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Final Dissertation Defense

You are required to successfully complete an oral defense of your dissertation, in defensible, final form, administered by your committee. The time and place of the defense will be announced at least 10 days in advance. All committee members need to attend your defense unless the Graduate School dean gives prior consent after consulting with the department chairperson and absent committee member.

If you receive two dissenting votes among members of the examining committee, you will fail your dissertation defense. If one member of the examining committee dissents, the dissenting examiner and, if appropriate, the chairperson of the examining committee will provide a letter to the Graduate School dean detailing the circumstances of the dissent. If you fail the defense, the examining committee will prepare a report including reasons for failure and requirements you must meet. The chairperson of the examining committee will file this report with the dean of the Graduate School within seven days from the date of the defense. You’ll need to obtain permission for a second defense from the committee chairperson and the graduate dean. If you fail your second defense, you will need to terminate your doctoral studies.

Once you pass your final dissertation defense, you will be formally recommended to receive your degree. You must complete all degree requirements at least four weeks before the end of the semester or term in which you are certified for graduation. In a term that does not end with a commencement ceremony, you’ll need to complete all degree requirements at least two weeks before the close of the term.