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Examples of prize-winning Ph.D. theses and dissertations

Each university has its own rules

❶Most PhDs will admit that there were times when we thought about reasons for not finishing.

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A thesis can also be rejected with a Latin remark non-rite , non-sufficit or worst as sub omni canone. Bachelor's and master's theses receive numerical grades from 1. In India the thesis defense is called a viva voce Latin for "by live voice" examination viva in short. Involved in the viva are two examiners and the candidate. One examiner is an academic from the candidate's own university department but not one of the candidate's supervisors and the other is an external examiner from a different university.

Engineering qualifications such as BTech, B. In all the cases, the dissertation can be extended for summer internship at certain research and development organizations or also as PhD synopsis. In Indonesia, the term thesis is used specifically to refer to master's theses.

The undergraduate thesis is called skripsi , while the doctoral dissertation is called disertasi. In general, those three terms are usually called as tugas akhir final assignment , which is mandatory for the completion of a degree. Undergraduate students usually begin to write their final assignment in their third, fourth or fifth enrollment year, depends on the requirements of their respective disciplines and universities.

In some universities, students are required to write a proposal skripsi or proposal tesis thesis proposal before they could write their final assignment.

If the thesis proposal is considered to fulfill the qualification by the academic examiners, students then may proceed to write their final assignment. In Italy there are normally three types of thesis. In order of complexity: Thesis requirements vary greatly between degrees and disciplines, ranging from as low as 3—4 ECTS credits to more than Thesis work is mandatory for the completion of a degree.

Malaysian universities often follow the British model for dissertations and degrees. However, a few universities follow the United States model for theses and dissertations. Branch campuses of British, Australian and Middle East universities in Malaysia use the respective models of the home campuses. In Pakistan, at undergraduate level the thesis is usually called final year project, as it is completed in the senior year of the degree, the name project usually implies that the work carried out is less extensive than a thesis and bears lesser credit hours too.

The undergraduate level project is presented through an elaborate written report and a presentation to the advisor, a board of faculty members and students. At graduate level however, i. A written report and a public thesis defense is mandatory, in the presence of a board of senior researchers, consisting of members from an outside organization or a university.

A PhD candidate is supposed to accomplish extensive research work to fulfill the dissertation requirements with international publications being a mandatory requirement. The defense of the research work is done publicly. However, in Philippine English , the term doctorate is typically replaced with doctoral as in the case of "doctoral dissertation" , though in official documentation the former is still used.

The Philippine system is influenced by American collegiate system, in that it requires a research project to be submitted before being allowed to write a thesis. This project is mostly given as a prerequisite writing course to the actual thesis and is accomplished in the term period before; supervision is provided by one professor assigned to a class. This project is later to be presented in front of an academic panel, often the entire faculty of an academic department, with their recommendations contributing to the acceptance, revision, or rejection of the initial topic.

In addition, the presentation of the research project will help the candidate choose their primary thesis adviser. An undergraduate thesis is completed in the final year of the degree alongside existing seminar lecture or laboratory courses, and is often divided into two presentations: In most universities, a thesis is required for the bestowment of a degree to a candidate alongside a number of units earned throughout their academic period of stay, though for practice and skills-based degrees a practicum and a written report can be achieved instead.

The examination board often consists of 3 to 5 examiners, often professors in a university with a Masters or PhD degree depending on the university's examination rules. Required word length, complexity, and contribution to scholarship varies widely across universities in the country. The academic dissertation for a PhD is called a dysertacja or praca doktorska. The submission for the Habilitation is called praca habilitacyjna" or dysertacja habilitacyjna".

Thus the term dysertacja is reserved for PhD and Habilitation degrees. All the theses need to be "defended" by the author during a special examination for the given degree. Examinations for PhD and Habilitation degrees are public. The defense is done in a public presentation in which teachers, students, and the general public can participate.

For the PhD, a thesis tese is presented for defense in a public exam. The exam typically extends over 3 hours.

The examination board typically involves 5 to 6 scholars including the advisor or other experts with a PhD degree generally at least half of them must be external to the university where the candidate defends the thesis, but it may depend on the University.

In Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine an academic dissertation or thesis is called what can be literally translated as a "master's degree work" thesis , whereas the word dissertation is reserved for doctoral theses Candidate of Sciences. To complete a master's degree, a student is required to write a thesis and to then defend the work publicly.

