A Dissertation Examination Committee is formed when the Dissertation Advisory Committee has decided that the student is ready to defend his/her dissertation.  At that time, the student makes an appointment with a staff member of the Division of Medical Sciences to review dissertation requirements and regulations. 


The Exam Committee consists of three examiners plus an alternate examiner and an Exam Committee Chairman.  Members of the Exam Committee are selected with the help of the student's DAC, the Director of PiN, the thesis advisor, and the student.


The average time to completion for the Ph.D. is approximately 5½ years.  Completion of the Ph.D. requires writing a thesis, presenting a seminar describing the results of this research, and passing an oral examination.  Additionally PiN expects that most students will graduate with at least one first-author paper or two or more other papers.


Harvard awards official degrees only three times during the year:  March, May, and November.  However, a student may defend his or her dissertation any time during the year.

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