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Thesis Oral Defense Process

Checklist for document preparation, thesis defense, final semester, and degree certification. The final milestone for your doctoral degree!

Producing Your Document & Setting a Defense Date

Thesis oral defense presentations should be scheduled only during academic periods -- not during holidays or weekends. They should be scheduled during normal university business hours. 

Graduating doctoral candidates should work with the Doctoral Programs Manager, CSD Student Payroll Manager, and their advisor(s) to navigate defense, certification, and departure from Carnegie Mellon.

Please remember all committee members are required to attend your thesis defense and that at least three thesis committee members (the Chair and two additional members) must be physically present.

  • Exceptions must be approved by the Director of the Ph.D. Program.
  • Refer to the PhD Talks Scheduling Calendar for department process deadlines, blocked days, and available times & days for talks to be scheduled.

Thesis process checklist (downloadable PDF):

Document Format Detail

Scheduling Your Oral Defense

Submitting Your Thesis

Before You Leave