Updated: January 10, 2020
For Ph.D. Candidate:
- At least 6 weeks prior to the desired dissertation defense date, The candidate must provide a copy of the complete dissertation (electronic or hardcopy) to the committee members for review and obtain endorsement from all the committee members that the dissertation is ready for defense after the director and readers have reviewed and approved the dissertation (this endorsement is just indicating that the director and readers believe the dissertation is ready for defense, but are not making any judgment on the eventual outcome (i.e., pass/fail) of the oral defense).
- At least 1 month prior to the desired dissertation defense date (the earliest option in the form), submit the SoE Defense Scheduling Form to the dean's office. The dissertation director/advisor and student should work with other committee members to propose two possible time slots (date and time) for the oral defense and ensure the endorsement signatures from all the committee members are obtained before submitting the form.
- The dean’s office is responsible for assigning the Secretary and Chair for the doctoral dissertation defense, submitting necessary forms to the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, and coordinating the scheduling of the defense.
- At least 2 weeks prior to the desired dissertation defense date, the student should contact the Office of Graduate Studies to have the dissertation formatting approved and obtain the necessary paperwork for defense including the Permission to Publish form. Please carefully read the Dissertation Handbook and Online Doctoral Dissertation Submission Guidelines at the Office of Graduate Studies website (https://graduate-studies.catholic.edu/doctoral/index.html) for more details to prepare and submit the dissertation.
- At least 2 weeks prior to the desired dissertation defense date, the candidate should supply an electronic copy of the dissertation to the Chair and Secretary, and he/she should also provide the hardcopies upon request.
- At least 1 week prior to the scheduled dissertation defense date, The student should submit the doctoral dissertation leaflet (in pdf or word file) to the dean’s office.
- At least 1 week prior to the scheduled dissertation defense date, The student should submit the Permission to Publish form to the dean’s office.
Please strictly follow the above instructions to prepare your dissertation defense. If the necessary paperwork, including the Permission to Publish form and the doctoral dissertation leaflet, are not received by the dean’s office on time, your dissertation defense may be cancelled. You have to restart your dissertation defense process, which may significantly delay your defense and may cause you not to be able to graduate on time.
- Make sure your students follow the procedures and meet the deadlines (these deadlines are firm)
- Assure a good quality dissertation
- Endorse the dissertation is ready for defense and sign the SoE Defense Scheduling Form
- Coordinate with the Dean’s office to schedule the defense
- Review the dissertation in advance and endorse the dissertation is ready for defense.
- Sign the SoE Defense Scheduling Form
- The Secretary will pick up the examination materials and official forms from Dean’s office before the defense.
- Verify that all members of the examining committee are present.
- The Chair will consult with the major professor and readers to establish the format of the examination and describe the examination procedure to the candidate.
- The Chair will ensure that the examination is conducted with decorum and in accordance with the agreed format and the University’s regulations and guidelines.
- The Secretary should serve as timekeeper and inform the Chair discreetly if any segment of the examination appears to be exceeding the appropriate allotment of time.
- The Chair and Secretary should ensure the forms are signed and return the signed forms to the Dean’s Office after the defense.
- The signatures of the Director and Readers on the “SoE Defense Scheduling” form indicate that they believe the dissertation is substantially complete and has met their expectations in terms of quality of work, which includes the overall quality of the written dissertation, and is ready for defense. However, it does not imply any judgment on the eventual outcome (i.e., pass/fail) of the oral defense. It also does not guarantee that further non-substantive changes will not be requested as a result of the discussions during the defense even the student passes the defense. If the committee finds weaknesses as a result of the discussions at the defense, non-substantive changes can be requested of the student.
- While the chair and secretary can choose to read the dissertation, they are not under obligation to do so.
- The Dean’s Office maintains a list of all engineering faculty members— excluding the dean—eligible to serve as chair and/or secretary. The Dean’s Office will assign the chair and secretary from these lists on a rotational basis. The selected faculty members are under obligation to serve when assigned and must confirm within two days of notice that they can and will serve. If a faculty member who is unable to serve when assigned must notify via email the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Faculty, and his or her department chairperson (in the case of a department chairperson serving as a chair or secretary, the latter does not apply) detailing the reasons for being unable to serve (examples of valid reasons could be teaching obligations, work travel, reasonable schedule conflicts, work deadlines requiring dedicated time and effort, etc.) In the event a faculty member is unable to serve when assigned, he or she will remain at the top of the rotation list.
Deadlines for holding Dissertation Defenses and final deposit of Doctoral Dissertations in upcoming semesters are given on the Information for Current Students page.