Scheduling the Defense

No defense shall be scheduled until the dissertation sponsor and department/program chair have signified that, in their judgment, the dissertation warrants a defense by signing the defense application. A determination by the sponsor that a dissertation warrants a defense does not necessarily indicate a passing vote at the dissertation defense.

Defenses are scheduled by the administrative office of the PhD candidate's department or program.

GSAS requires that the Application for Dissertation Defense be submitted to the Dissertation Office at least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense date. For programs in the Arts and Sciences and in Teachers College, the Dissertation Office sends official notifications of defense time, date, and place via email, to students, examiners and departments. Other schools, divisions, and departments/programs arrange their own notifications.

After obtaining the defense time, date, and place, the GSAS Dissertation Office prints the Voting Sheet and sends it, along with copyright, formatting, and deposit information to the candidate’s department/program (see Formatting Guidelines and Electronic Deposit Gateway).  At the conclusion of the defense, committee members indicate their votes on and sign the Voting Sheet, which becomes a formal record of the defense for the Graduate School. The department/program must return the signed Voting Sheet to the Dissertation Office. The Voting Sheet should not be given to the student. The candidate receives the remaining deposit materials at the end of the defense.