Dissertation Boot Camp

The Dissertation Boot Camp jumpstarted my writing and put me in a position to finish my dissertation on time! I wrote just over 30 pages alongside the other dissertators, and it was truly invaluable to connect with others who were in a similar position as me to learn how to set productive writing goals, avoid procrastinating, and work through complex ideas.

– Cody C., Communication, 2022

The next Dissertation Boot Camp will be held on January 10th, 11th, 12th, 2023. Boot Camp will be virtual again, and free of charge.

The registration deadline is Tuesday, January 3, 2023. Apply Now.

Boot Camp is held for three days of supported writing, tutoring, guidance on writing process, and camaraderie. You’ll find your rhythm writing alongside a community of peers. In past years, Boot Camp participants have produced the equivalent of two full dissertations in just three days.

We have listened to student feedback and continue to fine tune for a Boot Camp that’s well-suited to working virtually. Our breaks, programming, and schedule make participating in Bootcamp comfortable and productive for everyone. And we know working virtually may come with interruptions, but we ask participants to try to commit to three full days of writing as much as possible.

“I had been feeling really stuck with my work, and this event loosened my thoughts up a bit and allowed me to make more critical connections to the literature. I lessened the amount of unnecessary self-editing and just wrote.

Who is Boot Camp for?

Boot Camp is limited to doctoral dissertators and students in the terminal MFA programs.
PhD students must:

  • Be in good academic standing.
  • Have achieved Dissertator status.
  • Have passed the proposal stage and be in the write-up phase.

What should I expect at Boot Camp?

  1. Three days of writing, eight hours each, spent focused on your dissertation
  2. A structured day with periods of quiet writing and regular breaks
  3. Opportunity for connection to other dissertators at UWM
  4. Introduction to goal setting and effective writing strategies
  5. Guidance on writing process from faculty experts
  6. Optional breaktime exercise activities to stay fresh
  7. Writing tutors available on-line every afternoon through UWM’s Writing Center
  8. A community of fellow dissertators at UWM

The real conversations about writing, barriers, and tangible suggestions to be a better writer are incredibly valuable.

What do I need for Boot Camp?

  1. A comfortable private space where you can write for long periods and join discussions with other participants.
  2. Your own computer for writing. (You will need to sustain connectivity across these 3 days, so plan to have access to a power source without disrupting your work.)
  3. Internet access.
  4. A speaker and microphone on your device.
  5. An optional webcam if you want to be able to share video during our discussions.
  6. A firm resolution not to check email, texts, social networks, or the internet during writing periods!
  7. Chocolate and coffee?!
  8. A “can do” attitude. We believe in you!


The cost for participation is free! All UWM Dissertators are invited to apply. Eligible participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Boot Camp will be limited to a maximum of 50 participants.

Register Here

To participate, you must commit to attending all three days. If you know you have a substantial conflict during the January 10-12 Boot Camp hours, check with us about whether our ReBoots might be better for you. Of course, we understand that working virtually from home involves all sorts of interruptions and occasional distractions, but we ask all participants to plan to work as much as possible all three days.

Writing with a group was very helpful to me. So often, I lose motivation and focus when I am on my own, but being surrounded by dozens of other graduate students for three days in a row was great.


We are happy to provide more information and discuss the program with you. Please reach out by email to our professional development intern, Mollie Boutell (mboutell@uwm.edu).