Dissertation

Proposal Defense

At least two years prior to the dissertation defense, students must present a written proposal, in a format approved by the ENSSGC, for their dissertation work to their Doctoral Dissertation Committee. The proposal will be given to the Doctoral Dissertation Committee two weeks in advance of the meeting with the Committee. Students are encouraged to present an open seminar on the proposal prior to the meeting with the Doctoral Dissertation Committee for their proposal defense. At the completion of the examination, the Doctoral Dissertation Committee will vote to either pass or fail the student’s proposal defense. If two or more negative votes are cast by the committee members, the student is considered to have failed the proposal defense. Students who fail the proposal defense will have to repeat the defense within a semester of their first attempt. If the student fails the proposal defense for a second time, the student will be dismissed from the program, pending review by the ENSSGC.

Dissertation Defense

In order to complete the requirements for the Ph.D. degree, students will prepare and successfully define a written dissertation in accordance with the format and procedures dictated by the UALR Graduate School. Students must orally defend their completed Ph.D. research to their Doctoral Dissertation Committee. The date and location of the defense must be publicized at least two weeks in advance. The first part of this final examination will be open to the public and will consist of an open seminar by the student on the student’s dissertation research. This will be followed by a closed examination during which the student’s work will be examined by the Doctoral Dissertation Committee. This examination will follow the guidelines established by the UALR Graduate School. The examination can be wide-ranging, but it will usually utilize the student’s research as a starting point. At the completion of the examination, the Doctoral Dissertation Committee will vote to either pass or fail the student dissertation work. If two or more negative votes are cast by the committee members, the students is considered to have failed the final examination and will be dismissed from the program, pending review by the ENSSGC.

Doctoral Dissertation Advisor

Any ENSS program faculty can mentor any ENSS doctoral student as his/her dissertation advisor. The advisor is also the Chair of the student’s Doctoral Dissertation Committee. The doctoral student can declare an advisor, with their approval, no earlier than the second semester that he/she is in the program. A student admitted to the doctoral program is required to meet with faculty eligible to mentor him/her as dissertation advisor before the student can declare his/her dissertation advisor. As part of the process, the student will have to interact/work with at least three faculty members. These faculty members will send a written communication to the Graduate Coordinator by the end of the first semester indicating that they have had substantial interaction with the student on research-related topics. The written communication to the Graduate Coordinator needs to articulate the nature of the interaction, and will have to be on file before the approval of the dissertation advisor.

Doctoral Dissertation Committee

The Doctoral Dissertation Committee can be constituted once the ENSS student has declared his/her Doctoral Dissertation Advisor and no later than the second semester that the student has been in the program. All members of the Doctoral Dissertation Committee need to have UALR graduate faculty status. The committee will have a minimum of five members and a maximum of seven members. At least four members have to be ENSS program faculty. The committee can have one or more external members who are not ENSS program faculty. If the dissertation advisor and the doctoral student are affiliated with different tracks, it is required that at least one ENSS program faculty in the dissertation committee belong to the student’s track.