O'Dowd Hall, Room 520
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(248) 370-2700

Office Hours during Winter 2017 semester:
Monday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tuesday 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesday 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursday 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thesis/Dissertation Format Appointment Request 
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Doctoral Students

As a current Ph.D. student, it is your responsibility to comply with all Oakland University policies, procedures and applicable program requirements that govern your individual program of study.

Ph.D. Students
Important dates


January 4, 2017: Winter classes begin at 7:30 a.m. All doctoral students must be enrolled for a minimum of one credit of dissertation research after coursework and research credits are complete. Doctoral students should refer to Continuous Enrollment Policy in the Graduate Catalog. 

January 27, 2017: Final date for graduate students to submit the online application for graduation for Winter 2017 semester. 

March 15, 2017: Last day to defend Thesis, Dissertation or DScPT report. The Doctoral Dissertation Defense Announcement Form must be submitted 2 weeks prior to your scheduled defense.  

March 22, 2017: Last day to obtain Thesis/Dissertation or DScPT report format approval from Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning. You must meet with the Thesis/Dissertation Coordinator for final draft review. You must complete ALL FORMAT CORRECTIONS and attain format approval from Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, no later than MARCH 22. If you do not meet approval by this date, you will be denied graduation for Winter 2017 and must update your graduation semester. 

March 29, 2017: Last day to submit required copies of approved Thesis, Dissertation or DScPT report to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning for binding in fulfillment of degree requirements. 

April 18, 2017: Winter Classes end at 10:00 p.m. 

You may also download a hard copy of these important Winter 2017 deadlines

Format appointment requirements

When submitting a thesis or dissertation, three appointments are required with OU’s thesis/dissertation coordinator. Meetings are by appointment only; no walk-ins are accepted. Review the Guide for the Preparation of Thesis and Dissertations prior to your appointment. You should also review the Dissertation Process Flow and/or Thesis Process Flow.

First Appointment
Before defense, you must meet with the thesis/dissertation coordinator for initial review. It is expected that the thesis or dissertation being presented has been thoroughly examined for format compliance with the Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations before the pre-defense review, and any format errors have been resolved. During the pre-defense review, all sections of the thesis or dissertation (preliminary pages, chapters, appendices and references) will be examined, and necessary formatting revisions will be addressed, identified and resolved.

Second Appointment
After the thesis or dissertation has been defended successfully and all revisions required by the advisory committee have been completed and approved, you must make an appointment with the thesis/dissertation coordinator to present a clean, unbound copy for final approval. Final approval will be granted once it is concluded the manuscript complies with preparation guidelines and conforms to the university's standards. Copies on cotton content paper may not be printed, until format approval is given by the thesis/dissertation coordinator.

Third Appointment
To be considered for approval for graduation, three copies of the defended theses or dissertation that meets all format requirements, as well as all other required documents, must be submitted by the posted deadline for the intended semester of graduation.

Submit all materials to:

Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning
O’Dowd Hall, Room 520
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4482 
(248) 370-2700

Dissertation defense

There are three phases to a dissertation defense:

  1. Public Presentation of the Dissertation and Defense
    In the public lecture or presentation, the candidate is expected to share the results of his or her dissertation research with the Dissertation Committee and audience. This presentation may vary in length depending on the circumstances and discipline. At the end of this public presentation, members of the Dissertation Committee, as well as members, of the audience are encouraged to direct questions to the candidate pertaining to the research.

  2. The Dissertation Committee's Meeting with the Candidate
    At the conclusion of the public presentation and defense, the Dissertation Committee members will meet privately with the candidate to pose further questions about the candidate's research or to address issues related to the dissertation manuscript. The Dissertation Committee can ask the candidate to address these additional questions or changes to the manuscript. The chair presides at this meeting.

  3. Evaluation of the Candidate's Performance
    Upon completion of the public presentation and defense and the private meeting, the Dissertation Committee members, in the absence of the candidate and the audience, discuss the candidate's performance and decide whether or not she or he has passed the defense. The chair or one of the co-chairs leads the discussion and communicates the result to the candidate.

