Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

Thesis and Dissertation Materials

Links to Forms:

History Department and Graduate School Requirements and Deadlines:

A first step for all dissertating students is to reflect on their writing process and habits and develop an individualized plan for research and writing that includes daily goals, interim deadlines, and target completion dates. It should also include strategies for managing time, assistantship responsibilities, self, and interactions with your adviser.

Students at the beginning of the process will spend more time researching than writing but researching and writing go hand-in-hand. Use your writing as a way to make sense of your material as it is fresh in your mind. This is informal writing, but it helps you keep some intellectual control over the process. Be sure to set up a regular schedule of interaction with your adviser. The frequency will vary over the course of the project, but it is important to stay in communication about your research progress, to discuss challenges, to review work, etc.

Dissertation/Thesis Formatting– Graduate School

https://www.luc.edu/gradschool/formatting.shtml This is a section of the Graduate School website that you want to get to know. Download the manual. Go to a formatting session as you begin to write and near the end of the process. The more you format correctly at the beginning, the easier it is at the end.

Graduate School Dissertation Deadlines

December Graduation

  • August 1: Last day to apply for a December degree conferral.
  • October 1: Last day to submit for the format check.
  • November 1: Last day to submit final copies.

May Graduation

  • December 1: Last day to apply for a May degree conferral.
  • March 1: Last day to submit for the format check.
  • April 1: Last day to submit final copies.

August Graduation

  • February 1: Last Day to apply for an August degree conferral.
  • Last Friday of the semester by noon – last day to defend your dissertation and walk in the May ceremony.
  • June 1: Last day to submit for the format check.
  • July 1: Last day to submit final copies.

History Department & Dissertation Committee Deadlines

Each PhD candidate's experience will be slightly different depending on their chair and committee, but there are some general guidelines to follow. Be sure to review these with  your chair and add relevant dates to the Graduate School schedule, above.

Time to Degree There are time limits to degree completion.

  1. Depending on how you enter the PhD program, you have either six years (entering with a significant number of transfer credits) or eight years (entering with a BA and virtually no transfer credit) to complete your degree. If you exceed this time limit, you will need to apply for an extension through gsps. These are given in yearly increments and are based on process, a plan, and your advisor’s approval.  Typically, you need to apply by June 1.
  2. You need to defend your dissertation within five years of becoming a PhD candidate. If you do not, you will need to pass a second PhD examination.
  3. You can find more information on the Graduate School website under Academic Policies, Time Limit for Degree Completion. https://www.luc.edu/gradschool/academics_policies.shtml 

Departmental Monitoring Each semester, all dissertation chairpersons are required to meet with their dissertators, assess their progress, and recommend a P or NP for History 600. Questions? Email Dr. Mooney-Melvin.

Research and Writing Resources:

Graduate students will conduct original research and write research papers and other materials for coursework, publications, and public audiences. The following resources are meant to supplement any research or writing assistance received by faculty advisers, mentors, and instructors.

Loyola resources

  • Jane Currie is the subject librarian for history at Loyola. She maintains the subject guide for history, which helps students and faculty navigate Loyola's library databases and other resources, and works one-on-one with students looking for assistance with history projects and materials. For the subject guide for history, click here. For all subject guides, click here. To email Jane Currie, click here.
  • Katherine Paterson is Loyola's civic engagement librarian. She maintains the subject guide for government information, found here. This guide may be particularly helpful to students and faculty navigating sources related to government in the United States. To email Katherine Paterson, click here.
  • The department has several copies of Dr. Karen Single's Demystifying Dissertation Writing guide available for loan in Crown Center 558. This guide will be a helpful resource for dissertating PhD candidates, as well as MA students working on Master's Essays.
  • Loyola's Graduate School offers periodic writing workshops as part of its Graduate Writing Series. The Graduate School announces workshops in the email newsletter it sends to all graduate students.
  • The Loyola History Graduate Student Association runs a Dissertation Writing Group that meets throughout the year to provide support for students navigating the dissertation process. For more information and to participate, contact DWG co-chairs Jenny Clay and Nathan Ellstrand.
  • For Loyola students who have to apply to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for research clearance, the Graduate School usually offers a workshop on how to navigate this process. Check the Graduate School website and email blasts for updates throughout the year. Dr. Mooney-Melvin can also assist students applying for IRB clearance.
  • The Wellness Center often has a Dissertation and thesis Support Group. Contact Dr. Andrea Boyd for more information.

Other resources

  • The Craft of Research (4th edition), by Wayne Booth, et. al., and published by the University of Chicago, is a helpful guide for anyone conducting in-depth historical research.
  • Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers' A Pocket Style Manual (sixth edition) walks writers through several citation formats, including Chicago Style, the format most historians use when citing their work.
  • Dr. Tara Gray's Publish and Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar provides helpful advice about time management and goal-setting for anyone undertaking a writing project.
  • Dr. Eviatar Zarubavel's The Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations, and Books provides useful advice for students working on any long-form writing projects.
  • Dr. Raul Pacheco Vega maintains a popular blog about research and writing. He is not a historian, but much of what he writes is applicable to humanists.
  • "A Guide to Writing Good Academic Prose," from The Chronicle of Higher Education. Click here.