The Dissertation Can No Longer Be Defended

The Dissertation Can No Longer Be Defended 1

Fabrizio Costantini for The Chronicle

Alex Galarza, a Ph.D. student in history at Michigan State U., works on an interactive digital dissertation on soccer clubs of the 1950s and 60s in Buenos Aires.

The dissertation is broken, many scholars agree. So now what?

Rethinking the academic centerpiece of a graduate education is an obvious place to start if, as many people believe, Ph.D. programs are in a state of crisis. Universities face urgent calls to reduce the time it takes to complete degrees, reduce attrition, and do more to prepare doctoral candidates for nonacademic careers, as students face rising debt and increased competition for a shrinking number of tenure-track