Ph.D. Dissertation Defense Process

Your defense must be at least six (6) months after your proposal presentation.

After adequate preparation, you must complete a searching and authoritative investigation in your chosen field that culminates in a written dissertation describing that investigation.  An oral defense of the dissertation will be scheduled.  The following procedure must be followed at the time of the dissertation defense.

Step 1. Provide your completed written Ph.D. Dissertation to the members of your Ph.D. Reading Committee.

You must provide copies of the completed final draft of your dissertation to each member of the Ph.D. Dissertation Reading Committee. This must be done at least two weeks before the final dissertation defense. The defense may be scheduled only after the members of your committee have reviewed the written document and consider the dissertation to be satisfactory.

Step 2. Schedule your Ph.D. Dissertation Defense and submit your Ph.D. Dissertation Defense announcement to the Office of Student Services.

Poll your committee and establish a date and time for the defense.  Reserve a room, and prepare an announcement of the defense.  Submit your announcement at the following link:

This step must be completed at least two weeks (14 days) before your defense. The announcement will be posted to the Woodruff School Calendar.

Step 3. Submit your Certificate of Thesis Approval.

Before your presentation, complete a Certificate of Thesis Approval form and bring it to your M.S. Thesis Reading Committee members for them to sign the form to show their acceptance of your thesis.

Also download the Thesis/Proposal/Dissertation Assessment form and bring it to your presentation. Each committee member must fill out and sign the form at the conclusion of your presentation and give the form to the committee chair, who will seal them in an envelope and sign across the flap.  

Both of the above forms must be handed in to the Office of Student Services.



You must be registered during the semester in which the final presentation occurs, unless an Enrollment Waiver ( is requested and approved.