Dissertation Proposal Announcement

Each student is required to pass an oral examination defending the proposed dissertation.  This proposal defense must be publicly announced to all Joint Doctoral Program faculty, staff, and students a minimum of two weeks’ before the defense date.  Announcements are sent by e-mail.  The proposal defense can be scheduled any time after completion of the core coursework and second year project.  There is no need to wait until the clinical or the area comprehensive examinations are completed.  In fact, we encourage students to propose dissertations early so that there is enough time to collect the data before going on internship.

Dissertation Announcement Template

The following is the procedure for submitting the abstracts for the dissertation proposal:

  1. The abstract for the dissertation proposal must be no longer than one page, single spaced using 12 point font.
    1. the problem under investigation, in one sentence if possible;
    2. the subjects, specifying pertinent characteristics, such as number, type, age, sex, and species;
    3. the experimental method, including the apparatus, data-gathering procedures, and complete test names or generic names and the dosage of any drugs, particularly if the drugs are novel or important to the study;
    4. the anticipated findings, including statistical significance levels; and.
    5. the conclusions and the implications or applications
  2. The student must first submit the abstract to the Dissertation Chair well in advance of the time of the defense for it to be approved and forwarded for approval by the appropriate JDP Co-Director.
  3. After the student has made any necessary changes required by the Dissertation Chair, the abstract must be submitted by email to the appropriate Program Co-Director at SDSU or at UC San Diego. The email should include the student’s cell phone (or other phone numbers) so he/she can be called to discuss any questions or concerns the Co-Director may have; failure to be readily available by phone may significantly delay the approval process. To ensure that the Dissertation Chair has approved the abstract, the email sent to either Co-Director also must simultaneously be copied to the Dissertation Chair. Failure to copy it to the Dissertation Chair may delay the public announcement and may mean that you will need to re-schedule the entire defense. The public announcement must occur at least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense date. Failure to meet this requirement may result in a forced delay of the dissertation defense to meet the two week minimum.
  4. The Co-Director(s) may ask you to make changes in the abstract. These requests will be sent to both you and your dissertation chair. The public announcement will not be sent out until the co-director gives final approval.
  5. Response to the initial request to review the proposal abstract should be within a day or two. If either Co-Director does not respond within a couple of days, please contact the respective office to ensure that he or she is in town. Should either director be unavailable to review the dissertation proposal abstract in a timely fashion, the other Director can provide the review.
  6. Once the director has approved the abstract, it is ready to be sent for distribution. Submit the approved abstract by e-mail to both Program Coordinators, Lynsey Miller (lmiller@sdsu.edu) and and Kristin Deveraux (kdeveraux@ucsd.edu), making sure to copy this email to your dissertation chair and the Director who provided approval. Please follow the guidelines listed below when submitting the proposal abstract for distribution:
    1. The file should be a Word document.  The title of the file should be Dissertation Proposal Defense [Your complete name] [date of the defense].
    2. The email should read: Attached please find a copy of my dissertation proposal abstract.  It has been approved by [dissertation chair name] and [director name].
    3. The subject line should read [Your name] Dissertation Proposal Defense, and the email should be copied to your dissertation chair and the director who approved it.

The JDP office will need to keep an electronic copy of the email with the announcement indicating that the proposal was approved by the chair and the appropriate director. This copy will be maintained in the student’s electronic file. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that, prior to submitting the final announcement, information on the announcement is correct and that there are no typographical or grammatical errors. Please do not ask the SDSU Program Coordinator to make changes to the abstract or the announcement. The one exception would be a change of date.

Although the proposal defense will be open to the entire faculty, final determination of the content, including “passing” the defense of the proposal, rests with the dissertation committee. The exact same procedure for submitting the abstract must be followed for the final defense of the doctoral dissertation.

Dissertation Proposal Defense

Circulate a copy of your dissertation proposal to your entire committee at least a month before your scheduled proposal defense date. Your dissertation committee must formally approve your dissertation proposal before you can go forward and complete the dissertation.  Their approval is indicated by each member’s signature on JDP Form 3*.  This form should be completed and taken to the proposal defense. After the committee has approved the proposal and signed the form, the form also must be signed by both Co-directors. Once both Co-directors have signed the form, you have to take the form to the UC San Diego Cashier’s Office located on the first floor of the Student Services building.  The fee needs to be paid and the form itself needs to be validated in person. There should be metered parking in front of the building.  Currently, the fee is only $50 (even though the form says $90) and can be paid with cash or check only.  After you pay the fee and get it validated, you can give the form to the Program Coordinator to forward onto Patrick Walls (SDSU) in the Graduate Affairs Office for the SDSU Deans signatures; SDSU will forward it to UC San Diego once signatures have been obtained.

The dissertation proposal defense is a public meeting.

*PLEASE NOTE: If you defend your dissertation proposal BEFORE you have successfully completed your core coursework, turned in your second year project & signed cover sheet, passed your Clinical Comprehensive Exam, and/or passed your Emphasis Comprehensive Exam, you should still have your committee members sign the form and indicate whether or not the defense has been passed at your proposal defense. Leave the date blank for now where is asks if “The members of the Joint Doctoral Committee for the Qualifying Examination report that the candidate has completed all predissertation requirements in the major and taken the qualifying examination on (date)”. Please hold onto your form until all requirements have been met.  At that time, enter the date in which ALL these requirements have been successfully completed, then follow the directions posted above.