Dissertation General Requirements

The Dissertation is the seminal achievement of the Ph.D. matriculation process. Completion and defense of a dissertation distinguishes the Ph.D. program from other programs in higher education and marks the student as an expert in a specific field or Area of Inquiry.

In general, dissertations consist of the following parts:

  • Statement of the problem or issue being addressed and an explanation of its importance
  • A thorough review of the relevant theoretical and other literature
  • An elaboration of the argument or thesis 
  • A discussion of the methodology 
  • A detailed presentation of the empirical findings
  • A conclusion
  • A bibliography

As a guide, dissertations (text and notes, minus the bibliography and ancillary quantitative material, if any) are minimally two hundred and fifty (250) pages in length and double-spaced. In mathematatically oriented disciplines such as economics, dissertations may be shorter. Dissertations must be written in Standard English, adhere to proper academic form, and be free of typographical errors. Dissertations that do not meet these criteria will not be admitted to a defense.

The final draft of the dissertation must be prepared in strict accordance with the instructions given by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School-Newark, Conklin Hall, Room 241.

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