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Defense Expectations

The Thesis Defense

This outline will vary from student to student and from chair to chair; however, here is a typical thesis defense pattern:

Introduce candidate (30 seconds)

The chair of the committee will introduce the candidate and the supervisory committee members.

Candidate’s presentation (15-20 minutes, closer to 15)

The student will present the culmination of their work. This is usually a PowerPoint style presentation that will highlight the students research question, existing literature, their hypothesis, their research design, their findings, their conclusions, and the implications for future work.

Audience Q&A (0-10 minutes)

The chair will ask if the audience has any questions.

Committee member Q&A (~15 minutes max each)

As per Graduate School guidelines, the chair will dismiss the audience and the committee will ask directed questions of the candidate.

Committee confers (5 minutes)

The student will leave the room and the committee will discuss the outcome of the defense. After conferring the chair will invite either the student or the student and the audience back into the room.

Decision (pass with no/minor/moderate/major revisions or do not pass)

The chair will announce the decision of the committee. If successful, the committee will all sign committee paper that says defense is complete

 

The Graduate College has a helpful checklist for your defense.

Timeline | Formatting

Thesis | Table of Contents