Students should discuss their defense timing with the thesis advisor. The final oral exam is only completed after until all other requirements for the degree have been satisfied.
Approximately six months prior to the planned defense date, the student should hold a committee meeting called a prospectus meeting (meeting form here). At this meeting, the student should present research and discuss the timeline to final defense. The thesis committee should advise the student and provide feedback.
At least three weeks prior to the defense, the student must request the final warrant from the MDTP Coordinator.
The final warrant will list the faculty members that have agreed to serve on the thesis committee. If the thesis committee membership changes before the actual exam, another warrant request must be filled out and requested from the Graduate School. Students should remember to schedule an appropriate conference room for the final defense with the representative of the building where the public defense will be held.
At least two weeks prior to the defense, the student and/or the PI must communicate the defense and deposit dates with the PI’s home department HR professional.
If a graduating student requires a letter confirming degree completion after they have deposited but before the end of the semester, the student should request such a letter from the registrar’s office. And students approaching graduation should check out postings on the job opportunities page.
Important – students should review the Graduate School guidelines and deadlines for dissertations well in advance.
The student is responsible for depositing the final, signed warrant and dissertation electronically with the Graduate School.
Dissertation Preparation Assistance
As students prepare their dissertation, they should utilize the services grad school offers. There are dissertation bootcamps, pre-checks with degree officers and more. Check out the grad school dissertation support options here.
Interested in Participating in Commencement Ceremony?
Graduating students who wish to participate in the formal commencement ceremony must apply to graduate. The steps are outlined here.
In order to obtain a doctorate degree, every student must submit a thesis based on original and significant observations. Students are required to present a seminar on his/her/their dissertation research, which is followed directly by the final examination. The final examination will be an oral defense of the thesis to the thesis committee. Three weeks prior to the scheduled oral defense, the student must obtain the Ph.D. warrant from the Graduate School through a request from the program coordinator. For the student to pass the final exam, four of the five-committee members must sign the warrant to affirm passage.
To allow everyone adequate time to review the material, the thesis thesis should be handed out to the thesis committee at least 6 weeks in advance of the defense date. The presentation and defense of the Ph.D. thesis will follow the usual procedures of the Graduate School. The Graduate School states that the thesis must be the candidate’s own work. It may be the result of research enterprises in which others have collaborated, but in those cases the candidate is required to present a substantial portion that represents his/her/their own contribution. Any work in the thesis that was completed by someone other than the author must be clearly indicated as such.
The Graduate School has extensive resources to guide students through the process of finalizing dissertations. The degree coordinators at the Graduate School also offer support in group or individual format to assist students as they finish their PhD careers.