Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

General Information

The term in which you plan to defend, submit your dissertation and graduate, you must be registered for Thesis (4.THG). Your dissertation defense, which will be online this summer, takes place in the presence of your full Dissertation Committee consisting of at least three members including your dissertation supervisor. It is generally a public presentation and others are invited. The result of the defense can be 1) accepted, 2) accepted with revisions, 3) rejected. If the following recommendations are followed, it is highly unlikely that your dissertation will be rejected. In such a situation, it is more likely that the committee will suggest you delay your defense and your degree date.

Upon satisfactory defense and submission of the dissertation, the supervisor will assign a grade. ("SA" is the final satisfactory grade for the PhD.) The grade will not be submitted to the Registrar until the final approved dissertation document is submitted to the Thesis Submission website by the thesis deadline provided on the Institute Academic Calendar. See the Formatting, Specifications & Thesis Submission page for more information.

It is recommended that you set a timetable for submission of each draft chapter of your dissertation and plan regular meetings with your advisor and/or committee to discuss. Plan to submit the final draft of your dissertation to your full committee by no later than one month prior to the scheduled defense date.

You are responsible for working directly with your dissertation committee and area administrators to schedule your defense. The defense must not be scheduled for any later than two weeks prior to the Institute thesis submission deadline. Each area may handle the logistics differently, so it is important to touch base with your group early in the defense planning process. For example, many faculty are not available during the summer term and may wish to schedule the defense in May or early June for a September degree.


May 2021 Theses Deadlines

Friday, February 19, 2021

  1. Registration: Spring term registration (4.THG).
  2. Degree list: Put yourself on the May degree list by applying for a degree.

Friday, April 16, 2021

  1. Register your final thesis title: You must return to the online site of your application and add or make a change to your thesis title by this deadline. The title on your final dissertation must be an exact match of the one you submit on your Application for Degree. If you add your title after this date, you will be charged a late fee; but you may still update your thesis title until the actual submission date.

Monday, May 3, 2021

  1. The week that the thesis is due for submittal upload the final document to Thesis Submission website for formatting review. This is for the purpose of making certain the document is in compliance with MIT archive requirements. You will be contacted quickly if adjustments are needed.

Friday, May 7, 2021

  1. Final, corrected, approved, electronic version uploaded to the Thesis Submission website.

Formatting, Specifications & Thesis Submission

Important: Consult the Formatting, Specifications and Thesis Submission information page.

PhD Thesis Contacts