Texas State University Logo
Banner Image
ASBS 306
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666-4616
Phone: 512-245-2531 (APCE)
Phone: 512-245-9909 (SI)
Fax: 512-245-9923

Online Resources

Join the Conversation

adjust type sizemake font smallermake font largerreset font size

Dissertation Step by Step

To review a pictoral of the Ph.D degree process, requirements, and specific timelines click here.

DISSERTATION PROCESS
YEAR ONE/ YEAR TWO
 
I.         Exploratory Phase
 
Through reading, using flexible assignments in your courses, and conversations with your colleagues and professors, explore possible research topics.
Think about a potential dissertation advisor. Think about faculty who share your interests or perspective and initiate conversations with them about potential topics.
 
Consider designing an Independent Study course to allow you to focus on some aspect of your topic such as the literature or a particular research methodology.
 
Ask an Education Ph.D Program core faculty member to chair your dissertation (sometimes the person you ask cannot serve as your chair for some reason; in that case, ask someone else).   Complete “Form A” (Dissertation/Research Advisor Assignment Form) and submit it to the Program Administrative Assistant, who will route it through the Department and College for the required administrator signatures before submitting it to the Graduate College.
 
YEAR THREE – after completion of Core and Major courses
 
II.         Comprehensive Exam
 
The Comprehensive Exam is given in January and August each year. It covers Core and Major courses. You will be notified when you are eligible to take the Exam approximately two months prior to the next administration. At that time, you must notify the Program Administrative Assistant if you intend to take the exam at the next administration.
 
After you complete the Exam, faculty readers have assessed it, and you have been notified of the outcome, the Program Administrator will submit your outcome on “Form 1” (Comprehensive Examination Report) to the Graduate College after routing it through the Program and Department for the required administrator signatures. 
 
III.        Dissertation Proposal
 
Take ED7341 Dissertation Proposal Writing. Prerequisites are the Core, Specialization, introduction qualitative and quantitative courses, and either intermediate qualitative or quantitative research.
 
Continue working on your Proposal with the coaching of your Dissertation Chair.
While working on your Proposal, sign up for Dissertation hours, 7399 A (APCE) or 7399 B (SI).

Work with your chair to identify additional Dissertation Committee members and secure each committee member’s agreement. Complete “Form B” (Dissertation Committee Request), including securing your committee members’ signatures.  Submit Form B to the Program Administrative Assistant, who will route it through the Department and College for the required administrator signatures before submitting it to the Graduate College.
 
Occasionally a student needs to change Dissertation Chair or the membership of your Dissertation Committee. After consultation with your current Chair (and potential Chair if your are changing Chairs) or your Chair and the current or future Committee Member(s) affected if you are changing a Committee Member(s), complete “Form E” (Dissertation Advisor/Committee Member Change Request Form), obtaining the signatures of your new Chair or Committee Member. Submit the completed form to the Program Administrative Assistant, who will route it through the Department and College for the required administrator signatures before submitting it to the Graduate College.
 
IV.        Dissertation Proposal Meeting
 
After your chair has approved your proposal, you may schedule your Dissertation Proposal Meeting.
 
Send your Dissertation Proposal to all committee members at least two weeks prior to your scheduled Dissertation Proposal Meeting. Each dissertation chair conducts proposal meetings differently. Talk with your chair prior to the Proposal Meeting.
 
Meet with your dissertation committee. On the basis of this meeting, the committee may decide to Approve your proposal, Approve your proposal with Revisions and without requiring the committee to meet again, or Require Revisions and require the committee to meet again.
 
At the conclusion of your Proposal Meeting, be sure that all committee members sign “Form 2” (Defense of Dissertation Proposal) indicating the outcome. Submit the completed Form to the Program Administrative Assistant, who will route it through the Department and College for the required signatures before submitting it to the Graduate College.
 
V.         Advancement to Candidacy
 
To Advance to Candidacy, you must have successfully passed your Comprehensive Examination, your Dissertation Committee must have approved your Dissertation Proposal, and the Graduate College must approve your application for Advancement to Candidacy. To apply for Advancement, complete “Form D” (Application for Advancement to Candidacy) and submit it to the Program Administrative Assistant, who will route it through the Department and College for the required signatures before submitting it to the Graduate College.
 
V.         IRB Approval for Your Research
 
Before you can begin collecting your data, the Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects must approve your study. You are responsible for initiating and following through on the approval process. You are also responsible for assuring that your Dissertation Chair and the Program Administrative Assistant receive copies of the approval notice you receive from the IRB Committee.
 
VI.        Collect, Analyze, Interpret Data, Write
 
Remaining in close contact with your Dissertation Chair, carry out and write-up your research. Complete your dissertation.
 
VII.       Dissertation Defense
 
With your Chair’s approval, your may contact your Committee Members to schedule your Dissertation Defense. You will need to schedule a 90 minute block. When all members have agreed to a time, ask the Program Administrative Assistant to schedule a room.
 
You must send your completed dissertation to all of your Committee members. You must the document to them at least two weeks prior to your scheduled defense.
 
At the conclusion of the Dissertation Defense meeting, your committee will inform you whether you earned a Pass, Provisional Pass, or Fail. Complete and secure your Chair’s and Committee Members’ signature on “Form 3” (Dissertation Defense Report). Submit this form to the Program Administrative Assistant, who will route it through the Department and College for the required signatures before submitting it to the Graduate College.