2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Final Dissertation Defense

All candidates for the doctoral degree are required to complete successfully an oral defense covering the dissertation, in defensible, final form, administered by their doctoral committee. The time and place of the defense will be announced at least 10 days in advance. All committee members must be supplied a copy of the dissertation well in advance of the scheduled defense to allow adequate time to review the final product. This deadline will be determined by the committee. No defense will be given without all committee members present, unless prior consent is granted by the graduate dean in consultation with the chairperson of the examining committee and the absent committee member.

Two dissenting votes among members of the examining committee are required to fail a candidate. If one member of the examining committee dissents, the dissenting examiner and, if appropriate, the chairperson of the examining committee will file with the dean of the Graduate School a letter detailing the circumstances of the dissent.

If the candidate has failed the defense, the examining committee must prepare a report including reasons for failure and requirements to be met. The examining committee chairperson must file this report with the dean of the Graduate School within seven days from the date of the defense. Permission to defend for a second time must be obtained from the chairperson of the doctoral committee and the dean of the Graduate School. Failure to pass the second defense will result in termination of doctoral study.

Upon passing the final dissertation defense, the candidate will be formally recommended to receive the degree. Candidates must complete all degree requirements at least four weeks before the end of the semester or term in which they are certified for graduation.