Doctoral Dissertations

The culmination of the doctoral experience is completion of the dissertation.

A doctoral dissertation is the product of extensive original research and results in original contribution to the field. The resources below offer support for doctoral policies, guidelines and more. 

Dissertation Format Guidelines

Dissertation format guidelines vary by discipline. Be sure to follow the correct guideline as outlined below. 

Preparing to Graduate

Commencement and Regalia Information

The University of Michigan-Dearborn holds a commencement ceremony in December (until 2020) and April/May. Students who have completed a Degree/Diploma application for the term of the ceremony, or the Summer term before or after the ceremony are eligible to participate in commencement.

Students who will complete in a term not eligible for participation may petition the Office of the Registrar for an exception by sending an email to (please include name, UMID number, expected graduation term, college, the commencement participation request, and the rationale).

If you have not completed a Degree/Diploma Application, please visit Applying to Graduate for more information.

If you plan to participate in commencement, you must order your regalia (hood, gown, and tam) from the bookstore at least six weeks before the ceremony. The hood and gown can be rented or purchased. The tam must be purchased. 

Dissertation Defense and Completion of Degree Requirements

Deadlines by which a candidate must defend a dissertation and complete all degree requirements are published for each term. The deadline to have the degree conferred in the same term as a final term of enrollment is approximately six weeks before the end of a semester.  All students who wish to be considered for graduation and commencement participation must complete a Degree/Diploma application.

For complete information and deadline dates, please see Applying to Graduate/Doctorate Students.

Dissertation Guidelines and Procedures

Subject Librarians from the Mardigian Library complete the final check of dissertation formatting once content has been defended and any revisions have been made. 

The deadline to submit the final electronic copy accompanied by the Dissertation Submission Form is ten business days before the “Last Day to Complete All Requirements” date published on the Registrar’s Office site.  

Dissertation Release and Embargo Options

Doctoral dissertations and abstracts are normally made publicly available upon degree conferral when they are deposited electronically in Deep Blue. 

If a doctoral student wishes to postpone public release of the final dissertation, also called a dissertation embargo, the student should discuss embargo options with his or her faculty advisor. It is the student's responsibility to request an embargo of the dissertation. 

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