Defense of the Master's Thesis
A note of clarification maybe appropriate to alleviate future concern when dealing with the defense of the thesis or dissertation:
- Each student contemplating the defense of their thesis or dissertation should submit the final draft of their study to each committee member at least four weeks before the final defense.
- The defense day and time must be communicated to the faculty community and posted at the home college of the student scheduling the defense. The Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies must receive notification of the scheduled defense at least one week before it is to take place.
- The defense date and time is set by the chair of the thesis/dissertation committee in consultation with all of the other members of the committee and the director of the program to make sure all members are available for the defense at an agreed upon time and day. (Generally in practice, the chair of the committee will give the program director two or three dates and times that are agreeable to all concerned; the program director will confer with the dean of the college (and appropriate department chair) to see if there are any conflicts with these agreed upon dates and times, and settle upon the most acceptable. This most acceptable day and time is then indicate to the committee chair who will facilitate the process as requested by the program director).
- It is assumed that all members of the committee must be present for the defense.
- A deviation from this format maybe necessary if it is found that one member is subsequently unable to attend the defense due to an extenuating circumstance such as illness. If that is the unavoidable case, the affected committee member must notify the chair of the committee of his/her condition and request an absence; the chair will in turn notify the program director, dean of the college and the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies. (As a clarification of process, the request to be absent from the defense must be approved by the chair of the committee, program director, and dean of the college; the Vice President for Graduate Studies will be notified of the approval or rejection of the request. The chair will notify the student of the status of the defense).
- If more that one member of the committee are unable to attend the defense as posted, the defense will be postponed and rescheduled as soon as possible pending agreement between the student, the thesis/dissertation committee chair, members of the committee, program director and dean of the college.
- If postponed, there will be a new posting and notification of the time and place of the rescheduled defense following the procedure as cited above.
- The director of the program, in consultation with the chair of the committee, can postpone any defense for cause. If there is a disagreement on postponement between the chair of the committee and the director of the program, the director of the program has the final word.
- It is understood that all members of the committee must sign the signature sheet that accompanies the thesis or dissertation.
- If all members have not signed their approval, the thesis/dissertation can not be presented to the Graduate Office for certification of the degree.