Defense and Graduation

    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 (whites@uga.edu) 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 (whites@uga.edu). 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 (brown@uga.edu) 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.

    Genetics Department Dissertation Checklist

    • ________ Review all relevant submission and form deadlines for your graduation term on the Graduate School's website under the Current Students tab, Important Dates & Deadlines
      ________ Apply for Graduation via Athena no later than Friday of the first full week of classes the semester of the anticipated graduation date
    • ________ Arrange through Susan White for a seminar room for exit seminar
    • ________ Reserve a conference room for final defense, if desired in a separate room from exit seminar (optional)
    • ________ Dissertation/thesis approved by major professor
    • ________ Dissertation/thesis submitted to Advisory Committee at least two weeks before scheduled defense
    • ________ Complete copy of thesis/dissertation submitted electronically to the Graduate School for a format check by the deadline for your graduation term
    • ________ Graduate School notified of date of Final Defense via Susan White (B110) or Graduate Coordinator. Send time, place, title and committee members to Susan three weeks prior to exam date
    • ________ Corrections (requested by Advisory Committee) on dissertation/thesis completed
    • ________ Complete final ETD submission by the deadline for your graduation term
    • ________ Final Defense Approval form and ETD Submission Approval form for dissertation/thesis submitted to Graduate School by the deadline for your graduation term (copies given to Susan)
    • ________ Laboratory space cleaned, departmental keys returned to, and Departmental Check Sheet completed and given to Tina Weidemann (B108) (including your forwarding address)

    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 graduation date.

    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.


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