Progress Towards Degree Requirement

You must show progress towards the completion of your dissertation at the department's end of year conference, held late in the spring semester, during years four and five of your graduate study. Failure to do so will impact good standing with the program and may impact your funding.

Timeline for Dissertation

The dissertation should be completed within two years of passing the preliminary examination.

When the dissertation is completed, you must submit it to the Graduate School for a format check at least one week prior to the scheduled defense examination. The chair of your committee in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies will schedule a defense of the dissertation, which is conducted by your advisory committee and open to the public.


Preparation requirements for your dissertation are detailed in the Duke Graduate School Guide for the Electronic Submission of Thesis and Dissertations.

The format of the dissertation can be a typical format such as a book, or a collection of three research essays. In either case, the dissertation should be your original research.