I met with my prospective Field Committee Chair today. We talked about my coursework for the semester, what I should look into taking next semester, and how to formulate my field statement. We also spoke of the reduced schedule I will be starting at work next semester and how that will affect my schedule. I learned at work today that I have a maximum of 6 consecutive (including summer) semesters in the reduced schedule program and must submit my dissertation for prepublication review. This does change my approach a bit, but not drastically.
My goal is to have my dissertation ready for prepublication review very early in 2014 – I’d still like to graduate in May 2014. How do I get there? In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be putting pen to paper and drafting a schedule with milestones and deliverables that will produce a completed dissertation in the early 2014 timeframe. Concurrently, I’ll be narrowing my area of study from “nuclear policy” to something more digestible and more appropriate to a dissertation. I also need to find one more member for my committee. I’m taking a course in the Public and International Affairs Department, and I plan to have the professor teaching that course on my committee. We’ve spoken briefly about it and will have another meeting in the next couple of weeks to finalize that commitment. That leaves just one more member. My successfully finding that committee member will be highly dependent upon my narrowed topic, so I need to get cracking.
I ran into the Assistant Director for PhD Student Services today at the “Coffee and Cookies” social before meeting with my prospective Committee Chair. We agreed to meet this coming Monday to go over my progress and determine how many courses I have left to take – I think I’m within 3 after this semester is over. During the course of our conversation, she revealed that SPP had discovered this blog – so now I guess I’m famous (at least slightly … or something). I started blogging my GMU SPP PhD experience because of another blog I had found when I was applying to the program and thought it was a unique way to provide insight into the experience. I’ve found it helps me keep my perspective as I read back on my previous entries. Anyway – hello to all from GMU SPP who’ve discovered this blog!