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Doctoral ResearchDissertation CommitteeDissertation CreditsDissertation PreparationDissertation DefenseDoctoral Degree RequirementsProcedure for Opting Out with a Master's Degree
In addition to the other requirements of the University, a candidate for a doctoral degree must complete an acceptable dissertation. The dissertation must satisfy the following criteria:
Although doctoral dissertations may result from a project involving collaboration of several scholars, the individual contribution of each doctoral candidate must be substantial, clearly identifiable, and presented separately. The Committee will judge the completed dissertation in terms of the candidate's ability to review and make critical use of the literature; to formulate a problem, develop appropriate methodology, and work systematically toward a solution; and to summarize the material or data and draw conclusions from them. The writing should be of publishable quality.
After a student has chosen an area of research and a research supervisor, a Dissertation Committee is selected by the student and his or her research advisor in accordance with the policy of the department. The Dissertation Committee shall consist of at least three members, one of whom is the research supervisor and at least two of whom shall be from the student's major department. An outside expert from industry or another university may be a member of the committee, but that individual must possess academic credentials which would qualify him or her to serve as a member of the University of Massachusetts Lowell faculty. The responsibilities of the Dissertation Committee shall be to:
Review the university's Dissertation and Thesis Guide.
If the graduate student requires the use of University resources to continue his or her dissertation but has completed the required number of credits for doctoral research, he or she may sign up for 3, 6, or 9 credits of Continuing Graduate Research (see General Policies).
Graduate students who have completed all the requirements except the writing and defense of the dissertation and who do not need to use university resources must register for Continued Matriculation (CM.601.201) and pay a fee each semester until they graduate.
Note: International students on F-1 or J-1 visas must be registered for a minimum of nine credits each semester. Contact the International Students and Scholars Office for more information.
Every graduate student who completes a dissertation is required to bear the cost of binding two copies of the manuscript for the University's files. Copywriting is optional and available for an additional fee.
Two weeks prior to the dissertation defense, announcements of the defense, listing the graduate student's name, dissertation title, and place and time of the defense, must be submitted to the chairperson of the department, the college dean, the Registrar's Office and posted and distributed throughout the university. The defense is open to the public.
Doctoral Degree Requirements
The doctoral degree is conferred upon graduate students who have met all the requirements listed below:
Procedure for Opting Out with a Master's Degree
Students accepted into a doctoral program who elect to instead obtain the master's degree and leave the university must follow the following procedure: