By December 1 of his or her third year of enrollment, each student is required to submit a detailed dissertation prospectus and outline for faculty approval; the deadline for students who take the general examination at a time other than May of the second year will be arranged in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. To facilitate this requirement, the Department of History offers two important sources of summer support. In the summer following a student's first year, funds are available for travel to archives to explore possible materials on which to base a dissertation prospectus. Following successful completion of the general exams, normally in the second year, students are eligible to participate in a summer seminar aimed at preparation of the dissertation prospectus. The seminar meets every week for eight weeks and provides the student's summer stipend.
By the beginning of the fourth year, the student should provide the dissertation adviser with at least one draft chapter for criticism and revision. As the dissertation nears completion, the Director of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the student, names first and second readers in addition to the adviser. A third reader, from outside the department or outside the University, will also be named. In accordance with the regulations of the History Department and the University, only the first reader may call for major revisions in the dissertation once the adviser decides it is acceptable. When the adviser and the first reader are satisfied that the dissertation merits the Ph.D. degree, the student arranges for submitting copies to the other readers. At that point, the second and third readers may make suggestions for further improvements, but cannot require such improvements to be made before the dissertation is presented for public scrutiny. The adviser and each of the official readers will prepare a written evaluation of the dissertation and submit a formal recommendation as to its acceptability. These evaluations will be made available to the doctoral candidate. Upon receipt of the recommendations and a request from the Director of Graduate Studies for History of Science, the Graduate School authorizes a Final Public Oral Examination, at which the student defends the dissertation.