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 set a defense date and subsequently defend, a first-author manuscript that is approved by the thesis committee must be submitted for publication.

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 Master’s in passing should start the process with his or her graduate program approximately 2-3 business days before the monthly deadline to submit the web-based Application for Graduate Degree.

How to Complete Your Degree

Request approval for the IPN Director and IPN coordinator before scheduling.

View the How to Graduate page for detailed steps on how to apply for graduation.

Please view the Dissertation, Doctoral Project, and Thesis Information page for the following information:

  • Guidelines for Thesis Writers’
  • Dissertation Proposal (filed at least a semester before the completion of your degree)
  • Thesis Template
  • Dissertation Reviewers Report (filed at least a week before your defense)

Contact the IPN Program Coordinator with your thesis title and thesis committee members. The coordinator will generate your Thesis Ballot and Thesis Cover Sheet and deliver them to your thesis committee. 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 Biomedical Graduate Education.

Complete the Electronic Thesis & Defense (ETD) Release Form and Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) Form. The forms can be found on the GSAS Academic Forms page.