Checklist to Prepare for Dissertation Defense

All University of Miami Graduate Programs in Public Health doctoral students are required to submit a dissertation. Before you defend:

1. Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

2. Apply to candidacy

When a student has met all requirements and passed all required qualifying/comprehensive examinations, admission to candidacy for the degree is approved. No student may receive the degree in the same semester in which he or she is admitted to candidacy. The student must be admitted to candidacy before the defense of dissertation is scheduled. This form is submitted through Dynamic Forms online.

3. Establish a dissertation committee

When a student is admitted to candidacy, a dissertation committee is formed. A dissertation committee consists of a minimum of four members, including the committee chair. Please refer to the individual doctoral handbook (Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Prevention Science and Community Health) for program specifics on dissertation committee member selection.

The duties of the Dissertation Committee as recorded in the University of Miami Bulletin are:

  • To consult with and to advise students on their research
  • To meet, at regular intervals, to review progress and expected results
  • To read and comment upon the draft dissertation
  • To meet, when the dissertation is completed, to conduct the final oral examination and to satisfy itself that the dissertation is a contribution to knowledge and that it is written in lucid and correct English and submitted in approved form.

4. Register for dissertation research credits

Contact the office of Heather Rose (hrose@med.miami.edu) for questions regarding dissertation credit registration.

5. Maintain regular contact with the dissertation committee regarding status of dissertation

The candidate is well advised to have a final, acceptable typescript of the dissertation in the hands of each member of his/her committee at a time reasonably in advance of the final defense of the work, at minimum two weeks prior to the defense.

6. Schedule a defense

A final public oral defense of the dissertation is required. Once the committee provides approval to schedule the defense, the student must work with the committee to determine the best date/time and notify the office of Heather Rose (hrose@med.miami.edu) to reserve a room. The Defense Notice Form must be submitted to the Graduate School. This form is submitted through Dynamic Forms online.

The student should check the defense and submission deadlines posted on the Graduate School’s website for the defense deadline date set for the semester in which they wish to graduate, and defend his/her dissertation by that deadline. It is recommended that the student begin the process early in the semester by discussing with their committee a suitable timetable for meeting this and other deadlines, and that they allow for time to make revisions to their dissertation after the defense. ETD Submission Deadlines By Semester

7. Follow dissertation guidelines

It is the duty of the student to acquire a copy of the Graduate School guidelines for preparing dissertations and to conform to the requirements therein.

All information pertaining to the formatting and electronic guidelines for electronic dissertation submission can be found at: Formatting the ETD

8. Submit dissertation draft to Dissertation Editor for review

The Graduate School encourages students to contact the Dissertation Editor early in the semester at grad.dissertation@miami.edu if they have questions regarding any aspect of the Electronic Dissertation (ETD) process.

9. Submit Dissertation Editor-approved dissertation to the Graduate School

The student must submit a hard copy of his/her final, Dissertation Editor-approved dissertation with all corrections completed to the Graduate School on or before the semester deadline stated in the Academic Calendar.

10. Upload Dissertation Editor-approved PDF to the ETD database

The student must upload one Dissertation Editor-approved PDF conforming in style to the standards set by the Graduate School to the ETD database on or before the semester deadline stated in the Academic Calendar.

11. Submit final paper work to the Graduate School

Each dissertation must be accompanied by one original Certificate of Defense Approval for Doctoral Dissertation signed by all members of the committee. All other paperwork requirements for the Graduate School are outlined in the ETD procedures, www.miami.edu/etd.

Note: No student gains the right to be recommended for the degree simply by fulfilling requirements. This right is reserved to the student’s committee. Changes of committee members must be approved by the Graduate Program Director and sent to the Graduate School.