A PhD student will not be able to remain in good standing with their academic and research progress if they do not have a research advisor. A student who is without a research/dissertation advisor for a period of 3 months may be placed on probation or terminated from the PhD program.
In instances where the research is highly interdepartmental, the student, with permission of the advisor, may request that the M.S.E. degree be awarded by another department in the Whiting School of Engineering. In such cases, the student must have satisfied M.S.E. degree requirements and receive approval of the awarding department, as well as satisfied M.S.E. degree requirements of the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering and receive approval from our Department Chair. In all cases, the awarding of any JHU M.S.E. degree to a civil and systems engineering PhD student may only occur after the student has completed the DQE.
The student should provide a copy of the dissertation to the GBO committee at least 2 weeks prior to the exam. The exact format of each GBO examination is specified by the individual Chair of the GBO committee; however, a typical format is described here. The public thesis defense is conducted (see below) followed by a private examination conducted by the GBO committee. The examination questions may be on any topic of the committee members’ choosing, but many of the questions relate to the student’s research. At the conclusion of the examination, the GBO committee will recommend one of the following outcomes: pass, conditional pass, fail with re-examination, fail (final).
Ethics. The department is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of academic and research integrity. Plagiarism, and other forms of unethical conduct, are not tolerated. Students are referred to the JHU Graduate Board Policies webpage and the Whiting School of Engineering’s Responsible Conduct of Research Policy for a discussion of ethics and university policies.
Thesis Readers. A committee of at least 3 members is required to read the candidate’s dissertation and sign the Readers Letter confirming that the dissertation meets the standards of a PhD thesis. The letter may be signed at the time of the defense if the thesis is found satisfactory, or may be signed at a later time if corrections are required. The Advisor in consultation with the department selects the committee members, at least 2 of whom must be full-time faculty of our department. The 3 readers are also expected to serve on the GBO committee. Selection of the readers should be done at the beginning of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. It is the student’s responsibility to keep the committee members apprised of all deadline dates.
Scheduling and Pre-Defense. The Defense should be scheduled, at least 4 weeks in advance through the department’s Academic Program Coordinator. A complete written dissertation should be given to the GBO committee at least 14 days in advance of the exam. Failure to meet this 2 week deadline will result in rescheduling the PhD defense and GBO exam. A thesis abstract suitable for advertising the defense should be delivered to the Academic Program Coordinator at least 14 days in advance. The date and place of the Defense, along with the thesis abstract, will be circulated by the department 5-7 days prior to the exam.
Post-Defense. Completion of the PhD requirements typically takes 4-8 weeks after a successful defense examination. All data and source codes related to the thesis should be properly archived according to requirements set forth by the Advisor. Any changes or additions specifically requested by the reviewers before or during the defense seminar should be incorporated into the thesis in consultation with the Advisor. A final copy of the thesis must then be made available to the reviewers for inspection no less than 48 hours before the deadline date for filing set by the Graduate Board.
Additional Information. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of requirements and deadlines. It is suggested that this information be obtained before the start of the semester of intended graduation. All students should plan timing of the final defense accordingly (making sure to account for the 4-8 week period following the defense) to satisfy any deadlines related to upcoming graduation or exhaustion of funding.
University requirements for the thesis can be obtained from the Graduate Board web site. Information sheets entitled “Dissertation Requirements” are available to student and contain details on the form, cost and timing for submitting the thesis. Doctoral Theses must be submitted to both the ETD (Library) and the department. The deadline date for filing is set by the Graduate Board Office. This date also applies to filing with the Whiting School Graduate Committee and with the department. A receipt of ETD approval email must be sent to the Academic Program Coordinator and the Graduate Board/WSE Office of Academic Affairs (for M.S.E students).