Dissertation Thesis Calculator

Step 1: Determine your department's timelines and content requirements.

Step 2: Determine which of the following resources can most usefully serve as guides while you draft your proposal.

Step 3: Return to your Research Questions (Stage 2)

Step 4: As you develop the proposal, determine how you will work with your primary advisor, your dissertation chair, and your dissertation committee.

  • Some Thoughts on Dissertation Proposal Writing
    Dr. Chris M. Golde, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • "The Holy Grail: In Pursuit of the Dissertation Proposal"
    Michael Watts, Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • "Dissertation Proposal Workshop: Timeline"
    Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • "Dissertation Proposal and Proposal Meeting"
    University of Texas at Austin
  • "Preparing the Proposal" (points 8-16)
    "Writing and Presenting Your Thesis or Dissertation"
    S. Joseph Levine, Michigan State University
  • Some Expectations for Dissertation/Proposal Writing
    Prof. Colleen Capper, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Your dissertation defense committee will have informed you that you passed your defense, or passed with minor revisions needed. In some cases, substantial revisions are needed before the committee members agree to pass the dissertation. The procedures, requirements, and timelines for completing the dissertation process may vary depending on the department and college with which you are affiliated and the type of doctorate you will receive. Once any needed revisions have been completed and approved, you are ready to finish the dissertation and submit the final version to the Graduate School.  


  • Many departments have their own handbooks to guide students through the process with timelines and specific academic style guidelines. Consult the details in the doctoral handbook for your department and college.
  • Review the Doctoral Dissertation Submission requirements found on the Graduate Student Services and Progress Office website. Follow the steps outlined
    for Doctoral Dissertation Submission.

Tips from the Libraries:

  • When submitting your dissertation consider your rights as an author. For example, you may want to retain your legal rights to the copyright for your work.
  • A copy of your dissertation is submitted to the University Digital Conservancy (UDC) for long term, open access and archiving.
    • You will retain your rights to your dissertation when submitting it to the UDC.  
    • The UDC copy of your dissertation will be freely available for you and others to read and link to with a permanent url. 
    • Learn more about the benefits of the UDC for your dissertation.
  • A copy of your dissertation is submitted to ProQuest/UMI Dissertation Publishing making information about your dissertation available through ProQuest Digital Dissertations. The full text of your dissertation will be available through libraries that subscribe to this product or copies may be purchased. You may also opt to make your dissertation available on an open access basis via ProQuest Open Access Publishing.  


Once you have completed the committee, departmental, and graduate school requirements regarding the dissertation, you're almost done. Now it is time for personal and professional considerations. Find a way to bring closure to the dissertation and the doctorate as a goal, deadline, and benchmark in your life and look ahead to the future and the next steps in your career. Taking time to celebrate your achievements, honor and appreciate those who have helped along the way, and refocus your activities will help you articulate and pursue new goals for research, publications, teaching, and community service.

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