Degree Tracking and Degree Completion
A requirement of all PhD programs at Caltech is that the student must prepare, submit, and successfully defend in an oral examination a written dissertation, known in the vernacular as a "thesis". Caltech theses have a common format and there are regulations regarding the contents, submission, proofreading, and final disposition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the regulations, following the correct format, meeting deadlines, working with their adviser and dissertation committee to schedule the examination, providing timely copies of the thesis, and making requested revisions. Please refer to the docment entitled "Regulations for the Format and Presentation of a Graduate Thesis" for details. Each thesis must be submitted to the Graduate Office for proofreading a minimum of two weeks before the scheduled defense. In order to complete the PhD degree requirements, the student must not only pass the oral thesis defense but also submit a final, approved version of the thesis as well as the necessary steps listed below and follow the checkout procedures. Official certification of degree completion will not be provided until all the steps have been completed.
The Caltech Library has a comprehensive website section on thesis topics:
- LaTeX2e style files
- Word templates
- Deadlines and timelines
- Updates or corrections
- Caltech's Graduate Office regulations
- ProQuest/UMI Dissertation Publishing and Microfilming
- Printing and binding services
- Copyright, Fair Use, and Getting Permission
- Publishers' thesis policies
- Ph.D. Candidacy must be completed before beginning the fourth year of residence. Students should log on to the Graduate Degree Progress application within REGIS to schedule candidacy and obtain the necessary approvals.
Final PhD Defense
- Theses Templates
- Final exam committee - Students should log on to the Graduate Degree Progress application within REGIS to schedule the final exam and select an approved committee for the defense. An approved committee consists of four total voting members, three of whom must be current Caltech faculty. The chair of the committee must hold the rank of Professor, not including emeriti.
- Proofreader Agreement
- Survey of Earned Doctorates
- Proquest Microfilm Agreement/UMI (Optional as of 2016)
- Electronic Thesis Submission
Caltech does not require a minor for the Ph.D. degree, but individual options may have minor requirements as part of their requirements for the major. A student may undertake a minor in most academic options as specified in the Institute Catalog.
A minor program of study should be at a level of study in the minor substantially beyond that typically acquired by students as part of the major requirements. Most options require 45 units or more, including at least one 200-level course and a coherent program of the supporting 100-level courses. The faculty of the minor option may approve a proposed minor program on the basis of overall class performance and/or by an oral examination. Detailed requirements for minor options are listed under the individual option requirements in the Catalog.
- Master's applications must be submitted no later than Add Day of spring term for a June graduation. Students should log on to the Graduate Degree Progress application within REGIS and click on the M.S. Candidacy tab and select the option and the year in which the M.S. is to be awarded. Then, follow additional instructions for developing a plan of study and fulfilling Institute requirements.
Required for all students exiting campus
- Athenaeum Termination
- Bursar Exit Interview—You must make arrangements to clear your student account before you leave Caltech. The formal diploma may be held if accounts have not been cleared or a payment schedule agreed upon.
- Forwarding Information—Please supply a forwarding address via access.caltech.