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Ph.D. Dissertation

After successful completion of the Candidacy Exam students work primarily on research. Students are nominally expected to finish their degrees within approximately three years of their admission to candidacy.

Dissertation Committee:

In consultation with the dissertation adviser, the student selects a dissertation committee composed of the adviser plus a minimum of two other eligible members of the Astronomy Graduate Faculty. By the end of the semester in which the Candidacy Examination is passed, the student should notify the Graduate Studies Committee of the members of the dissertation committee.

Dissertation Proposal:

Within one year after successful completion of the Candidacy Examination, students are expected to submit in writing a dissertation proposal and to make a formal dissertation proposal presentation to their dissertation committee.


The student must prepare a dissertation of original scientific research according to University guidelines.

Final Oral Exam:

The student must pass a final oral dissertation defense.  The committee for the oral exam will include the Dissertation Committee plus an external faculty member chosen by the Graduate School. The Graduate School requires a minimum of two weeks advance notice for scheduling a final oral exam.

Additional Information

Additional information on the Dissertation Proposal, the Dissertation itself, and the Final Oral Exam can be found in the Astronomy Graduate Student Handbook.

Additional information from the Ohio State Graduate School.