Writing a dissertation is challenging. In many cases the work represents a shift from the structured coursework phase of study to a more self-directed and less structured phase. Taking time to organize your research and work can help you finish it.

The Dissertation Calculator is a flexible tool to help you by breaking down the process into major steps with suggested deadlines. You can edit the steps and timetable to fit your schedule and workflow, the requirements of your advisor and program, and activities of your writing groups or other supports.

The requirements and expectations for a completed dissertation vary widely among academic disciplines. In some, a dissertation is a collection of journal articles or conference presentations and proceedings completed by the student while others follow a more standard format. Check with your department, faculty members, advisor and fellow students to learn about the requirements in your department.

Get Started

  • Log in, name your work, enter in a date you might how to complete your dissertation on, and select the Dissertation Calculator and click the "Create Assignment" button.
  • Review and edit the timing, steps, etc.
  • Save your own copy of the dissertation calculator. Use the default settings or set up your own goals, estimated timelines, notes, and reminders. Complete the check box so the dissertation calculator sends you reminders on the due dates you have specified for each step.

Please contact Kate Peterson (katep@umn.edu) or Kristen Mastel (meye0539@umn.edu) with any questions, comments or feedback on how we can improve this tool.