Dissertation is a scholarly contribution to knowledge in a student’s area of specialization. The student is expected to demonstrate a high level of knowledge and the academic capability to function as an independent scholar. SKKU does not distinguish dissertations from theses. Therefore, in the academic context of SKKU, dissertation and thesis are synonymous.
Each academic unit (i.e. college and department) has its own policy, procedure and requirements as far as dissertation and dissertation examinations/defenses are concerned. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to refer to the office of your college or department or further specifics.
A graduate student is expected to be advised by a full-time faculty member of his/her department throughout his/her academic career in pursuit of a degree. A department chair, or other faculty members, shall consult with a student in arranging an academic advisor. A set of considerations, including but not limited to, the student’s field of interest, research plan and the appropriate number of advisee allocated to each professor will be taken into account.
In case no suitable full-time faculty member is arranged in the student’s department, non-full-time faculty, such as emeritus professor and visiting faculty, or a full-time faculty of another university may be assigned. Policies pertaining to procedure and timeline of advisor arrangement may vary depending on each academic unit and it shall be stipulated by its bylaws.
Dissertation Submission Qualifying Exam
A degree candidate’s ability to pursue the research project proposed and work on dissertation is tested by a dissertation submission qualifying examination(s) (QE). A qualifying examination shall consist of one or more invigilated written examination subjects; generally a set of major subjects and a foreign language.
Each academic unit may have its own policy on QEs, such as eligibility, waiver options, examination subjects, and evaluation and passing criteria.
Preliminary Dissertation Examination/Defense
For a preliminary dissertation examination defense, a student must organize the dissertation examination committee with the guidance of an advisor. In all degree programs, the committee is required to be composed of more than three internal full-time faculty members, including the academic advisor.
A College Dean may waive the preliminary dissertation examination for Master Programs, if deemed academically and legitimately necessary. Policies pertaining to procedure, timeline, structure, evaluation method and criteria of preliminary dissertation examination/defense may vary depending on each academic unit as stipulated by its bylaws.
A student in PhD program, including CMP, must choose a specialization which is a field of study and research in which he/she is specifically specialized. Specialization is to be recommended by a student’s academic advisor and approved by the department chair and the Dean of the College/School. Bylaws of the respective College/School stipulate conditions, requirements and procedures of PhD Specializations and relevant procedures.
Dissertation Submission Requirements
A student is required to satisfy the following requirement of each graduate school program for submitting his/her dissertation to the examination committee. In addition to the common requirement below, other policies pertaining to procedure, timeline, structure, evaluation method and criteria of dissertation examination/defense may vary depending on each academic unit as stipulated by its bylaws.
Final Dissertation Examination/Defense
For the final dissertation examination/defense, a student has to organize the dissertation examination committee with the guidance of an advisor. The committee is required to be structured in accordance with the table below and it is obligated to include the preliminary dissertation examination committee members, unless otherwise justified.
Post-Completion Dissertation Submission Period
In order to receive a degree, a student has to submit his/her dissertation to the examination committee within a prescribed period after completion. A student shall file for the dissertation examination no later when the period passes; otherwise a student shall not be able to earn a degree. The period may vary depending on each college or department. Please refer to your college or department office for more information.