Dissertation.  Each candidate must complete a dissertation demonstrating results of original and significant research written in a scholarly and competent manner worthy of publication.

Upon completion of the dissertation, a final oral public examination must be passed, consisting of a defense of the dissertation (45-50 minutes presentation), along with a test of the mastery of a candidate's research area, in which the committee asks the candidate questions about the dissertation and the related research area.

The final oral examination – consisting of the thesis defense and the questions period – should be scheduled to take about 2 hours, and is directed and evaluated by the student's advisory committee.

The dissertation must be submitted to all members of the student's advisory committee at least 3 weeks prior to the planned date of the dissertation defense.