Length of this manuscript usually is given in page count and depends upon educational institution, its departments, faculties, and fields of study [ citation needed ]. At universities in Slovenia, an academic thesis called diploma thesis is a prerequisite for completing undergraduate studies. The thesis used to be 40—60 pages long, but has been reduced to 20—30 pages in new Bologna process programmes. To complete Master's studies, a candidate must write magistrsko delo Master's thesis that is longer and more detailed than the undergraduate thesis.

The required submission for the doctorate is called doktorska disertacija doctoral dissertation. In pre Bologna programmes students were able to skip the preparation and presentation of a Master's thesis and continue straightforward towards doctorate. In Sweden, there are different types of theses. After that there are two types of post graduate degrees, Licentiate dissertation and PhD dissertation. A licentiate degree is approximately "half a PhD" in terms of size and scope of the thesis.

Swedish PhD studies should in theory last for four years, including course work and thesis work, but as many PhD students also teach, the PhD often takes longer to complete. Outside the academic community, the terms thesis and dissertation are interchangeable.

A wide range of supervisory arrangements can be found in the British academy, from single supervisors more usual for undergraduate and Masters level work to supervisory teams of up to three supervisors. In teams, there will often be a Director of Studies, usually someone with broader experience perhaps having passed some threshold of successful supervisions. The Director may be involved with regular supervision along with the other supervisors, or may have more of an oversight role, with the other supervisors taking on the more day-to-day responsibilities of supervision.

At most universities, dissertation is the term for the required submission for the doctorate, and thesis refers only to the master's degree requirement. Thesis is also used to describe a cumulative project for a bachelor's degree and is more common at selective colleges and universities, or for those seeking admittance to graduate school or to obtain an honors academic designation.

These projects are called "senior projects" or "senior theses"; they are generally done in the senior year near graduation after having completed other courses, the independent study period, and the internship or student teaching period the completion of most of the requirements before the writing of the paper ensures adequate knowledge and aptitude for the challenge. Unlike a dissertation or master's thesis, they are not as long and they do not require a novel contribution to knowledge or even a very narrow focus on a set subtopic.

Like them, they can be lengthy and require months of work, they require supervision by at least one professor adviser, they must be focused on a certain area of knowledge, and they must use an appreciable amount of scholarly citations.

They may or may not be defended before a committee but usually are not; there is generally no preceding examination before the writing of the paper, except for at very few colleges.

Because of the nature of the graduate thesis or dissertation having to be more narrow and more novel, the result of original research, these usually have a smaller proportion of the work that is cited from other sources, though the fact that they are lengthier may mean they still have total citations.

Specific undergraduate courses, especially writing-intensive courses or courses taken by upperclassmen, may also require one or more extensive written assignments referred to variously as theses, essays, or papers. Increasingly, high schools are requiring students to complete a senior project or senior thesis on a chosen topic during the final year as a prerequisite for graduation.

The extended essay component of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme , offered in a growing number of American high schools, is another example of this trend. Generally speaking, a dissertation is judged as to whether or not it makes an original and unique contribution to scholarship. Lesser projects a master's thesis, for example are judged by whether or not they demonstrate mastery of available scholarship in the presentation of an idea.

The required complexity or quality of research of a thesis may vary significantly among universities or programs. One of the requirements for certain advanced degrees is often an oral examination called a viva voce examination or just viva in the UK and certain other English-speaking countries. This examination normally occurs after the dissertation is finished but before it is submitted to the university, and may comprise a presentation often public by the student and questions posed by an examining committee or jury.

In North America, an initial oral examination in the field of specialization may take place just before the student settles down to work on the dissertation. An additional oral exam may take place after the dissertation is completed and is known as a thesis or dissertation " defense ", which at some universities may be a mere formality and at others may result in the student being required to make significant revisions. The result of the examination may be given immediately following deliberation by the examiners in which case the candidate may immediately be considered to have received his or her degree , or at a later date, in which case the examiners may prepare a defense report that is forwarded to a Board or Committee of Postgraduate Studies, which then officially recommends the candidate for the degree.

At most North American institutions the latter two verdicts are extremely rare, for two reasons. First, to obtain the status of doctoral candidates, graduate students typically write a qualifying examination or comprehensive examination, which often includes an oral defense.

