What happens after you submit your PhD?

The PhD process is most definitely not over after you click that little submit button- there are many, many steps that come after. These steps differ between country and also institution so, I wanted to share the steps at my university that I will be going through in the next few months.


Step 1: Hit that little submit button on my thesis (which is submitted electronically)

Step 2: Primary supervisor hits their submit button on my thesis

Step 3: The REPL, I forget what this title stands for but basically it is the person who looks after all the PhD students in my school, hits their submitted button on my thesis (FYI these first 3 steps have already taken over a week)

Step 4: Thesis gets sent to two markers/examiners who have approx 6 weeks to review my thesis and return comments- it is reasonably common for examiners to get extensions on marking so this process can take longer. 

Step 5: Receive comments back from examiners- my university has recently moved to the verbal defense model, which is not yet used commonly in Australia. So I receive feedback from the examiners approximately 10 days before the verbal defense. 

Step 6: Address the comments and prep for the Viva (verbal defense). 

Step 7: DO THE VIVA (honestly terrifying just thinking about this)- the format of my university is that the two examiners ask questions and go through their comments. This typically takes a few hours. There are a few potential outcomes of the Viva; (1) Pass with no changes = you are a Dr. (this is rare); (2) Pass with minor changes = you are a Dr. subject to making changes and resubmitting your thesis to your supervisor/university (3) Do not pass the Viva, required to make major changes and redo the Viva.

Step 8: After passing the Viva (whether that be the first attempt or not) your thesis will be resubmitted to the university and must be approved in a conferral meeting. The PhD candidates do not require to do anything else at this stage, just admin processes.

Step 9: You are conferred and receive official notice that you have your PhD.

Step 10: Graduation. 

So as I said, clicking the submit button is definitely not the end! Wish me luck!!



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