Your doctoral committee chairperson will supervise your dissertation preparation. When needed, members of the committee will advise you about the dissertation. You must pass your comprehensive examinations and have your dissertation topic approved by the committee before you enroll for dissertation (DISS 799).

If you are a doctor of education degree candidate your dissertation normally will be a study that will contribute to solving an important educational problem. If you are a doctor of philosophy degree candidate your dissertation will be a research problem that will contribute new knowledge or a new technique. If you are a doctor of arts degree candidate your dissertation may take the form of an original contribution to new knowledge; the production and use of innovative teaching materials such as the development of new teaching media, the writing of a textbook, or the designing of a curriculum or course of study; or the writing of a series of scholarly papers worthy of publication.

After your dissertation defense, you’ll need to file the following information with the Graduate School: 

  • Submit one final copy of the dissertation and an abstract electronically at
  • Submit the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Signature Page, the Final Approval Form, and the Dissertation Signature Page in hard copy directly to the Graduate School.

Although your department is responsible for determining the manual or form you need to follow in writing your dissertation, the Graduate School has specifications for typeface, spacing, and professional typing standards that you must follow. The Graduate School Requirements for Writing a Dissertation is available in the Graduate School office. Dissertations are microfilmed through University Microfilms, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan. You’ll need to pay a fee, plus an additional fee if a copyright is sought. You’ll need to pay this fee by money order after you upload your dissertation and abstract into the ETD site, and when you submit the required hard copy forms noted above to the Graduate School Office.