Skip navigation


Before undertaking dissertation research, the student must submit a research proposal to his or her prospective dissertation advisor for evaulation. The proposal may be the Ph.D. research paper, a research paper written in a field course, or an original ten page research proposal on a new topic. After approval of the proposal by the prospective dissertation advisor, the student may enroll in Econ 799 and conduct dissertation research under the supervision of his or her advisor.

The dissertation will be a substantial contribution to knowledge in which the students exhibits original scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research. Its subject must be in the area of the student's major and be approved by the student's dissertation director or dissertation committee. The dissertation presents research that has been conducted by the student under the supervision of a senior member of the graduate faculty from, and nominated by, the Department of Economics and approved as the dissertation director by the Dean of the Graduate School. The research must be successfully defended in an oral examination, and the author must demonstrate to his or her committee satisfactory command of all aspects of the work presented. The dissertation is to be submitted in accordance with the Graduate School regulations found in The Graduate School Manual for Thesis and Dissertations.

Once a student has begun registration in ECON 799 (Doctoral Research and Dissertation), the student must continue to register in ECON 799 in each subsequent term (including summer semesters) until the dissertation is submitted to and formally approved by the Graduate School. Registration for this purpose may be in absentia. If circumstances prohibit continuing progress on the dissertation, a graduate student must request a leave of absence from the office of the Dean of the Graduate School. If a student interrupts registration in ECON 799 without obtaining a leave of absence, his or her admission to the program will be terminated if the department so recommends.

Oral Defense of Dissertation

After the student has completed all other requirements for the doctorate, including the writing of a dissertation, an oral defense of the dissertation will be scheduled. The defense will consist of two parts: a public presentation with opportunity for questions from any interested parties, and a restricted examination session with the dissertation defense committee. At the discretion of the department, members of the university’s graduate faculty and/or graduate students from the Department of Economics may be permitted to be present at the restricted session.

A student must be registered in the term of the oral defense of the dissertation and must be in good academic standing, both overall and in the degree program, to be eligible to submit a dissertation to the Graduate School or to have a dissertation defense


Jeremy Groves 
Director of Graduate Studies 
Zulauf Hall 510
Phone: 815-753-5747

Debra Woolbright
Graduate Secretary 
Zulauf Hall 515
Phone: 815-753-1032