- To establish a Guidance Committee, complete the Appointment of Committee form at least 2 semesters before your qualifying examination.
- To establish a Dissertation Committee, complete the Appointment of Dissertation Committee form as soon as possible after passing your qualifying examination.
If you need to change your Guidance, or Dissertation Committee, complete the Change of Committee form as soon as possible. Follow the same steps as for establishing your committee.
This form should be completed at least 30 days before start of the examination. Requirements for the Qualifying Examination are: a minimum of 24 units in residence, a GPA of at least 3.0, and a Guidance Committee approved and on record.
Annual Research Appraisal: After advancing to candidacy, progress on dissertation research by each student is evaluated annually with an Annual Research Appraisal (ARA) conducted by the Dissertation committee. A student’s Ph.D. thesis committee’s goal is to guide the student, and that this happens through annual research appraisals (that can occur more frequently if the student needs it) and that these meetings are documented on this specific form that is kept in the student file. Prior to the meeting with the committee, students submit a short written document describing their research (significant experiments, problems, projected studies) to the Dissertation Committee and then have a closed meeting with the Dissertation Committee. The ARA meeting is intended to be a working session between the student and his or her committee in which results and problems are discussed and the student presents a plan for the next year of work. A satisfactory ARA is required of every student for every year in residence after advancement to candidacy. It is the student’s responsibility schedule this meeting with the committee and find a location and time that works for everyone.
For most recent information, please visit the USC Graduate School website. (See also the Graduation Paperwork Checklist)
Sequence for Submission
Before the defense:
* Download the Approval to Submit Defended & Final Copy of Doctoral or Master’s Work.
* Download a Signature Page
* Defend your dissertation or thesis
*Obtain the necessary signatures on the Approval to Submit and the Signature Page. Scan and save in PDF format.
Create a profile in WebThesis, the Graduate School’s thesis and dissertation online processing website.
* Take the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). Only the first section is required. Save the emailed completion receipt as a PDF.
* By the Documentation Deadline in the given term, submit a single email to the Graduate School at firstname.lastname@example.org, attaching the PDF of the completion receipt for the SED, the PDF of the Approval to Submit and the PDF of the signature page, by the documentation deadline.
Label each PDF as follows: last name, first name, WebThesis ID number, document type. (For example: TrojanTommy1234ApprovaltoSubmit.pdf.) Make the subject of the email “Thesis/Dissertation Submission Documents.”
The body of the email should consist of the student’s name, USC ID, WebThesis ID, name of program, and name of staff graduate advisor.
* Upload the manuscript for review in ProQuest in the form of a single PDF file before the upload deadline.
The Thesis Coordinator will review the manuscript and send an email notification that required format revisions are available in WebThesis. Normally this takes place within three weeks during peak submission times and sooner during off-peak times.
Make the requested revisions to the format and upload the manuscript to ProQuest a second time.
When the format revisions have been approved, an email will be generated with instructions for uploading to the USC Libraries.
Upload the approved manuscript to the USC Libraries.
The degree will normally be officially posted within a month.
Early Submission Option
Students who submit the necessary documentation a week or more before the add/drop deadline and who also upload the manuscript to the Graduate School by the add/drop deadline in a given term may take advantage of the Early Submission Option and are exempted from the requirement to register in 794 in that semester.
Paperwork is processed and manuscripts read in the order received. Students with new jobs or post-docs, and international students with visa concerns are strongly advised to plan their defense and submission dates accordingly.