Students who pass the qualifying examination are deemed capable of completing scholarly work independently and are allowed to proceed with working on a dissertation.

Second, since the thesis supervisor and the other members of the advisory committee will normally have reviewed the thesis extensively before recommending the student proceed to the defense, such an outcome would be regarded as a major failure not only on the part of the candidate but also by the candidate's supervisor who should have recognized the substandard quality of the dissertation long before the defense was allowed to take place.

It is also fairly rare for a thesis to be accepted without any revisions; the most common outcome of a defense is for the examiners to specify minor revisions which the candidate typically completes in a few days or weeks. At universities on the British pattern it is not uncommon for theses at the viva stage to be subject to major revisions in which a substantial rewrite is required, sometimes followed by a new viva.

Very rarely, the thesis may be awarded the lesser degree of M. Phil Master of Philosophy instead, preventing the candidate from resubmitting the thesis.

In Australia, doctoral theses are usually examined by three examiners although some, like the Australian Catholic University and the University of New South Wales , have shifted to using only two examiners; without a live defense except in extremely rare exceptions.

In the case of a master's degree by research the thesis is usually examined by only two examiners. Typically one of these examiners will be from within the candidate's own department; the other s will usually be from other universities and often from overseas. Following submission of the thesis, copies are sent by mail to examiners and then reports sent back to the institution.

Similar to a master's degree by research thesis, a thesis for the research component of a master's degree by coursework is also usually examined by two examiners, one from the candidate's department and one from another university. For an Honours year, which is a fourth year in addition to the usual three-year bachelor's degree, the thesis is also examined by two examiners, though both are usually from the candidate's own department.

Honours and Master's theses sometimes require an oral defense before they are accepted. In Germany, a thesis is usually examined with an oral examination. This applies to almost all Diplom , Magister , master's and doctoral degrees as well as to most bachelor's degrees. However, a process that allows for revisions of the thesis is usually only implemented for doctoral degrees. There are several different kinds of oral examinations used in practice.

The Disputation , also called Verteidigung "defense" , is usually public at least to members of the university and is focused on the topic of the thesis. In contrast, the Rigorosum is not held in public and also encompasses fields in addition to the topic of the thesis.

The Rigorosum is only common for doctoral degrees. Another term for an oral examination is Kolloquium , which generally refers to a usually public scientific discussion and is often used synonymously with Verteidigung. In each case, what exactly is expected differs between universities and between faculties. Some universities also demand a combination of several of these forms. Like the British model, the PHD or MPhil student is required to submit their theses or dissertation for examination by two or three examiners.

The first examiner is from the university concerned, the second examiner is from another local university and the third examiner is from a suitable foreign university usually from Commonwealth countries.

The choice of examiners must be approved by the university senate. In some public universities, a PhD or MPhil candidate may also have to show a number publications in peer reviewed academic journals as part of the requirement.

An oral viva is conducted after the examiners have submitted their reports to the university. The oral viva session is attended by the Oral Viva chairman, a rapporteur with a PhD qualification, the first examiner, the second examiner and sometimes the third examiner. Branch campuses of British, Australian and Middle East universities in Malaysia use the respective models of the home campuses to examine their PhD or MPhil candidates.

In the Philippines, a thesis is followed by an oral defense. In most universities, this applies to all bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees. However, the oral defense is held in once per semester usually in the middle or by the end with a presentation of revisions so-called "plenary presentation" at the end of each semester. The oral defense is typically not held in public for bachelor and master oral defenses, however a colloquium is held for doctorate degrees.

Typical duration for the total exam is 1 hour 30 minutes for the MSc and 3 hours for the PhD. In North America, the thesis defense or oral defense is the final examination for doctoral candidates, and sometimes for master's candidates.

Until the midth century, advanced degrees were not a criterion for professorships at most colleges. That began to change as the more ambitious scholars at major schools went to Germany for 1 to 3 years to obtain a PhD in the sciences or humanities. Major shifts toward graduate education were foretold by the opening of Clark University in which offered only graduate programs and the Johns Hopkins University which focused on its PhD program. By the s, Harvard, Columbia, Michigan and Wisconsin were building major graduate programs, whose alumni were hired by new research universities.

