The dissertation defense (final oral exam) and graduation are related topics so you should read both at this time. At the beginning of the semester in which you plan to take the final oral, you should get a copy of Doctoral Deadlines from the Graduate School. It tells how to arrange the final oral and what forms must be submitted for graduation. Forms which require the Graduate Advisor's signature must be completed before requesting the signature.

Dissertation Defense/Final Oral Examination

You must schedule your dissertation defense, also known as the final oral examination, at least two weeks prior to the defense date. You must submit your dissertation/treatise to your Dissertation Committee at least four weeks before your defense.

Arranging the Defense

Give the written dissertation to the committee at least one month prior to the defense. Then, at least two weeks prior to the defense, arrange the date and time of the defense with the members of your Dissertation Committee. You should also reserve a conference room (usually WRW 410) for the defense.

Scheduling the Defense

Schedule the defense through the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the exam. To schedule the defense, get the signatures of your committee members on the Request for Final Oral Examination (pink form), get it approved by the Graduate Advisor, and return it to the Graduate School two weeks before the date of the exam.

Advertising the Defense

At least ONE week (or more) before your scheduled defense, complete the online seminar form and the department will handle the following to assist with advertising your defense:

1) Create a flyer and post in WRW. Please include the following for your flyer: Title, Presenter Name, Location, Time, Abstract
2) Post on our website on the seminar page.

If you wish to do any additional advertising, you will need to handle that on your own. Also, if you plan to serve refreshments, you will be solely responsible for purchasing/coordinating that as well.

The Gold Form

After you have taken the final oral exam, the Dissertation Committee will record its decision on the gold form which is sent separately to your Supervisor. The gold form must be signed by the Graduate Advisor before it can be taken to the Graduate School. It is expected that you will obtain Graduate Advisor’s signature and submit the form to the Graduate School.

Dissertation Signature Sheets

After the defense is a good time to get your dissertation signature sheet(s) signed by the committee.