Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Dissertation Process


The dissertation must:

  • Be written on a subject approved by the candidate's doctoral program committee
  • Embody the results of original and significant investigation
  • Be the candidate's own work

Step 1: Forming a dissertation committee

The doctoral student should consult with his or her adviser about the program’s specific requirements for forming a dissertation committee. Often, the student’s dissertation committee will be the same as his or her program committee. More »

Step 2: Enrolling

The doctoral candidate must remain continuously enrolled to defend the dissertation. The dissertation can only be defended when MU is officially in session.

Continuous enrollment

Candidacy is maintained by enrolling in 9090 Research (or 9990 Research for some Engineering students) for two semester hours each fall and spring semester, and for one semester hour each summer session up to and including the term in which the dissertation is defended. Continuous enrollment provides access to an adviser's support, doctoral program committee guidance and university research facilities for completion of the dissertation. Failure to enroll continuously in 9090 Research until the doctoral degree is awarded terminates candidacy.

To maintain continuous enrollment, the student must self register for the required coursework each semester using myZou. Students without Internet access or those with other enrollment difficulties should contact the Office of Graduate Studies' doctoral academic advisor for registration assistance.

Step 3: Preparing the dissertation

Review the dissertation and thesis guidelines. The doctoral student should ask his or her adviser about specific formatting requirements or citation style.

All dissertation defenses must be open to the general faculty. Academic programs are encouraged to announce dissertation defense dates to academic program colleagues.

Step 4: Reporting requirements

A Report of the Dissertation Defense form (D4), signed by all members of the doctoral committee, must be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies before the deadline preceding the anticipated date of graduation.

For the dissertation to be successfully defended, the student's doctoral committee must vote to pass the student on the defense with no more than one dissenting or abstaining vote.

Step 5: Submission

The dissertation is presented to the Office of Graduate Studies electronically via Canvas or on a high-quality CD which is readable on a standard Windows PC. There are 3 acceptable methods of submission:

• Using Canvas is the preferred method of submission. Through Canvas, you will be able to
access all of the requirements for the submission process. You will also be given an option to
electronically submit most of your files. This will replace the requirement to submit your materials on a CD. If
you would like to utilize Canvas for your submission, you can enroll yourself through the following

  1.  Log into Canvas:
  2.  Select "Courses" from the menu on the left‐hand side of the screen and click on the "All Courses" link
  3.  Click "browse more courses" and search key words "graduate studies"
  4.  Find the correct course, either "Doctoral (PhD, EdD) Dissertation Submissions" or "Master's Thesis Submissions" and click on the "Join this Course" button.
  5.  The next time you log into Canvas, the course will be listed with the rest of your Canvas courses

• You can submit your materials in person to the Office of Graduate Studies in 210 Jesse Hall.
• You can mail your materials to our office at this address:

Office of Graduate Studies
210 Jesse Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

Paper documents that accompany the electronic submission

The only documents that are required to be submitted in hard copy form are the Processing Fee Statement and the ProQuest Publishing Agreement form