Finish what you started.

That’s the concept behind the Dissertation Institute — a graduate school program that propels doctoral students to complete their dissertations in a timely fashion.

The program aspires to help raise NC State doctoral student completion rates, which normally means getting doctoral candidates to hunker down and finish their dissertations. The current rate — around 62 percent of NC State doctoral students complete their degrees within 10 years — hews closely to the national average. Graduate School administrators, however, would like to see 70 percent of NC State students completing their degrees within 10 years of starting them.

“Increasing doctoral enrollment is an important part of NC State’s strategic plan, so getting students through their doctoral programs — and completing their dissertations — is a must,” said Meagan Kittle Autry, director of thesis and dissertation support services in NC State’s Graduate School. “We try to provide light at the end of the tunnel to help students realize that finishing that dissertation is possible.”

The Dissertation Institute is a weeklong program held twice yearly at the end of the fall and spring semesters. It combines writing instruction, personalized consultation with a writing coach and workshops on best dissertation-writing practices.

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