


Dissertation proposals will not be considered until the required research competency examination and doctoral qualifying examinations have been satisfactorily completed.

The dissertation committee will guide the student through the dissertation proposal and the dissertation itself.

The dissertation is original research reported in a document that demonstrates a mastery of research techniques, thorough understanding of the subject matter, and a high degree of skill in organizing and presenting material.

Except for the Doctor of Musical Arts, a dissertation is required of every candidate for a doctoral degree. This requirement is separate and apart from other requirements in doctoral programs; consequently, successful performance in other areas does not necessarily guarantee acceptance of a dissertation. The dissertation work must earn a grade of at least B to qualify the student for graduation. The Graduate School strongly recommends that each student be required to present and defend a dissertation proposal before his or her committee early in the course of the research.

The advisory committee and the graduate dean must approve the subject of the dissertation at least four months before the candidate's proposed date of graduation. The dissertation must demonstrate a mastery of the techniques of research, a thorough understanding of the subject matter and its background, and a high degree of skill in organizing and presenting the materials. The dissertation should embody a significant contribution of new information to a subject or a substantial reevaluation of existing knowledge presented in a scholarly style. The work on the dissertation is constantly under the supervision of the advisory committee and any other professors the committee or the graduate dean may consider necessary.

All manuscripts must conform to published policies that can be found at www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/current/THDGuidelines.php

The final copy of the dissertation must be submitted electronically in PDF file format as an ETD to the University Library's server. Deadlines and more information on this process are available through the Graduate School Web site. The Graduate Council mandates that students must provide the committee chairperson with a bound paper copy of their dissertation unless a waiver form is submitted by the student and signed by the chairperson. The waiver form is available on the Graduate School Web site. Paper copies may be required by the academic unit in which the student pursues the degree.

from page 81 of the 2010-2011 Texas Tech University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog