College of Science and Health | DePaul University > Student Resources > Office of Advising & Student Services > Graduate Advising > Degree Requirements > Dissertation Requirements

Dissertation Requirements

At DePaul University, to facilitate registration and other requirements, dissertation refers to the research and document required for the completion of a PhD.  All forms referenced in these requirements can be found in the Forms Library.  This page contains information you will need about dissertation requirements from the inception to the completion of your project.

1. The graduate student must have a preliminary conference with his/her departmental faculty advisor or program director to decide on a research topic and faculty director of the projected dissertation.

2. Once the research topic and dissertation director have been chosen, the student must submit a dissertation proposal: a written formal statement of the topic and plan of execution for the research. Your advisor/director will let you know what form the proposal should take.

3. The composition of the committee that will supervise your dissertation should be worked out between you and your dissertation director. The number of members needed on a dissertation committee may vary; check with your advisor. Once the proposal has been approved, a copy of the completed Approval of Proposal for Final Project Form must be emailed to the graduate student services administrator at in the College of Science and Health's Office of Advising and Student Services.  Please keep a copy of the completed form and of the proposal as approved for your own records.

4. The dissertation must be produced in accord with the approved proposal. Each member of your dissertation committee must approve and sign the Final Requirements Report form,  which also must be emailed to the graduate student services administrator at

5. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian, is the handbook which indicates the format, technicalities of form, and mechanics of typing/printing required for dissertations, theses, and research papers. The only exception we make to Turabian's guidelines is the format for the title page. However, if your dissertation advisor determines that your dissertation (excepting the title page) would be more appropriately done in another format, follow the advisor's advice.

6. There are certain other requirements you will need to follow at various stages of your project, about which your director/advisor will inform you, such as how to register for dissertation credit hours, insuring candidacy continuation, taking qualifying exams, arranging a dissertation defense (if necessary), and meeting various deadlines. Make sure everyone on your committee is aware of what needs to be done and when.  Please consult the graduate student services administrator if you have any questions.

Dissertation Electronic Submission

Once the dissertation document is in its final form fully approved and purged of all errors - and in the correct format (see #5 above) - you must email an electronic PDF version of the dissertation, an Author Submission form and Abstract & Keywords form, to the graduate student services administrator at

The graduate student services administrator in the Office of Advising and Student Services​ will arrange for the electronic archival of your dissertation with the DePaul University Libraries.  All required forms can be downloaded from the Forms Library.

If your department requires a bound dissertation, please contact the department for the binding requirements and options.

Survey of Earned Doctorates 

Doctoral students are expected to complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED).  The SED is a federal agency survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago for the National Science Foundation and five other federal agencies (National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration).  

The SED gathers information annually from approximately 48,000 new U.S. research doctorate graduates about their educational histories, funding sources, and post-doctoral plans. Each year the SED data are added to a larger historical record of doctorate-degree graduates, the Doctorate Records File (DRF). Begun in 1920, the DRF contains annual information used to track the number of graduates in various fields; the educational paths of scientists, engineers, and humanists; movement of graduates into the labor market; and similar information. 

The graduate student services administrator in the Office of Advising and Student Services will email the SED li​nk to graduating doctoral students for them to complete.