Public Dissertation Defense

Department of Psychology Procedures for Scheduling Final Dissertation Oral Exams

The Psychology Department adopts the procedure of holding a public defense for graduate students who are defending their dissertation projects. You may also invite family members and friends outside of the department. The defense should be scheduled for a two-hour period.

Structure of the Defense

  1. You must prepare a 40-45-minute PowerPoint presentation to present your project to the public audience.
  2. Following the presentation, you will take questions from the audience with the caveat that the public presentation will end ~55 minutes into the first hour. The examining committee members should refrain from asking their questions during this time.
  3. During the second hour, after questions from the audience are addressed, all but the candidate and examining committee members are dismissed from the room. The Committee uses the second hour to ask additional questions and to vote on the defense.

Please remember to contact your area support staff for any additional requirements for your area:

  • Amy Kranz: Counseling and Quant
  • Angela Park: CAB, I-O, and Social
  • Darian Schwietz: CSPR and PIB/BP

Here are the procedures to be followed:

  1. At least two (preferably more) weeks prior to the oral exam, you must inform your area of the defense date and time (see above for area support staff). You must provide a thesis title and brief abstract and the name(s) of your adviser(s). A good time to do this is when your dissertation is distributed to the major adviser for final approval.
  2. You must have a room scheduled for your defense. If you wish to hold your defense in N219 or N639 please proceed to the form below. If you wish to hold your defense in N391 or N491 (Paterson-Dunnette Room) please contact your area support staff member.
  3. An announcement must be sent to the full department. Please fill out the form below to request the announcement and to have N219/N639 scheduled if needed, please use the form below for conveying the relevant details to the department.


Dissertation Defense Announcement Online Form Below