The doctoral dissertation is the capstone of the Ph.D. in Biostatistics curriculum, and involves the development and defense of a dissertation on an approved topic before a dissertation committee.  Students that have completed Ph.D. coursework and passed the comprehensive examination are eligible to begin dissertation research.  Brief information about the benchmarks for the dissertation process is provided below.  Check out the full Ph.D. curriculum for more detailed information, and browse through some of the Ph.D. dissertations of our recently graduated students.

Dissertation Committee

The dissertation process begins with the selection of a major professor and at least four additional faculty members to comprise the dissertation committee.  The major professor directs the dissertation research and serves as the chair of the dissertation committee, upon whom final approval of the dissertation rests.  At least one member of the dissertation committee must come from outside the Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics.

Dissertation Proposal

The dissertation proposal is a summary document detailing the proposed research to be undertaken during doctoral candidacy as well as presenting any preliminary results.  The proposal is submitted to the dissertation committee and orally defended by the candidate.  Approval of the proposal comes from a majority vote of the dissertation committee and signifies that dissertation research may proceed with the approval of the committee.

The proposal is a structured document following a rigid format detailed in the Ph.D. curriculum.  Students are encouraged to make themselves familiar with the formatting requirements of the dissertation proposal.

Dissertation Preparation, Approval, and Distribution

The written dissertation must be prepared in accordance with the formatting requirements of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.  Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these requirements. Further, it is the responsibility of each student to ensure that the readability and quality of writing in his/her thesis/dissertation meet professional standards. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the services offered by the University Writing Center when writing their theses/dissertations. The services offered by the Writing Center are free to the student.

The written dissertation fully details the research conducted by the candidate.  The student provides the written dissertation to the committee in advance of an oral defense of the dissertation, which is scheduled at the convenience of the dissertation committee under guidelines established by the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies and detailed in the full Ph.D. curriculum.  Approval of the dissertation comes by majority vote of the dissertation committee.

An electronic copy of the approved dissertation is submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies and to the Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics.

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