Ph.D. publishing

Oakland University requires all dissertations to be published through ProQuest Dissertation Publishing.

During the final dissertation submission process, the research doctoral candidate (author) will complete and sign a Doctoral Dissertation Agreement. The Agreement grants ProQuest a non-exclusive license to duplicate and distribute the dissertation and publish the abstract. The author retains the copyright in the dissertation, and keeps the right to publish the dissertation elsewhere, in book form or as separate articles. ProQuest takes care of the arrangements for (a) publishing the abstract in Dissertation Abstracts International; (b) preparing a microfilm copy of the dissertation; and (c) depositing microfilm copies in the University Graduate Library.

ProQuest offers an optional service to the author in which they will register the copyright, and deposit the required copies with the Copyright Office. The fee for this service is $55. Although registration is not required to preserve the author’s copyright, most copyright specialists feel that it is advisable.

Please note the author who decides not to register the copyright through ProQuest, can register the copyright on their own at some later date.

ProQuest Dissertation Publishing has been publishing dissertations and theses since 1938. During that time, more than two million graduate works have been published from graduate schools around the world. ProQuest Dissertation Publishing has more than 700 active university publishing partners, and publishes more than 70,000 new graduate works each year.

  • One copy of dissertation on bright white 24 lb. paper.
  • ProQuest abstract (350 word maximum) that matches abstract in dissertation.
  • Two title pages with no signatures: one for dissertation copy and one to be attached to ProQuest Agreement form with abstract.
  • Completed and signed ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Agreement form. ProQuest requires the agreement form (pages 4 and 5) to be filled out in its entirety. Pages 6 and 7 are to be completed only if you request copyright registration or ProQuest bound copies/microfiche.
  • If material copyrighted by others is included in the dissertation, attach two copies of the copyright permission letter(s) from the copyright owner(s). Such letter(s) should state that ProQuest may supply copies on demand.
  • If dissertation contains executable software owned by another party, attach two copies of a letter from the owner of the software license granting permission to use it. Such letter(s) should state that ProQuest may supply copies on demand.
  • ProQuest service fee (required for all students) = $65
  • For an additional fee, ProQuest offers an open access option, in which ProQuest makes digital copies of your dissertation available as a free download.
  • ProQuest copyright registration (you must sign “YES” on the Copyright Registration Form, page 6 of agreement, and the fee is $55).
  • Bound copies or microfiche (you must complete the order form, page 7 of Agreement).

OU faculty, staff and students can access graduate works online through ProQuest and the Kresge Library’s Dissertations & Theses @ OU database. When accessing from off campus, you may be prompted for a name and ID number by the library database access system. Learn how to view OU dissertations published through ProQuest. 

Ph.D. survey
The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) is a federal agency survey conducted by NORC for the National Science Foundation which gathers information annually from 45,000 new U.S. research doctorate graduates.

As part of the dissertation submission process, OU Ph.D. candidates ONLY must complete the online Survey of Earned Doctorates .

Once your approved dissertation has been submitted to the thesis/dissertation coordinator, you will be asked to visit the Survey of Earned Doctorates site and register to complete the NORC survey online. Access information to NORC, including your PIN and password, will be confirmed immediately via the email address you provided as part of the online registration process.

Completion of the survey takes approximately 10 minutes.

After completing the survey, please print the certificate and submit it to the thesis/dissertation coordinator to indicate the SED was completed.

Graduate Study
O’Dowd Hall, Room 520
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4482
(248) 370-2700

Clinical Doctoral
Doctoral Research Project

Professional or practice-based doctoral programs culminate in the completion of a terminal doctoral research project. The terminal doctoral research project may be qualitative or quantitative in nature and can include (but is not limited to) randomized clinical trials, intervention studies, comparison studies, single subject methods, meta-analytic designs, integrative literature reviews, or other discipline specific projects demonstrating excellence. Professional or practice-based doctoral students must carefully check individual disciplines for specific graduate program terminal doctoral research project requirements.

Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy