Completion of Degree

Each Ph.D. candidate is required to complete an in-depth, original, independent, research project with results that are acceptable for publication in high quality peer reviewed journals. The results are assembled into a Dissertation and the Dissertation research is also presented by the student at a public seminar, followed by an oral examination, i.e., the dissertation defense. The Thesis Committee must formally approve the written dissertation, certifying that it represents a significant original contribution to the scientific knowledge base and that the candidate has succeeded in the oral defense. Before a student can defend, a first-author manuscript that is approved by the thesis committee must be submitted for publication.

How to complete your degree:
  • Schedule a Thesis Defense Seminar 
    • First with the IPN director (for approval) and IPN program coordinator
  • You must Apply to Graduate (no more than 3 months in advance)
  1. Log in to MyAccess.
  2. Click the Student tab
  3. Click the Student Records link
  4. Click Apply to Graduate

Note that this needs to be done before the 1st of April for a May graduation. Your application expires in 3 months or when a new semester starts, whichever comes first. If you don't graduate in that time window, you must Apply to Graduate again.

  • Go to this website for info on all the stuff you must do to graduate
  • Go to this website for info on even more stuff you must do to graduate.

Note: Some of these files won't download properly in Microsoft Internet Explorer. 
This website has:

  • Guidlines for Thesis Writers',
  • Dissertation Proposal' (filed at least a semester before completion of your degree)
  • Thesis Template'
  • Dissertation Reviewers Report' (filed at least a week before your defense)
    Note, at the bottom of this form it tells you to email your abstract to and include your full name, title of your dissertation using the word DISSERTATION in the subject line.

​​Regarding Thesis Ballot and Thesis Cover Sheet: Contact the Program Coordinator (Becky) with your thesis title and thesis committee members, and she will generate your Thesis Ballot and Thesis Cover Sheet and deliver them to your thesiscommittee. After your defense, someone from the committee or the Program Coordinator will make sure that the Thesis Ballot gets signed by the IPN director and submitted to the Office of Biomedical Graduate Education.

Note: The Graduate School does not want YOU to turn in the Comprehensive Exam Ballot or the Thesis Ballot personally. Make a copy and then get an official person to do it.

Degrees are awarded in every month except June. For July through January, the application is due on the first business day of the month the student plans to graduate. For students who wish to graduate in February, March, April, or May, the Application for Graduate Degree is due by the last day of Add/Drop in Spring Semester.

We do not accept students into a master's program, but we do award a master's in passing, and, in certain cases, a terminal master's degree. Speak to the chair of the Student Advisory Committee to learn the requirements for a master's degree from the IPN.

If a student is requesting a master's in passing, a Student Petition for Change to Program must be completed before the student will be able to apply for the degree. A student interested in the M.A. or M.S. in passing should start the process with his or her graduate program and the Graduate School approximately 2-3 business days BEFORE the montly deadline to submit the web-based Application for Graduate Degree.