Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Theses, Dissertations, and Project Reports (TDP): Defense

Thesis and Dissertation Defense

After completing your study, you must give your thesis or dissertation defense. This is what determines if you obtain final approval of your work.

On the date of your defense, you will start off by making a 30-minute presentation describing all aspects of your study. You will do this before an examining committee. This committee will consist of the members of your graduate committee plus a representative from the Office of Graduate Studies. This presentation is open to the public. After you have concluded your presentation, the members of the examining committee will have the opportunity to ask questions about your study. This part is not open to the public. After the Q&A session, the examining committee will deliberate to determine if your work is approved. 

For more information concerning your defense, and to access related documents, visit the page titled "Thesis Defense" in the Office of Graduate Studies website.

Submission of Your Manuscript

The deadline to request your defense is published every semester in the academic calendar. When you make your request, you must submit a PDF copy of your manuscript to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Preparing for Your Defense

GWF Clinics

Here we provide links to presentations created by the Graduate Writing Facilitators that can be very helpful as you prepare for your thesis or dissertation defense.

Preparing for Your Thesis Defense: From Manuscript to Presentation

Communicational Strategies in Oral Presentations

Visual Design in Oral Presentations

Thesis Defense Rubric

It is very important for you to know how your defense will be evaluated. Click on the image below to see a rubric that presents the evaluation criteria and explains what is expected in a strong defense. 

Web Resources

If you search the web, you can find a tremendous amount of resources on how to prepare for your defense. Here we have included some links to material available on the Internet. You can check them out and use them as a starting point to locate other resources. 

IMPORTANT: Make sure to evaluate the quality of every resource you find. Use your best judgment!

Submission of Final Version

After you have completed your defense, you must make any recommended changes to your thesis or dissertation. These changes can be related to format, content, or other aspects of your work.

Once you have made all necessary changes, you must submit your final document in PDF format to the Office of Graduate Studies (OEG). In addition to this, you must do the following:

  • Send another copy of the PDF to Mrs. Lucy Serrano, who is OEG's Administrative Official. Mrs. Serrano's email address is
  • Submit two printed title pages of your thesis or dissertation to OEG. The title pages must include original signatures from the following people:
    • All members of your graduate committee 
    • The OEG representative who was present at your defense
    • The director of your department
  • Submit printed copies of the English and Spanish versions of your abstract to OEG

For more information, visit