Scheduling the Defense

No defense shall be scheduled until the dissertation sponsor and department/program chair have signified that, in their judgment, the dissertation is acceptable enough to warrant a defense and final examination by signing the defense application. A decision 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. The department begins scheduling after a proposed defense committee has been approved by the dean and after copies of the dissertation have been distributed to members of the defense committee. No student may schedule his or her own defense.

For programs in the Arts and Sciences and in Teachers College, the Dissertation Office sends official notifications, via email, to students, examiners and departments, of defense time, date, and place. Other schools, divisions, and departments/programs arrange their own notifications.

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