Dissertation Process

dissertation defense

When a PhD student has completed all graduation requirements and is in good academic standing, the final step in the doctoral program is to defend the dissertation before a committee.

The student must submit a copy of the dissertation to each member of the committee prior to the defense date. If requested, the defense can be open to the UIC academic community and may be publicly announced one week prior to its occurrence. Students are responsible for e-mailing the graduate program coordinator at least one week prior to the defense date with the announcement (date, time, location, advisor) and abstract. The defense announcement will be distributed to CME students and faculty one week prior to the presentation date.

The dissertation defense committee must be approved by the Graduate College on the recommendation of the CME department. It is likely that this five-member committee will be similar to or the same in composition to the preliminary examination committee.

A copy of the committee recommendation form must be submitted to the Graduate College three weeks prior to the dissertation defense. This form is available on the Graduate College forms page. It must be typed (handwritten versions will not be accepted) and signed by the faculty advisor and the CME director of graduate studies before it is sent to the Graduate College for approval. The dissertation title may not exceed 105 characters, including spaces, and may not include any abbreviations. The title on the committee recommendation form must match the title that is submitted.

Once the committee has been approved, the Graduate College and the graduate program coordinator will provide a copy of the examination report form. Hold on to this form until the day of the defense. It must be completed, signed, and dated by every member of the committee when the defense is over.

Committee votes for a dissertation defense are pass or fail. A candidate cannot be passed if more than one vote of “fail” is reported.

Submit the completed examination report form to the graduate program coordinator and the Graduate College within two business days of the defense.

Thesis Guides and Library Archiving

The Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) guidelines and Thesis Manual are available on the Graduate College website. These materials will assist you in preparing and submitting the dissertation.

Following your defense, the final version of your dissertation must be reviewed by your advisor and the graduate program coordinator before it is submitted to the Graduate College through the ETD submission system. PhD students also are required to submit a bonded copy of their thesis to the graduate program coordinator to be placed in the CME library. Please see the graduate program coordinator if you have questions.