A successful German Studies Ph.D. dissertation will constitute a significant contribution to the field of German Studies. Following the preliminary exam (typically in the third year of study), you are expected to complete your dissertation chapter review during your fourth year of study, and to defend your dissertation by the end of the fifth year.
Format & Timing
The Ph.D. Committee
For the purpose of the preliminary examination, the Ph.D. committee consists of four faculty members, including the faculty advisor, selected by the student in consultation with their faculty advisor and the DGS. A fifth faculty member will be added to the committee for the dissertation defense. Typically, faculty from the preliminary exam will also serve on the dissertation review and dissertation defense committees.
Dissertation Chapter Review
In consultation with their advisor, students develop a dissertation project. Students submit to the dissertation review committee a chapter of 30-45 pages, a prospectus of the dissertation of at least 10 pages, and a comprehensive bibliography. The oral review lasts approximately 1-2 hours.
Dissertation Defense/Final Examination
When the student and the primary advisor are satisfied that a defensible draft is complete, they will offer it to the members of the committee for final approval and set a date for the final examination (also known as the thesis defense). The defense will usually be held as soon after submission of the final draft as is practical and in keeping with University and Graduate School requirements.
Dissertation Defense Form: This form must be filled out and submitted to Duke and UNC at least 10 calendar days before your defense date.