Dissertation and Dissertation Defense


The doctoral dissertation should present, in a self-contained manner, the results of research which makes a new and original contribution to knowledge in mathematics or, for students specializing in mathematics education, in mathematics education. The results should have the quality of work publishable in peer-reviewed journals.

The student must take a final oral exam defending the dissertation. The advisory committee acts as the exam committee. As the date for the exam approaches, the student should periodically provide drafts of the dissertation to the committee. The student must provide a final draft of the dissertation to members of the advisory committee at least three weeks before the dissertation defense.

The dissertation presentation should be announced on the department's bulletin board and electronically. The presentation is open to all faculty members and graduate students in the Department of Mathematics, all members of the OSU Graduate Faculty, and anyone else who obtains the permission of the committee.

The dissertation defense begins with a formal lecture by the student on the results of the dissertation. Questions by all those present are allowed. After the public portion of the defense is completed, the advisory committee may question the student further. Then the student shall be excused, and the committee shall determine the result of the exam on the basis of the oral defense. The committee must submit the dissertation defense form to the Graduate College and should give a copy to the graduate coordinator.

In decisions resulting from a vote of the advisory committee (e.g., qualifying exam, dissertation proposal, dissertation defense, approving a dissertation), a pass requires that the advisor vote in the affirmative and that no more than one member of the committee dissent.

If the student fails this exam, the advisory committee shall determine whether and under what conditions a second exam may be taken. If the student fails to meet the conditions imposed by the advisory committee, or fails a second exam, then the Graduate Committee may dismiss the student from the program. Appeals to such dismissal must be filed in writing with the Graduate Committee within 10 working days of the dismissal.

If the student passes this exam, the advisory committee shall determine whether to approve the dissertation itself and what revisions are necessary before the dissertation can be submitted to the Graduate College. The dissertation must conform to the guidelines for dissertation preparation established by the Graduate College. The student must make any changes in the dissertation required by the committee and by the Graduate College and submit the dissertation in final form signed by the committee to the Graduate College.

The student's successful defense of the dissertation and submission of the dissertation in acceptable form complete the doctoral program.