October 7, 2019


Don’t know what to expect at your thesis or dissertation defense? Your best resource to find out what to expect at a defense is your thesis or dissertation advisor. They can tell you how to prepare, what you should bring, what any norms or protocol are with respect to defenses, and answer any other questions you may have.

Did you know that you can also attend one of your classmate’s defense? As stated in the defense announcement, these are open to the public. This is a great opportunity to also find out exactly what happens in a defense.

Defense Announcements

Please refer to the Academic Calendar for defense deadlines. The template for the defense announcement (Appendix E) is found in the Thesis/Dissertation Manual.

All thesis and dissertation defenses should be announced at least a week in advance of the defense. Contact your program’s graduate director or graduate program assistant for information about having your announcement made public.

Signature Page

You should take a copy of your final signature page to the defense. The Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form is availble electronically from the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. After you successfully defend, your committee, your department’s chair, and the college dean will sign this form.