By , PhDs were awarded annually, most of them by six universities. It was no longer necessary to study in Germany. At the start of the 20th century, U. The lack of centralised authority meant anyone could start a university and award PhDs. In Germany, the national government funded the universities and the research programs of the leading professors. It was impossible for professors who were not approved by Berlin to train graduate students. In the United States, by contrast, private universities and state universities alike were independent of the federal government.

Independence was high, but funding was low. The breakthrough came from private foundations, which began regularly supporting research in science and history; large corporations sometimes supported engineering programs.

The postdoctoral fellowship was established by the Rockefeller Foundation in Meanwhile, the leading universities, in cooperation with the learned societies, set up a network of scholarly journals. After World War II, state universities across the country expanded greatly in undergraduate enrollment, and eagerly added research programs leading to masters or doctorate degrees.

Their graduate faculties had to have a suitable record of publication and research grants. Late in the 20th century, "publish or perish" became increasingly important in colleges and smaller universities. Detailed requirements for the award of a PhD degree vary throughout the world and even from school to school. It is usually required for the student to hold an Honours degree or a Master's Degree with high academic standing, in order to be considered for a PhD program.

In other countries such as the UK there is generally no such condition, though this varies by university and field. In order to submit a successful PhD admission application, copies of academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a research proposal, and a personal statement are often required. Most universities also invite for a special interview before admission.

A candidate must submit a project, thesis or dissertation often consisting of a body of original academic research, which is in principle worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed context. Some universities in the non- English -speaking world have begun adopting similar standards to those of the anglophone Ph.

A PhD student or candidate is conventionally required to study on campus under close supervision. With the popularity of distance education and e-learning technologies, some universities now accept students enrolled into a distance education part-time mode. In a " sandwich Ph. A PhD confirmation is a preliminary presentation or lecture that a PhD candidate presents to faculty and possibly other interested members.

The confirmation lecture can be seen as a trial run for the final public defense, though faculty members at this stage can still largely influence the direction of the research.

At the end of the lecture, the PhD candidate can be seen as "confirmed" — faculty members give their approval and trust that the study is well directed and will with high probability result in the candidate being successful. In the United States, this is generally called advancing to Candidacy, the confirmation event being called the Candidacy Examination.

PhD students are often motivated to pursue the PhD by scientific and humanistic curiosity, the desire to contribute to the academic community, service to others, or personal development. A career in academia generally requires a PhD, though, in some countries, it is possible to reach relatively high positions without a doctorate. In North America, professors are increasingly being required to have a PhD, because the percentage of faculty with a PhD is used as a university ratings measure.

The motivation may also include increased salary, but in many cases, this is not the result. While this is a small return to the individual or even an overall deficit when tuition and lost earnings during training are accounted for , he claims there are significant benefits to society for the extra research training.

A PhD is also required in some positions outside academia, such as research jobs in major international agencies. In some cases, the Executive Directors of some types of foundations may be expected to hold a PhD [ citation needed ] A PhD is sometimes felt to be a necessary qualification in certain areas of employment, such as in foreign policy think-tanks: News wrote in that "[i]f having a master's degree at the minimum is de rigueur in Washington's foreign policy world, it is no wonder many are starting to feel that the PhD is a necessary escalation, another case of costly signaling to potential employers.

The Economist published an article in citing various criticisms against the state of Ph. These included a prediction by economist Richard B. According to the article, only the fastest developing countries e.

China or Brazil have a shortage of PhDs. The US higher education system often offers little incentive to move students through Ph. To counter this problem, the United States introduced the Doctor of Arts degree in with seed money from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The aim of the Doctor of Arts degree was to shorten the time needed to complete the degree by focusing on pedagogy over research, although the Doctor of Arts still contains a significant research component.

Germany is one of the few nations engaging these issues, and it has been doing so by reconceptualising Ph. This development can be seen in the extensive number of Ph. To a lesser extent, the UK research councils have tackled the issue by introducing, since , the EngD. Taylor opined in in Nature that total reform of Ph. In German-speaking nations; most Eastern European nations; successor states of the former Soviet Union; most parts of Africa, Asia, and many Spanish-speaking countries, the corresponding degree to a Doctor of Philosophy is simply called "Doctor" Doktor , and the subject area is distinguished by a Latin suffi