musician.educator.musicologist

Dissertation ... done.

Added on by Taylor Smith.

It only took six years, but my dissertation is finally done.

 My wife and kids gave me this t-shirt, in good faith, a little less than two weeks ago. I promised them that I wouldn't wear it until it was true.

My wife and kids gave me this t-shirt, in good faith, a little less than two weeks ago. I promised them that I wouldn't wear it until it was true.

I sent an email, with a link to download my dissertation, to the three members of my committee sometime around midnight on Sunday night. About two weeks before that, my committee Chair and Dissertation Advisor told me that I should send my dissertation to the the others "immediately;" I really did do everything possible to send it as soon as possible—I have the extra gray hairs and saggy, blood-shot eyes to prove it. Unfortunately, I was either being too picky or simply wasn't as far along as I had led myself (and my advisor) to believe, and the earliest I was able to get it sent was on Sunday night. Two weeks late.

It is already too late to graduate in the Spring, 2015 semester. The deadline for having everything done, including the dissertation defense, was April 3. I have applied for graduation during the Summer term. Technically speaking, the degree will show up on my transcript as soon as all of the requirements are completed; a "Summer" degree simply means that I missed the Spring deadline—I could have the degree in hand before the Spring semester has ended (in theory). But, since it took me so much longer than my advisor had asked, I may be too late for a Summer degree as well.

My advisor spends most of the summer teaching in Budapest every year. She is leaving on May 28, but will also be out of town for about a week between now and then as well. So, receiving the degree during the "Summer, 2015" term means that there is a two-or-three-day window that will have to work for everyone in order for my to graduate during this academic year. (Oh, and they'd all have to cooperate on my behalf  ... that might be the bigger challenge).

I am not incredibly concerned about graduation in the Summer vs. the Fall, save the fact that a Fall degree means I will have to register and pay tuition for the Fall semester. That's another few thousand dollars that I would rather save. Also, unless I have a PhD listed on my official transcripts by July 1, my employer won't recognize it until the following year (the 2016–2017 academic year). That's an extra $7,000 I'd rather earn this next year as well.