The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is conferred by the Institute primarily in recognition of breadth of scholarship, depth of research, and the power to investigate problems independently and efficiently, rather than for the completion of definite courses of study through a stated period of residence. The work for the degree must consist of systematic studies of an advanced character, of research and the preparation of a thesis describing these. A thesis is to be a substantial new contribution to the field that would be released into the stream of scholarship. In addition, the candidate must have clear self-expression in both oral and written English.
Caltech theses have a common format and there are regulations regarding the contents, submission, proofreading, and final disposition. Please use the Grad Office's "Regulations for the Format and Presentation of a Graduate Thesis" as your primary guideline in formatting your thesis.
Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the regulations, following the correct format, meeting deadlines, working with their advisor and dissertation committee to schedule the examination, providing timely copies of the thesis, and making requested revisions.
Final 2021 deadlines:
Please call the Graduate Office if you have any questions about these dates, or if you know you will not be able to meet theses deadlines! It is easier for them to remove you from the graduation list than to add you! They may also be able to make special accommodations, especially if your defense date is what is causing the delay.
IMPORTANT: The final corrected version of a thesis must be uploaded to CaltechTHESIS by the fifth week (~2 months) of the succeeding term if the candidate defended his or her thesis during the previous summer or the first and second terms; or two weeks before the degree is to be conferred if the candidate defended during the month of May.
Official certification of degree completion will not be provided until all the steps have been completed. Please contact the Graduate Office for the latest requirements.