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Academic Policies

6. Thesis Formalities

Two Dissertation Readers are chosen by the student in consultation with the advisory committee.  Two readers of the Ph.D. thesis must be Princeton University faculty members.   One must not be a coauthor of any of the candidate's papers, published, submitted, or planned.  Inclusion of a third, outside, reader is strongly encouraged.  The choice of readers must be approved by the DGS.  Approval is based only on the policy of the Graduate School and the absence of of coauthorship for one Princeton faculty member. 

The dissertation in its final form must be presented to the Readers at least two weeks before the date of the Final Public Oral. At the same time, the dissertation must be made available to the entire faculty by depositing a copy in the Graduate Administrator’s office. The Readers’ reports are presented at a faculty meeting no less than one week later. The faculty votes on the Readers’ reports and may impose requirements for changes that must be made before the dissertation is approved.  If such changes are required, new Readers’ reports, or amendments, will also be required. If the Readers’ reports and the dissertation are accepted by a vote of the faculty, the final oral examination will then be scheduled at least one week later.

A minimum of three weeks before the final oral examination is usually required for these arrangements.  Normally the final oral examination will be given only during the academic year. At least five full business days before the examination, the candidate takes the reader's report to the Graduate School office. In computing business days, the only day that does not count is Sunday. All other days, Saturdays and holidays included, count.

A candidate for the Ph.D. degree in the Department of Geosciences is required to submit three copies of the thesis - the original and one copy for the University Library (Archives and Guyot Hall) and one copy for the Departmental Library in Guyot Hall. All three copies must be submitted permanently bound, and must include the title page. An abstract not exceeding 350 words is required, one copy to be bound at the front of each of the three copies of the thesis, and 3 additional loose copies to be submitted at the same time. For further details, see the attached "Publication of the Doctoral Dissertation"  in Appendix A. These requirements are consistent with the full graduate school requirements which can be found at  the Graduate School website:

Every graduate student is charged a graduation fee when he or she applies for the degrees of M.A. and Ph.D. At the time the candidate takes the reader's report to the Graduate School Office, he/she needs to pay the graduation fee and publication fee. The latter is used to make the results of the student's research immediately available to the scholarly world through publication of his dissertation by microfilm and printing the abstract. If copyright is desired, an additional charge is required. For specific information, please go to “Fees and Charges” in the Graduate announcement.

Where appropriate a collection of representative type specimens (normally only a few trays) with accurate labels as to locality, name, and significance, should accompany the thesis. All thin sections or polished specimens showing features of significance of the thesis problem, geologic processes, or of possible value for

teaching purposes, are to be accompanied by appropriate labels. These collections are to be completed at the time of submission of the thesis. After the final oral examination the candidate shall dispose of material that is of no further use. Any material left in the Department must have been approved by the faculty advisor. A computer account may be retained for a limited time (usually one year) if approved by faculty advisor and systems manager.

The acknowledgments section of the thesis, in addition to thanking individuals for their assistance, should acknowledge all sources of financial support received while at Princeton or otherwise engaged in the thesis research. It is the student's responsibility to be sure this listing is complete. Acknowledgments to the Department or to specific funds in the Department or University should be checked carefully with the thesis advisors. Appropriate acknowledgments should also be made to other sources of support and help; specific grant numbers should be listed if appropriate. These acknowledgments are are included in manuscripts submitted for publication, which may also include a statement that this work was done "in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Princeton University".

Important Links:

Attention is directed to the current Graduate School Announcement for other details relating to the dissertation.

Ph.D. defense Timetable - A Ph.D. defense timetable for the university can be found at

for the degree application completion process, please go to