Final Oral Examination: Dissertation Defense
After the doctoral candidate has satisfied all other requirements for the degree, and on the recommendation of the doctoral committee, the final oral examination is scheduled for the student to defend her/his doctoral thesis. It is the responsibility of the student to find a date, time, and location convenient for all members of the committee. The director of the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services should be notified that a final examination has been scheduled. The Graduate School requires at least three weeks' notice for officially scheduling this examination; please ask Christine Cooper (240A Borland) well in advance to notify the Graduate School of the date, time, and location of the exam. Please be aware of the Graduate School deadlines for completing a thesis for any particular semester: http://www.gradschool.psu.edu/current-students/etd/thesisdissertationperformance-calendar
It is the doctoral candidate's responsibility to provide a copy of the dissertation to each member of the doctoral committee at least two weeks before the scheduled examination. The final examination is oral, open to the public, and related in large part to the dissertation, but it may cover the candidate's entire field of study without regard to courses that have been taken either at Penn State or elsewhere. The results of the examination are reported to the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services and will be entered into the candidate's official record. If a candidate fails, the doctoral committee will determine whether another examination may be taken or if the student is terminated from the program.