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Once admitted to Ph.D. candidacy (aka becoming ABD—All But Dissertation), the student focuses all attention on completing a dissertation.

Students register for HIST 994 once they have passed their comprehensive exams and prospectus defense. HIST 994 registration allows students to conduct dissertation research on or away from campus. A minimum of six hours are required and cannot be taken simultaneously during one semester.
Between twelve and eighteen months after achieving ABD status, students must schedule and complete a formal progress review with their examining committees.
Upon completion, all degree candidates must successfully defend their dissertations before a committee composed of their adviser and four additional faculty members, two of whom may be qualified faculty members from outside the UNC History department. (Note: Complete the Dissertation Defense Form via the Graduate Student Intranet at least three weeks in advance of the defense date.)