Final Defense Information

  • Review the School of Graduate Studies Publication Guide and attend a thesis/dissertation review information session
  • Review the School of Graduation Degree Completion page
  • Meet with your GPC
    • Review your official degree and plan type ensure they are correct in Banner
    • Review your official committee to make sure that it is correct (NO committee changes can be made within 6 weeks of the final defense)
    • Review your file: are your SCAF, POS, and TPA or ACDD forms approved and accurate?
    • Discuss how many credits you need for the semester of defense
    • Discuss departmental thesis/dissertation review procedures and timeframe
  • Determine when you need to have your degree in hand
    • Work with your Major Professor and committee to determine a timeline for thesis/dissertation completion
  • Review the Format & Style form and Authorship & Copyright form
    • Discuss the ownership of data and authorship rights with your committee
  • Register for correct number of credits
  • Meet with your GPC
    • Conduct a final review of your official forms to make sure they are correct
    • Discuss any departmental requirements
    • Discuss how the defense room is reserved
  • Work with your committee to determine the date and time of your defense
  • Submit your thesis, Plan B paper, or dissertation to each committee member at least one month prior to your defense date
  • Reserve a room
  • Submit your Appointment for Examination at least 10 BUSINESS days prior to your defense
    • Check on the progress of approvals on your AFE, follow up with GPC and/or committee members to make sure it is approved in a timely manner
    • If the Appointment for Examination is not fully approved before the date of defense, the defense is not official, and will need to be rescheduled
  • Breathe
  • Any final defense held without following the proper procedures is invalid
  • All defenses are public
  • You must be registered for at least 3 credits the semester of defense (to be considered full time at 3 credits, a Full-Time at 3 credits form must be approved).
    • If all credit requirements on an approved Program of Study are met, you may qualify to register for 1 credit in the semester of defense. Registering for 1 credit will not qualify you for full-time (i.e. you cannot be on an assistantship and will NOT be considered “full-time” or eligible to defer repayment of some student loans.).
    • International students must be registered as a full time student, thus do NOT qualify to register for 1 credit.
  • Your Supervisory committee cannot be changed in the 6 weeks prior to defense.
  • All committee members must attend the defense at the date and time registered with the School of Graduate Studies
    • Up to 1 member of a Master’s committee or up to 2 members of a doctoral committee may participate remotely (i.e. via Zoom or Skype).
  • No committee member should agree to proceed with a defense until they have carefully read and approved the thesis, dissertation, or Plan B paper
    • If the paper is not ready to be defended, notify the Major Professor and student, then reschedule the defense
  • The student should be informed of the defense results at the conclusion of the defense
    • The Major Professor or designated committee member should inform the GPC of the results of the defense as soon as possible
    • The GPC will then submit the Record of Examination in ServiceNow, and the committee will verify the results of the defense
  • Plan A and Doctoral students should review the Thesis/Dissertation requirements, Plan B students should review the Plan B Report/Creative Project Submission requirements
  • Once an Appointment for Exam has been approved by the committee and Graduate School, any changes to the date, time, and/or location require the submission and approval of a new Appointment for Exam.
  • If it is not possible to schedule a time when the student and all committee members can be physically present for the final defense, it is allowed for up to 1 member of a Master’s committee or up to 2 members of a Doctoral committee to participate remotely.
    • Please note: the student and all committee members must be participating at the time of the defense.
  • If the defense is not successful, the student will need to schedule a redefense and will need to be registered for the semester of redefense.
  • If there are any questions about the requirements for defense, please contact your GPC.

Defense Deadlines


 Fall 2021Spring 2022Summer 2022
Defense (Doctoral, Master's Plan A, B)December 17, 2021May 5, 2022August 12, 2022
Degree Completion (Doctoral, Master's Plan A, B)December 17, 2021May 5, 2022August 12, 2022
Mater's Plan C notification to SGS from GPCNovember 1, 2021TBATBA
Degrees awarded byJanuary 31, 2022June 17, 2022September 26, 2022