Final Dissertation and Thesis Defense

Once a student has completed his or her thesis, they may request a Graduation Packet from the Graduate Program office. Included in the packet is the"Thesis Reviewer’s Report Form” along with the Application for Degree. Committee members should be updated to reflect who will serve as committee chair and who will serve in a reviewing capacity. Students should remember that an advisor cannot be the chair of the Final Defense Committee.  Typically, a student's advisor, co-advisor, or one other CS member and the outside member are designated reviewers. 

Copies of a student's thesis should be given to all members of the committee. It is important to note that all members of a student's committee read his or her thesis; although only those designated as thesis reviewers sign the form indicating that the thesis is ready for defense. Student's must notify their advisor and the other members of the committee at least two weeks in advance that the thesis will be delivered on a particular date. All members of the examining committee must then have at least two weeks to read the thesis after it has been delivered.The reviewers must decide unanimously that the thesis is ready for defense.  Upon completion of the review, designated committee members sign the Reviewer's Report form to certify that a student is ready for defense. The Reviewer's Report form must be submitted too the Graduate Student Services and Progress Office at minimum one week before the date of a student's Final Oral Examination. 

Once a student's thesis is complete with all requested changes made,the thesis along with a cover page signed by the student and advisor must be submitted to GSSP. In signing the cover page, the advisor is certifying that all requested changes have been made. Students will then be requested to submit a thesis online. The Computer Science and Engineering department also requests that students submit one bound copy of the final thesis to the department. Directions for thesis submission along with thesis formatting instructions can be found here.  More involved thesis formatting instructions can be found here.

Final Oral Examination Procedure: 
Students are responsible for scheduling their thesis defense with the Graduate Student Services and Progress office via the Final Oral Examination Scheduling system at least one week prior to their defense. The student's  thesis must be reviewed by his or her committee and the Thesis Reviewer Report form must be turned in prior to the student's defense .  The Graduate Student Services and Progress office will send a "Final Oral Examination Report Doctoral Degree" form to the chair of the Final Examination Committee, please note that this will not be a student's advisor. Students should verify that this form had been received by the Committee Chair.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering requires all Ph.D. students to hold their final thesis defense within ninety days of obtaining all committee member signatures on the " Reviewers Report on the Ph.D. Thesis" form which states that the thesis is ready for defense. This form is available in the Graduation Packet available for download at the Graduate School webpage.   Those who fail to take their thesis defense due to scheduling conflicts must resubmit this form to restart the 90 day clock.  

To be awarded the degree students must receive no more than one dissenting vote from the total examining committee. Students must make all the necessary changes in the text of the thesis before it is bound. Students must observe all requirements, including submitting one unbound copy of the thesis with the signature of an advisor to the Graduate Student Services and Progress Office, before a degree can be awarded.

Graduate Education policy requires graduate programs to host open and public thesis defense for doctoral candidates and inasmuch final oral examinations are open to the public. To ensure complete openness the Computer Science Program has adopted  public requirements that indicate once a thesis has been approved one copy must be made available for public perusal, preferably on-line. The availability of this copy, along with the time and place of your thesis defense must be announced in writing and electronic mail to graduate faculty and students, at least one week in advance. This announcement must contain a one-page descriptive abstract of the thesis to be defended, the name of the thesis advisor, and the URL of your thesis. To schedule the Final Oral Examination, a student you must notify the Graduate Program Administrator to set up a room and to notify the faculty, peers and the general public of the Thesis Defense.  

After passing the final oral exam, students must turn in the signed  Thesis Defense Report Form to the GSSP office within 24 hours. Upon your departure, please remember to submit to the department a change of address, the name of your first employer (after graduation) and return keys you have for your office and/or the labs.