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Students will select a dissertation chair with approval from their academic advisor (who is usually the same individual) and with approval of the Department of Communication's Graduate Committee. The student and their dissertation chair will create a dissertation committee at the time the student begins to develop the dissertation proposal. The dissertation committee will include at least two additional faculty members from within the Department of Communication's graduate faculty. Students must also name at least one dissertation committee member from outside of the Department of Communication with approval of their dissertation chair and the Department of Communication's Director of Graduate Studies. The outside committee member can be from another department within University of Delaware, or a faculty member at a different institution. A dissertation committee will have no less than four members and no more than six total members. All Ph.D. dissertation committee members must hold a doctoral degree. Students must complete a Dissertation Committee Form and submit it to the Department of Communication's Graduate Program Coordinator, who will forward it to the Graduate College.
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A copy of the dissertation proposal must be available to the student’s dissertation committee members at least two weeks in advance of the proposal defense. The dissertation proposal defense will be scheduled only after the student’s advisor has determined that a defense is appropriate. Once the oral defense of the proposal is complete the Doctoral Degree Candidacy Recommendation Form must be completed, signed by all committee members, and submitted to the Department of Communication's Graduate Program Coordinator, who will forward it to the Graduate College.
The format of the thesis must adhere to the guidelines specified by the University's Thesis and Dissertation Manual.
Prior to scheduling a defense, the candidate must use iThenticate, the university-provided plagiarism detection software, to check their work. The advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies should receive a copy of the iThenticate report prior to submitting the final dissertation draft.
The dissertation defense will be scheduled only after the candidate’s advisor has determined that a defense is appropriate. The dissertation defense will be open to the public, with invitations sent to all Department of Communication faculty and graduate students at least one week prior to the defense date. A copy of the dissertation must be made available to dissertation committee members at least two weeks prior to the dissertation defense. The dissertation is expected to reflect the results of original and significant research written in a scholarly and literate manner worthy of publication. After a successful defense with the candidate’s committee, the dissertation must be approved by the dissertation chair, the Chairperson of the Department of Communication, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Dean of the Graduate College.
In addition, once the oral defense of the dissertation is achieved, the Certification of Doctoral Dissertation Defense form must be completed, signed by all committee members, and a PDF of the final dissertation must be submitted to the Department of Communication's Graduate Program Coordinator, who will forward it to the Graduate College.