Guidelines for the Dissertation Defense

  • Follow all steps outlined by the Graduate School here: Select Graduation Deadlines and Submission Instructions for the appropriate semester.
  • Key timelines to note:
    • Your committee should receive a copy of your dissertation at least one month before you plan to defend.
    • The Request for Final Oral Form must be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the defense. Submitting this form officially schedules your defense with the university.
  • Contact the CSEM Graduate Coordinator, Stephanie Rodriguez (, once you have selected a date for the defense.
  • Reservations for POB 4.304 and 6.304 are made through Charlott Low ( In your request, please include: room number, date, start time, end time, purpose of reservation.
  • Reservations for any other room in POB are made through the online reservation system:
  • You should reserve at least a 4-hour time period for the defense. Most defenses take a minimum of three hours and can take up to four or more. You want to be sure to allow ample time for set-up/clean-up and questions from your committee.
  • Plan for 10-15 minutes for set up (refreshments, seating, media), and 10-15 minutes for clean up. It is your responsibility to make sure the room is clean after the defense.
  • If possible, avoid scheduling the defense back-to-back with another student’s defense.