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Graduate School

Checklist for Doctoral Students

  • Obtain copy of a departmental handbook or other documents outlining specific program requirements from the graduate program director and review these documents.
  • Complete the prerequisite/deficiency requirements early in the program. If applicable, request the advisor to submit a letter to the Graduate School stating prerequisite/deficiency requirements noted in the admission letter have been completed.
  • Select a major professor.
  • Select topic for the dissertation research in consultation with the major professor.
  • Select a supervisory committee. A minimum of four graduate faculty (including the major professor) who are approved members of the KSU Graduate Faculty, one of whom must be from outside the program, serve as the supervisory committee. Check with the major professor or department to determine if there are departmental or program requirements regarding composition of the supervisory committee. If a faculty member from another university is selected, a vita is required.
  • Prepare a program of study in consultation with the major professor and supervisory committee. Review Information for Doctoral Candidates. Note the program of study form can be downloaded from the Graduate School website. The program of study should be submitted after completing 9 hours of graduate credit.
  • Schedule a meeting with the supervisory committee to discuss the following: language requirements (if any), program of study, preliminary examination, residency requirement (if any), courses, and dissertation topic. Obtain supervisory committee's signature on the approved program of study. It is suggested to provide a copy of the proposed program of study to the supervisory committee prior to the meeting.
  • Submit to the Graduate School the original and 1 copy of the approved Program of Study signed by all members of the supervisory committee, the major professor, the department head or the graduate program director, and the student.
  • If changes need to be made to the Program of Study at a later date, submit the Program/Committee Change form to the KSU Graduate School. This form can be downloaded from the Graduate School website.
  • Preliminary Examinations and/or Qualifying Examination-Written & Oral Preliminary Examinations should be scheduled a minimum of 7 months prior to date of graduation. The majority of your coursework should be completed. Check with the department or major professor to determine when to schedule the Preliminary/Qualifying Examinations and for further information.
  • Submit Request for Preliminary Examination Ballot to the Graduate School at least one month prior to the date of the examination(s). Note: Required form is available on the Graduate School website.
  • Submit the signed ballot to the Graduate School within one week following the completion and determination of the results of the examination. Retain a copy for personal file and give one copy to the major professor.
  • Enroll continuously for the Fall and Spring semesters after passing the preliminary examination. If living more than 30 miles from Manhattan, you should contact the Graduate School for enrollment information. NOTE: Check the date of completion of the preliminary examination.
  • Approval of Proposal. Follow specific departmental guidelines for preparation and presentation, if applicable for the proposal. Follow departmental timelines for submission of proposal to the supervisory committee.
  • Obtain approval form from Institutional Review for Use of Human Subjects and/or Animals, or other compliance requirements, if applicable, prior to collecting data. Please Note: If using human subjects or animals you will have to go through the Training and Educational Modules for Researchers. This is mandatory for IRB approval. Please see the University Research Compliance Office for more information and to complete the training modules.
  • Collect and analyze data.
  • Write dissertation following departmental guidelines and formatting specified by the Graduate School. 
  • Contact the outside chairperson who was selected by the Graduate School to serve as the chair for your final examination (defense) to determine available dates to schedule the defense. This contact should be made at least a month before the possible defense date.
  • Provide members of the supervisory committee a copy of the dissertation a minimum of 10 working days prior to the scheduled defense.
  • Submit the Approval to Schedule Final Examination form signed by the major professor, department head or graduate program director, all committee members, and the outside chair to the Graduate School 10 working days prior to the examination. Note: You must be enrolled the semester you defend your dissertation. The number of hours needed for enrollment will depend upon your employment status with the University. A copy of the abstract and abstract title page should also be submitted at this time. The Graduate School will send an email message to you whether or not the degree requirements have been satisfied. Note: Deadlines to graduate each semester are on the Graduate School website. If you do not graduate the same semester in which you defend, you must still maintain continuous enrollment in the fall and spring semesters and in the semester you graduate.
  • Complete KSIS Graduation Application.
  • Submit the final examination ballot to the Graduate School after signatures of the Supervisory Committee and outside chair have been obtained. Retain one copy for personal file and give one copy to the major professor.
  • Make revisions to the dissertation based on feedback obtained from the committee. Work closely with the major professor in preparing the final copy of the electronic dissertation.
  • Submit ETDR (electronic theses/dissertations/reports) final electronic submission ballot to the Graduate School after major professor's signature has been obtained.
  • Complete the online questionnaires, surveys, and K-State Alumni Association information. Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates.
  • Pay appropriate fees to the Cashier's Office in Anderson Hall.
  • If attending commencement, deadlines and information about the event are available on the Graduate School website.


Doctoral Degree Checklist