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Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education

Measurement & Quantitative Methods

Dissertation Committee Information, Meetings, Defense And Oral Examinations

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After completing the comprehensive examination, students choose a dissertation topic and dissertation advisor – a faculty member in MQM who has expertise relevant to the student's chosen topic.  Together, the student and the advisor create a dissertation committee composed of at least four voting faculty members--one of these faculty members must be from outside of the CEPSE department.  All voting members must be tenure-stream faculty at MSU.  Individuals who do not meet these criteria must be approved by the Dean’s office; as approved members of the committee, these individuals do not have voting rights.  Early in the dissertation process, the student discusses his or her ideas for a dissertation study with the members of the dissertation committee.  Based on these conversations, the student develops a dissertation proposal in conjunction with the dissertation advisor.

When the proposal is complete, the student distributes it to members of the dissertation committee and schedules a dissertation proposal meeting (at least two weeks after the dissertation proposal is distributed to committee members). At the dissertation proposal meeting, the student gives a formal presentation of the proposed research, and faculty members discuss and advise the student concerning the proposed theoretical framework, design, and analyses. 

Once the proposal is approved by the committee, and the Dissertation Proposal Approval form has been submitted, the student works with committee members to complete the study and write a summary of the results. Typically the student and advisor exchange comments on several drafts of the dissertation prior to scheduling a dissertation defense.

When the dissertation is complete, the student submits a copy to each committee member, and schedules a public dissertation defense (at least two weeks after the dissertation is distributed to the committee members (see the Notice of Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination form).

At the dissertation defense, the student makes a formal presentation of the dissertation study, and members of the committee and audience provide comments and ask questions concerning the study (see the Record of Dissertation and Oral Examination Requirements for Doctoral Degree Candidate form). Frequently, these exchanges result in requests for revisions to the final document. Once the revised document is submitted to the Graduate School, the student may graduate. 

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