Doctoral Dissertation Procedures

The following procedure applies to student's pursuing the Ph.D.ES (IE or ITE). It is written with the assumption that the student has completed M.S. work. However, a student may begin course work toward a Ph.D. even though he/she lacks courses or thesis completion toward the M.S., with the understanding that completion of the M.S. is a high priority item.

The student bears the responsibility for the progress of his/her program, including submission of proper forms, timing of examinations, preparation for examinations, insuring the meeting of deadlines, and completion of all requirements. A summary of the steps is given below, followed by a discussion of each step.

Summary of Steps for Completion of the Ph.D. Program

  1.  Obtain admission.
  2.  Have a major advisor assigned.
  3.  Plan program and select committee and major advisor.
  4.  Get program approved.
  5.  Pass qualifying examination (may be M.S. thesis defense).
  6.  Complete course work.
  7.  Pass general examination.
  8.  Have dissertation topic approved.
  9.  Perform dissertation research and write a summary article.
  10.  Pass final oral examination and submit the dissertation to Graduate School.

Details concerning the LSU regulations and schedule regarding these requirements are found in the catalog of the LSU Graduate School.

  1.  Gain Admission. Upon application of the student, the IE Graduate Faculty will consider scholastic background and professional experience of the applicant and decide on admission to the program.
  2.  Have a Major Advisor Assigned. By consultation with the student and the affected faculty member(s), IE Graduate Program Coordinator will assign the student to an advisor, who may or may not guide the student's research, but who will act as academic advisor and major professor until the student has selected a research topic.
  3.  Plan Program and Select Committee. The student and major professor will arrive at a mutually satisfactory tentative program and committee, calling upon other faculty members for assistance as appropriate. The committee will have a minimum of five members (including the Graduate School Representative whom will be designated by the Graduate School). At least two members of the student's committee, including the major professor, must come from the engineering areas of concentration (Engineering), and at least one member must be from departments offering the Ph.D. degree. The committee must include representatives from the minor areas. In addition, two members must be full members of the Graduate Faculty from the College of Engineering.
  4.  Get Program Approved. The tentative committee will consider the proposed program and make suggestions and recommendations for changes as needed.
  5.  Pass Qualifying Examination. A qualifying examination will be taken by the student before he/she has completed twelve hours of course work for graduate credit in the Ph.D. program (typically during his/her first semester of Ph.D. study). The IE Graduate Faculty may vary the form of this examination in accordance with Graduate School policy. This examination will normally be both written and oral, or, at the committee's option, the M.S. defense may serve as the Qualifying Examination. The purposes of the qualifying examination are:
    • to encourage the student to review topics which may have been forgotten;
    • to reveal blank or weak areas in the student's background, which will be corrected by special study or additional course work;
    •  to evaluate a student early in his/her studies to see if he/she should be continued in the Ph.D. program.

The major professor will be responsible for coordination and administration of the qualifying examination, if needed. The examination will be written by the advisory committee members and will also cover major and minor areas in the student's proposed program.The student will be provided with copies of all written questions at one time and will be allowed a full week to prepare and submit responses. Proper management of time and other resources during that week are the student's responsibility. At the end of that week the student will provide each advisory committee member with a folder containing copies of all questions together with the appropriate responses presented in neat, clear, logical, and legible form. The oral examination will follow the written examination (one to two weeks after submission of written responses) and will be used to clarify answers on the written examination, further probe the student's background, and discuss test results. The major professor is responsible for scheduling and conducting the oral exam.

  1.  Complete Course Work. The student will satisfactorily complete the courses specified in the approved program of study. Substitution of other courses for those in the approved program must be approved by the committee prior to registration in the course. The student must have an MSIE degree or satisfy LSU MSIE course requirements.

  2.  Pass General Examination. When the student has completed his/her course work, he/she must pass a general examination. This examination will be both written and oral. Each portion will require three to four hours to complete and may be taken separately. However, all portions must be completed within a one-month period. The subject areas covered by the examination will be selected by the committee. The oral examination will follow the written examination and will be used to clarify answers on the written examination and further investigate the student's knowledge. The purpose of the general examination is to determine fitness of the student to perform scholarly research in Industrial Engineering. This exam will normally be the most severe test in the doctoral program. There can be no more than one dissenting vote by the committee in order for a student to pass. The major professor will be responsible for coordination and administration of the general examination. He will assure that all committee members have an opportunity to submit written questions and may call on any member of the CMIE faculty to submit questions in appropriate areas. Upon passing the general examination, the student will be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy.  The program for the Ph.D. must be completed within seven years from the time a student is classified as a doctoral student (GRAD 7). This time limit may only be exceeded by special permission of the Graduate School dean. No less than one academic year must elapse and no more than four calendar years may elapse between the passing of the general examination and completion of all requirements for the doctoral degree. A general examination may be revalidated by the student's graduate committee, usually through an oral and/or written examination. The result of such an examination must be signed by members of the committee and reported to the Graduate School.

  3.  Have Dissertation Topic Approved. As a student nears completion of course work, he/she must select and have a dissertation topic approved. This procedure requires the following steps:

    • The student prepares a dissertation proposal outlining the proposed work. The proposal will review the state of art and should clearly indicate that a substantial literature search has been completed. The proposal will not be considered complete without a list of relevant, reviewed references.

    • Once the major professor is satisfied with the proposal, a copy will be submitted to each committee member.

    • A proposal evaluation meeting will be scheduled and held, at which the student presents his/her proposed topic to the committee and answers questions. The objective of the meeting will be to decide if the topic is or is not suitable and to make suggestions on scope, solution, etc.

  4. Perform Dissertation Research. Following the plan agreed upon in the previous step, the student performs the dissertation research. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain approval from his/her committee if deviations from the approved plan are necessary. After the initial steps of the proposed research have been accomplished, a progress review meeting will be held. At this meeting the student will inform the committee members of the status of his/her work and present a plan and schedule for completion of the project. Note that the student should obtain instructions on dissertation preparation from the Graduate School.

  5.  Pass Final Oral Examination and Submit Dissertation to Graduate School. Upon completion of the dissertation and its review by the committee, the final oral examination will be held. The steps and time-table required for preparation and submission of the dissertation are the same as those for the master’s thesis. No less than one academic year and no more than four calendar years may have elapsed between the passing of the general examination and completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. degree (i.e., final oral examination). The student must submit copies of the dissertation in acceptance form to the Graduate School. The necessary forms and procedures for submission are explained in the Graduate School instructions.