This dissertation is prepared in close consultation with the thesis advisor. When embarking on a dissertation, the student selects a five-member dissertation committee, headed by the thesis advisor. In accordance with Graduate School rules, this committee must contain at least one CU faculty member from a department outside Linguistics. While a faculty member from another university may be appointed to the dissertation committee, this faculty member would not count as an outside committee member. In addition, a majority of the committee must consist of Linguistics department faculty members. The dissertation must be a substantial piece of work based on your original research, and must constitute a worthwhile contribution to knowledge in the area treated. A dissertation should constitute a resource that will be of use to scholars decades from its filing date. This means that it must be written in an accessible manner, without jargon or formalism that may be impenetrable to future scholars. This also means that it should not be focused on current controversies in the field. You should keep all members of your dissertation committee aware of the progress of the work, and make sure all of them are aware of difficulties that may require changes in the plans set out in your prospectus. The dissertation must meet the general requirements of the Graduate School, and is usually judged technically by the standards used to evaluate research for publication in a leading professional journal in the same area of scholarship. The Graduate School has a set of rules and deadlines for submission of the dissertation and scheduling of the dissertation defense.
The dissertation defense, which is a public event, typically consists of a presentation of the dissertation findings by the candidate, followed by questions and comments from the dissertation committee. The committee will then deliberate privately to determine whether the thesis is ready for submission to the Graduate School or whether, alternatively, the candidate will be required to revise the thesis prior to filing it. If revisions are required, the thesis advisor and a second reader (chosen in consultation with the advisor) will ensure that the requested revisions are made. Only the thesis advisor and second reader are required to sign the dissertation title page. The dissertation defense must occur by the last day of classes for the semester in question, unless permission is obtained in advance from all members of the committee for an alternate date. The dissertation is filed electronically.