The culmination of doctoral studies.

Before Writing

  • The preliminary examination must be successful before dissertation writing can begin.
  • Create a repository to hold your dissertation during the writing process.
  • A UIUC template is available at:
  • Review an outline with your advisor.
  • Collect figures and tables. Arrange them to tell a story.
  • Determine a timeline for each chapter draft to be completed.
  • Create GitHub issues and milestones to capture this timeline.

Rules of the Dissertation

  • The format must
  • The literature review must be comprehensive
  • The impact on the field must be clear
  • It is not a laboratory report - irrelevant details should be cited in separate reports or relegated to the Appendices.
  • All code and data must be cited (with DOIs) and version controlled.

After Writing

  • Review should be conducted on a chapter-by-chapter basis with your advisor and committee.
  • Once review is complete, request permission from your advisor to schedule the defense.