Essential Dates for Dissertation Defenses:

Important Dates for Spring 2020 Graduation

Applying to Graduate: Last week day in February; LATE Deadline April 8th (submitting a late application will result in an extra charge of $5)
Pre-Defense Meeting & Sending a Draft to the Director: 3 weeks before defense OR March 2, whichever is sooner.
Dissertation Defense: March 23
Final Draft to Graduate School: April 13
Ready for Printing*: April 30

*In order for a dissertation to be considered ready for printing, all edits must have been completed to the specifications of the Graduate School, the copies are paid for, and the routing information has been completed. The students will receive an email from Sharron Grimes after all edits have been completed that describes the final steps and includes paperwork that must be completed by the final deadline. Note that most dissertations take 2-3 rounds of editing before Graduate School approves them. The edits pertain to grammar and formatting in most circumstances.

All essential dates that the Graduate School has are listed on their website here: Essential Dates


The Dissertation is the final step in a student's journey to receving their doctorate. For more information please click on the links on the left-hand side of the page. 

Please read the Thesis and Dissertation Preparation page on the Graduate School website; it outlines the processes and procedures required by the Graduate School. Doctoral students in the dissertation phase are referred to as candidates or dissertators.

For any questions surrounding the dissertation processes, please contact the Program Associate (Audrey Jones; jonesam5@appstate.edu)

The Basic Steps for the Dissertation Process:

  1. Register for EDL 7999: Dissertation Research for two consecutive semesters
  2. Have the Pre-Defense Meeting
  3. Complete the Pre-Defense form and turn it in to the Program Associate
  4. Apply to Graduate
  5. Purchase Regalia
  6. Defend the Dissertation
  7. Edit the Dissertation
  8. Send the Dissertation to the Graduate School for their editing process
  9. Complete all final forms and print the Dissertation
  10. Graduate

Instututional Review Board (IRB) 

In order to begin work on the dissertation, a student must have an approved IRB. To learn more, please click the link above. 

The Dissertation Committee

In order to begin work on the dissertation, a student must have a fully formed dissertation committee that has been approved by the Graduate School. For more information please click the link above.