Academic Dissertations in the News

Graduate Student Solves Quantum Verification Problem

10 October 2018

Urmila Mahadev spent eight years in graduate school solving one of the most basic questions in quantum computation: How do you know whether a quantum computer has done anything quantum at all? ... Finally, she had the makings of a “very beautiful Ph.D. dissertation.”

Read more at Quanta Magazine.

Articles, Not Books

25 September 2018

New study suggests that science dissertations increasingly are research article based, not book-length studies, reflecting the professionalization of the Ph.D.

Not every dissertation has to be a monograph. That’s what disciplinary associations in the humanities have been saying for years, as they advocate for a broader definition of what constitutes the doctoral capstone. But what about the natural sciences? New research from North Carolina State University suggests that math- and science-oriented institutions are seeing a big shift toward article-style dissertations, and that the trend is likely to continue.

Read more at Inside Higher Ed

Examples of prize-winning Ph.D. theses and dissertations

15 September 2018

Date published by Date updated: February 12, 2018

See and download examples at

What’s the point of the PhD thesis?

6 July 2018

Doctoral courses are slowly being modernized. Now the thesis and viva need to catch up, in Nature by Julie Gould

PhDs are assessed in very different ways around the world. Almost all involve a written thesis, but those come in many forms. ... This isn't necessarily a problem in itself, but some researchers worry that the decades-old doctoral assessment system is showing strain. ... Farrar, like other scientists, suspects that the PhD assessment is not keeping up with the times. Single-author tomes seem outdated when much of research has become a multidisciplinary, team endeavour. Research is becoming more open, but PhD assessments can lack transparency: vivas are sometimes held behind closed doors. Some PhD theses languish, little-used, on office shelves or in archives. Read more at