Your Major Professor will guide you in planning your thesis. When your Major Professor certifies that your completed thesis has her/his approval and is ready to be read, she/he will distribute copies of the thesis to the remaining members of the Advisory Committee, schedule a final oral defense, and notify the Graduate Coordinator. The committee members will have at least two weeks to read and evaluate the completed thesis.

One member of your Advisory Committee other than your Major Professor must approve your thesis as ready for the final defense in writing before the defense. If your Advisory Committee declines to approve the thesis as ready for the final defense, your Major Professor will notify you and the Graduate Coordinator.

Your Major Professor will chair your thesis defense and all members of your Advisory Committee must attend the defense. Graduate School regulations require that the defense will consist of a public presentation followed by a private defense during which only the student and advisory committee will be in attendance. The public presentation is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Current Graduate School policy provides that in order to pass your thesis defense you must receive a positive vote from your Major Professor and all or all but one of the other members of your committee. Two members of the Advisory Committee must approve your defense and oral examination, and must certify their approval on the Thesis Defense and Final Examination Approval form, available on the Graduate School website. The results of the defense of the thesis must be reported to the Graduate School at least one week before graduation.