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Dissertation Defense

A completed dissertation must be read and approved by the principal thesis advisor. It is subsequently read and approved by two or more additional faculty members, who, along with the principal advisor, constitute the Final Examination committee. The Final Examination consists of an oral presentation and defense of the thesis.

All requirements for the Ph.D. degree must be met within eight years of initial registration in the doctoral program. Thus, the Final Examination on a completed dissertation and the dissertation's submission to the Graduate School must fall within this period.

A one-time extension of the deadline for two additional years may be granted by the Dean of the Graduate School upon submission of an extension petition. The petition must be signed by the student and all members of the dissertation committee.

During the period of extension, the student is not required to be in residence or register for courses. However, a student who is supported by a scholarship, needs University health insurance, access to certain University facilities, or must meet registration requirements for foreign students, must register for 503 Resident Research Continuation.