Essential Instructions

Dissertation Guidelines

Essential Instructions


Following your written and oral comprehensive examinations, work with your major advisor to identify a topic for your dissertation.  Conduct a literature review and take any additional courses to give you the necessary experience and knowledge to write a dissertation proposal.

Proposal Structure:

The proposal is a written document of 25-30 pages that contains the rationale for your dissertation. In addition, it delineates your research hypotheses, subjects, procedures, and instruments, if you are conducting empirical research or it delineates the theoretical background for your dissertation if you are conducting qualitative or theoretical research. (Your tuition is reduced another 50% (to 25% of full tuition) after you pass your proposal.)

  • Work on your proposal with the chair of your committee. Once the chair feels that your proposal is in good shape, then you should send it to the members of your committee. Give them two weeks to respond to your proposal. Incorporate their changes and defend the final version.

Committee Structure:

While you are writing your proposal, work with the chair of your dissertation to form a committee of 4-5 researchers. Your committee should include at least four members who cover five roles:

  • the chair of the committee, from your department
  • one other faculty member from your department
  • one faculty member from another department at MIU
  • one faculty member from another university
  • The fifth “role” is responsible for the Maharishi Vedic Science and Graduate Committee issues. This role can be covered by a fifth member or by one of the above members of your committee.

  • Points on your Dissertation

          To bring Maharishi Vedic Science into your dissertation all students create a Richo Akshare line and Unified Field Chart, or a Chart of Validation of Experiences ( MVS’s Reading Vedic Literature Program).

          The guidelines are explained at the links below:

          Finishing Your Dissertation

          • Dissertation Style and Formatting Aids
          • Each part of the dissertation — title page, abstract, acknowledgements — has a very specific format. This link is for a template of those three pages. Download them and simply add your title and details to the template. This PDF of a slide presentation tells you all the rules.
          • We also recommend that you use bibliographic software such as Zotero (free),  EasyBib (free) or Endnote ($180+)This software  automatically put the body of your text in APA Style and format your bibliography (you will still have to create the preliminary pages that are unique to dissertations, following the guidelines provided by Maharishi International University–see the slide presentation).
          • Timeline for Finishing Your Dissertation
          • This is important.  If you wait until the last minute—a month before graduation—it is stressful for you, your chair, and the library.  To make this process comfortable for everyone, follow this schedule.
            1. Four months before you plan to graduate, you should give your chair a version of your dissertation that is complete to your satisfaction. You can send then chapters before them.  Work with your chair to see what they prefer,
            2. Work with your chair polishing your dissertation—this could take 4-6 weeks. Writing is re-writing.  Plan for this time.
            3. Once you and your chair have a polished draft, send it to the two MIU committee members. They can have up to 2 weeks to respond, out of respect for their other duties.
            4. Once you receive and address their corrections, working with your chair, then send it to the outside committee member—again they have up to two weeks to respond.
            5. Then once you receive and address the last corrections, prepare for your defense. Send two or three possible times to hopefully fit everyone’s schedule. 
            6. Send an announcement to the Dean of Faculty so that the MIU community can be aware of your dissertation.
            7. Once you have defended your dissertation, send an electronic copy of what you defended to the library, so they are aware you wish to finish. Then make the corrections—if any—from your defense and bring that to the library. Along with all the items–see tab PHD Dissertation Checklist
            8. You need to have your final version—fully complete—into the library two weeks before graduation—that means you want to send it to the library three weeks before graduation so you can deal with any other issues.

          Content Updated September 2023