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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

Supplemental Materials

Preparing for a Dissertation Progress Meeting
(or ABD Committee Meeting)

If you are aiming to graduate in December of the current year through August of next year, aim for a committee meeting in August, September or October and plan as follows:

You need to set up meeting by Oct. 15, if at all possible, for feedback useful for the Annual Review of graduate students. The goals of the meeting can include to get committee approval for the scope of your thesis work, to plan a timeline for when you might be able to finish, and to begin discussing career plans. A summary of this meeting should be submitted to Valerie so that it is available for the annual review of graduate students.

The summary should include:

If you are in your 5th year or more but not yet considering a defense date in the coming academic year, aim for a committee meeting November, December, or January:

Be sure to talk with your advisor about scheduling a committee meeting during the fall the late fall or early spring to report informally on your research progress and plans for the coming year, especially if you didn't meet with your committee in the past 12 months for some reason. Typically, you'll probably need both a brief research presentation (approx. 15–20 mins) and a 1–2 page thesis outline (ideally with some information about the status of and rough timeline for each project included). Please be sure to:

If you are in your 4th year and completed your original proposal in the last 6 months, aim for a committee meeting in January or February:

You should plan for a committee meeting to review your research progress since your research progress report. Normally, you'll probably need a brief research presentation (approx. 15–20 mins) and possibly a tentative outline with chapter titles representing the proposed scope of your thesis. This does not need to be a detailed outline, but should help the committee to discuss any changes needed in the planned scope of your thesis.