Degree Completion

section IV, article 5

The dissertation is the culmination of a scholar’s Emory training. And after it’s over, most new PhDs throw a party! Many of the degree requirements must be completed well ahead of the actual defense, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the procedures starting early in any semester in which you may graduate.

The Laney Graduate School sets the requirements for the completion of the graduate degree. Scholars should familiarize themselves with these requirements. The Graduate Program Coordinator is available to assist scholars in navigating the degree completion procedures but it is the responsibility of the scholar to complete and submit all required documents.

Chemistry-Specific Degree Completion Guidelines

  • A public defense is required.
  • The dissertation must be submitted to the scholar’s entire committee at least seven days in advance of the scheduled defense.
  • The date, time, and location of the defense must be publicly advertised at least seven days in advance of the defense.
  • All committee members must be present at the defense.

Completion Extensions

If a scholar has not completed the degree at the end of the seventh year, the program may grant a one-year extension. The program must submit notice of this extension to the Dean, no later than August 1 of the seventh year (before the eighth year). The notice must contain a completion timeline signed by both the scholar and the dissertation committee chair or co-chairs. Scholars who enroll for this extension year will be responsible for some tuition.

If a scholar has not completed the degree at the end of the eighth year, the scholar may continue work for at most one additional academic year and only with approval from the Dean. To obtain approval, the program must submit a request to the Dean no later than August 1 of the eighth year (before the ninth year). The request must:

  • outline the reasons the scholar has not completed
  • consider whether the scholar needs to repeat any part of the qualifications for candidacy or obtain approval of a new dissertation prospectus
  • present a detailed completion timeline signed by both the scholar and the dissertation committee chair or co-chairs. Scholars who enroll for this extension year will be responsible for some tuition.

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Next: Section V: Money Matters

Candidacy

section III, article 5

Candidacy status is an indication that a doctoral scholar has developed sufficient mastery of a discipline to advance towards the PhD. The scholar will rely on this foundation to produce an original research contribution in their field in the form of the dissertation.

Eligibility

PhD scholars are eligible for candidacy when they have earned at least 54 credit hours at the 500 level or above. All incomplete (I) and In Progress (IP) grades must be resolved. Candidates must be in good standing with the program. Scholars must also complete the following before entering candidacy:

  • Rotations
  • JPE: LGS Ethics course JPE 600 (JPE 610 may be completed after entering candidacy) 
  • Chemistry JPE Requirements
  • Second Year Qualifying Exam
  • TATTO: TATT 600 & TATT 605 (x 2 semesters)
  • Six chemistry courses (or equivalent course release based on transfer coursework) with a minimum G.P.A. of 2.7

Timing

Scholars should enter candidacy as soon as all requirements have been completed. Scholars must reach candidacy by September 15 of their fourth year. Scholars who do not meet this deadline will be placed on academic probation, will not be eligible for PDS funds, and may forfeit financial support. These sanctions will be lifted when the scholar enters candidacy.

How to Apply

Scholars enter candidacy by submitting the application to enter candidacy, available on the LGS website. Chemistry will confirm that all program requirements have been met and LGS will confirm that remaining requirements have been met. Scholars are considered “in candidacy” when the Dean has approved the application to enter candidacy.


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Next: IV: Milestones

Fifth Year+ Degree Completion Plan

section IV, article 4

As research expertise and engagement grows, you may find it difficult to place an emphasis on degree completion. Making a plan facilitates this focus.

A scholar in their fifth year who is not graduating must submit a Timeline for Degree Completion and have it approved by their P.I. The plan should be presented as a written timeline to graduation and must be signed by the chair of the dissertation committee. The scholar should submit this plan to the Graduate Program Coordinator along with their annual report form by April 30 of the fifth year and should submit a revised plan in any following semester during which they will not graduate.


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Next: Degree Completion

Goals for Graduates

section I, article 3

The James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies at Emory University is committed to education that provides scholars with deep and broad expertise in their chosen fields, creativity to cross disciplinary boundaries, courage to challenge convention, and confidence to ask unexpected questions and articulate bold new perspectives.

Graduates of the PhD program in chemistry should be able to:

  • Pose a research question and formulate an investigative approach using current research methods in chemistry.
  • Conduct and communicate independent, original research in chemistry.
  • Critically evaluate the research literature in chemistry.
  • Communicate concepts and procedures in chemistry effectively — to peers, scholars, the scientific community, the lay public, and granting agencies.
  • Apply their education to careers and, more broadly, to challenges and opportunities in the world around them.

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Next: Communication Guidance