Dissertation Defense

PLANNING TO DEFEND?

Here are a few reminders …. 

You Must Be Enrolled

Students are required to be enrolled in the semester in which they defend. Students are not enrolled the semester(s) after they defend unless they fail or pass with major revisions (see details at end of this document).

International Students
It is the student’s responsibility to meet with Ms. Beverly Tarver in Student Diversity International to discuss graduation plans to determine if/how their visa and student compliance status will be affected. If a student is planning to apply for OPT he/she must allow sufficient time for the application process. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that he/she remains in compliance with all his/her official paperwork for student status and has completed all appropriate applications and paperwork that may be required for his/her post-graduation plans in the US.

Prepare Your Dissertation

In the preparation of a thesis/dissertation, the student should consult the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide and follow the instructions for the required format. In no instance should another thesis/dissertation be used as a guide for the style and format of a manuscript. It is the responsibility of the Major Advisor to see that the student adheres to these policies. The Graduate School will not approve thesis/dissertations that do not follow the format outlined in the manual.

Visit the Library Resource Page

Set Up Your Defense

Get Your Readers Approved
The student must send a memo for the selection of reader(s) to the TGS Dean’s office for approval. While The Graduate School only requires one reader, specific programs may require more readers. 

Apply for Graduation 
Once a final oral defense is scheduled, the student must complete the online Application for Graduation.

Schedule Your Defense 
The student must coordinate a time and date that is agreed upon by his/her advisor, all committee members, reader(s) and the TGS. The student must then schedule and coordinate the final oral defense through the TGS Dean’s office.

  • The Oral Defense must take place no later than 3 weeks before the end of the term (graduation). 
  • ALL final documents and forms must be submitted 1 week prior to the end of the term (graduation).
  • No oral defenses will be scheduled to take place between semesters.

Reserve Your Room 
The student is responsible for scheduling the room location and coordinating distance technology for the committee members that will not be present face-to-face at the final oral defense. Prior to the final oral defense, the student should send copies of his/her PowerPoint presentation to any committee members/readers participating via distance technology.

Prepare For Your Presentation

Distribute Your Thesis/Dissertation Draft 
Please note the student’s thesis/dissertation “draft” must follow the policies and required style and format outlined in the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Booklet. Advisor-approved draft of thesis/dissertation should be submitted to Advisory Committee 5 weeks (or more) before final oral examination.

The Corrected draft copy of your Thesis/Dissertation must be submitted to the Major Advisor, Advisory Committee, Reader(s) and The Graduate School 2 weeks (or more) before final oral exam.

Two Weeks Prior to Oral Defense The following must be submitted to The Graduate School at least 2 weeks before the final oral exam:

Announce Your Defense 
The student is responsible for producing and sending his/her thesis/dissertation announcement to faculty and students. The announcement should be mailed via campus mail at least 2 weeks before final oral exam.

The announcement template will be emailed to the student upon request. Campus mailing labels can be picked up in The Graduate School.

Dissertation Defense Procedures

Oral Defense Results 

Your defense will be evaluated by the following rubrics.

Pass/Minor Revisions
If a student passes with minor revisions, he/she will not be enrolled (nor will be allowed to enroll) for the following semester (or any subsequent semesters) in the degree program in which he/she has just defended his/her dissertation. The student will be expected to graduate at the end of the semester in which he/she defends. The student’s final approved revised thesis/dissertation and ALL final paperwork is required to be submitted to TGS one week prior to the end of the semester/graduation.

Pass/Major Revisions or Fail
If a student passes with major revisions or fails, a subcommittee will be appointed and he/she must enroll for the following semester. The subcommittee will establish a list of necessary revisions and a timeline for completion that are required to be fulfilled to the satisfaction of the subcommittee in order for the thesis/dissertation to be approved and subsequently accepted by The Graduate School in partial fulfillment of the MS/PhD degree requirements. The student’s final approved revised thesis/dissertation and ALL final paperwork is required to be submitted to TGS one week prior to the end of the semester/graduation.