One of the last steps to obtaining your doctoral degree is to defend your dissertation. Defense processes vary depending on whether your degree is conferred through IU or Purdue.

IU Defense Requirements

Schedule Your Defense

Once your research committee has read a final draft of your dissertation and agrees that it is ready to be defended, provide each member of your committee with a full, unbound copy of the dissertation and arrange a mutually agreeable time and place for your defense.

You should allow at least four weeks between the time you give the committee members their copies and the date of the defense so that they will have sufficient time to read and critique your work. The four-week waiting period will also allow other faculty members who might be interested in your work to plan to attend your defense as well.

Announce Your Defense

Thirty days prior to your scheduled defense, submit to the IU Graduate Office at IUPUI a one-page dissertation defense announcement.

Learn more about the defense announcement format »

The announcement must include:

  • The time and date of the defense.
  • The location of the defense.
  • Your educational career data (e.g., B.S., IU, 1986, etc.–the major area is not needed).

The chairperson of your research committee must approve and sign the announcement.

Once announced, the time and place cannot be changed without the approval of the Associate Dean of the Graduate School in the Graduate Office at IUPUI.

At Your Defense

Have your committee sign your dissertation’s acceptance page and abstract, which are required sections of your dissertation. Learn more about acceptance pages and abstracts »

If you know in advance that any member of your committee will be absent, you should, with the approval of the dean, arrange to have another faculty member sit on the committee. Occasionally an absent committee member can participate by telephone or video link.

In case your committee should insist on extensive revisions before giving its full approval, your dissertation chairperson will probably hold on to the acceptance page until you fulfill the committee’s recommendations.

Students are rarely required to go through a second oral examination.

Purdue Dissertation Requirements

The Graduate School at Purdue University details defense processes for dissertations at its website. Go to the Purdue Graduate School »