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Dissertation Defense and Final Oral Examination

(NOTE: The following differs in some respects from the exact procedure outlined in the Graduate Bulletin.) An oral defense of the thesis before the Dissertation Committee must be scheduled at least two weeks prior to the date of final clearance by the Graduate School.

When you have completed the Dissertation, the dissertation committee has read the dissertation and your major professor has indicated that you are ready for your final oral examination and defense, your major professor, together with you, should schedule your defense. You should have finished your comprehensive exam by this time.

After passing your oral defense you can take your SIGNED Approval of Dissertation and Final Oral Examination form and Electronic Thesis Submission form to the Graduate School (Forms can be obtained at All information on the form must be typed including names of committee members in the appropriate boxes). DISSERTATION DEFENSES WILL BE HELD NO LATER THAN 2 weeks before the last day of classes the semester you graduate. Remember to have one copy of your Dissertation bound for the Department of Religion office. (Print and copy services can be found at the Tate Center:

The thesis (submitted electronically), and the “Approval of Dissertation and Final Oral Examination ” form must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the final day of classes for Fall and Spring Semester (for Summer deadlines check with the Graduate School (

THESE DEADLINES ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MEET. You need to work closely with your major professor and the graduate coordinator to be sure you do not miss these deadlines. You will also need to note that you must be enrolled for a minimum of 3 hours the semester in which you plan to graduate. This is usually the REL 9300 class, but if you have already registered for this class at an earlier date and have postponed your graduation you can register for something else your final semester if you wish.


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