Doctoral students must submit their dissertation to their major professor before distributing it to their Advisory Committee. The dissertation may be written as a series of papers already published or ready for publication, along with an introduction/literature survey as the first chapter and a review of all the results and their significance in the last chapter. Generally, a dissertation should contain four or five chapters. Once approved by the major professor, the dissertation must be submitted to the Advisory Committees at least two weeks before the defense. In addition, the student must notify Susan White (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least three weeks in advance of the final defense. This notification must include the student’s name, title of presentation, time, place, and committee members. Susan will then notify the Graduate School no later than two weeks in advance of the final defense.The required defense, and the required ‘exit seminar’, may be held together with the seminar immediately following the defense, or they may be decoupled. If your exit seminar is not on the same date as your defense, you will only briefly summarize your research during the defense with the committee only. Your exit seminar and thesis defense can happen anytime within the same semester. However, a full hour public seminar is required for graduation from our department.
To schedule your exit seminar, please contact
Susan White (email@example.com). Given that the usual seminar room, B118
Life Sciences, is subject to centralized classroom and event scheduling, you
are strongly encouraged to initiate a room reservation request through Susan
early in the semester in which you anticipate defending.
If all of your committee members cannot make the scheduled exit seminar, you must work with David Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) to have your seminar recorded. The Graduate School requires that all of your committee members participate, either in person or by Skype, at the defense.
After the defense, students may be required by their Advisory Committee to make revisions to the dissertation prior to submitting the final copy to the Graduate School.
Completing degree requirements and
graduation are not synonymous. The student must be registered during the
semester in which degree requirements are completed, but need not actually
graduate until the following semester. If a student wishes to graduate in the
same semester in which degree requirements are completed, he or she must submit
the thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School for approval at least two
weeks before the graduation date and must submit the thesis/dissertation approval form to the Graduate School at least one week before the
If the student does not meet these deadlines, however, he or she is considered registered until the registration period for the next semester and may use that additional time to submit the thesis or dissertation and the approval form. Registration for the subsequent semester will not be required and a letter will be received from the Graduate School stating that all degree requirements have been met and that graduation will occur the subsequent semester. Students receive periodic updates on their status from the Graduate School.