The Process of the Doctoral Dissertation

  • Greg Bohall
  • Mary-Jo Bautista


The defended doctoral dissertation represents the pinnacle of graduate school in psychology. This challenging and time-consuming endeavor represents the final and, in most cases, most difficult step before graduation. Although this requirement can be daunting and anxiety provoking, our intent for this chapter is to outline some of the difficulties associated with the doctoral dissertation as well as provide considerations and recommendations on how to eliminate and/or manage difficulties. The main focus is on the doctoral dissertation; however, we will briefly review the master’s thesis as well. In this chapter, we will outline the common structure of the doctoral dissertation, identify the differences in doctoral degree training, discuss different designations throughout graduate school training, review ethics related to the writing process, provide variables that are uncontrolled during the dissertation process, outline pitfalls and hurdles in the dissertation process, and provide recommendations to manage difficulties during the dissertation process.


Doctoral dissertation Dissertation pitfalls Dissertation committee Ethics in writing Institutional review board (IRB) 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Greg Bohall
    • 1
  • Mary-Jo Bautista
    • 2
  1. 1.CHE Behavioral Health ServicesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.BellflowerUSA

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