If a dissertation is judged unsatisfactory by either of the examiners, the staff of the Institute may in its discretion recommend either (1) that the dissertation be resubmitted with such changes as may have been indicated by the examiners, or (2) that the dissertation be sent to a special panel of outside referees for re-examination, if the decision is challenged, or (3) that a new thesis be submitted within three years. In any case, the recommendation must be approved by the Dean of GPS. If the dissertation has been passed by the External Examiner, a final oral examination is held on the subject of the dissertation and subjects intimately related to it.
It is recommended that the student begin preparing for thesis study no later than the term before the first thesis study enrollment period or the end of their junior year, whichever comes first. One may prepare by registering for an Honors Independent Study under the professor who will presumably become his or her thesis chair/mentor. This independent study will be undertaken with the goal of deciding a suitable topic for thesis study and will most often limit the number of thesis hours taken to three. If this option is used, the student is strongly encouraged to talk with prospective committee members as to the topic under study so they will have the opportunity to give input as the thesis idea is formulated.