- Write final version of PhD thesis (the longest step!)
- Send thesis to supervisors (then deal with their comments - this can take months)
- Send thesis to School for a final pre-submission check (then deal with those comments)
- Send thesis off for examination by two experienced international researchers (ok, so one of them was from New Zealand - still counts!), wait for several months...
- Deal with those comments, send through to Head of School (along with evidence that I've actually dealt with those comments and not just ignored them)
- Get thesis approved by the Head of School (an important step - it means I never have to edit it again!)
- Make realllly sure that I haven't made any typos or formatting mistakes, then send thesis off to be bound in shiny pretty books
- Get books signed by the necessary people then give them to the Graduate Research Office
- Get my final thesis approved by the Senate and be placed in a graduation schedule.
So now all I have to do is wait for August 11th and graduate! As you can probably see, the main problem with getting a PhD accepted is that there are so many steps that you can never be sure when to go all out and celebrate - in a way, it sucks out a little of the joy because there's no single defined endpoint. Though doing a PhD certainly feels like doing a marathon, the analogy stops at the finishing line because instead of one big ribbon to run through at the end, there are a lot of little finish lines along the way! So I decided a while ago to save the biggest party for graduation day - the day I can finally call myself Doctor.