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Dissertation Calculator

based on the Dissertation Calculator (University of Minnesota) -- "breaks down the dissertation process into manageable deadlines and provides you with important resources and advice"

Already completed some stages & need to recalculate?

  1. Enter the target completion date and run the calculator to determine the total number of days left.
  2. Look at the table to determine the factor listed for the stage you are about to begin.
  3. Multiply the remaining number of days by the factor for that stage to determine how many days were allocated to the steps you've already completed.
  4. Count back from today to determine the date that is prior to today by the number of days calculated in step 3.
  5. Change the start date to the date determined in step 4 and re-run the calculator.

For example, if the calculator indicates that your target date is 515 days away and you've already completed stages 1-5 and are ready to begin stage 6, then multiple 515 by the factor 0.15 to determine that 77 days were allocated to steps 1-5. Change the start date in the calculator to 77 days earlier and recalculate.

How do you determine what the date was 77 days ago?

In Google, search for "77 days before today"

In Excel, use the formula "=today()-77"

Enter a negative number, e.g., "-77" into the Days From Now Calculator

What about determining the date 77 days before a date other than today?

In Excel, use the formula "=date(yyyy,mm,dd)-77"

Percentage Time Allocated to 18 Stages

The dates are calculated by allocating a specific percentage of the time to each stage between the start and completion dates:

Stage Percent Cumulative Prior  Factor
1 2% 0% 0
2 2% 2% 0.02
3 4% 4% 0.04
4 4% 8% 0.09
5 1% 12% 0.14
6 7% 13% 0.15
7 2% 20% 0.25
8 2% 22% 0.28
9 26% 24% 0.32
10 5% 50% 1
11 20% 55% 1.22
12 5% 75% 3
13 5% 80% 4
14 5% 85% 5.67
15 2% 90% 9
16 4% 92% 11.5
17 2% 96% 24
18 2% 98% 49

The factor is calculated by dividing the cumulative percentage by the remaining percentage, e.g., if the cumulative percentage is 24% then the factor is

24 / (100-24) = 24 / 76 = 0.32