PhD Dissertation Defense Tips


The pre-defense includes the discussion between the student and his committee on a draft for deciding the important arguments, structure, proposal, evidence and organize the course schedule. It is also about, how long is a dissertation defense. The committee members can counsel the students about revisions, and other research-related tasks that require to complete prior to the final defense.

The pre-defense preparation usually takes the time approximately 3 to 6 months before the defense day. It is the students’ responsibility to set up the settings for scheduling time table, place and giving the draft of the thesis in time to engage their readers. The department also has an accountability to inform the event students as well as the committee. The pe-defense usually takes the time two hours and during this conversation, the committee member asks the questions and students have to answers to satisfy their members. If one of the committee members is not present at this time, they can participate through the internet or sharing their comments with the chair.

Students don’t need to any paperwork after completing the conversation sessions. They just have to follow the instructions from their committee members. The supervisor should give the feedback in one paragraph through email and students should make a record file of this feedback.

Final Defense

Now it is time for the final defense to accomplish the degree. You can follow the Instructions about preparations for the dissertation and thesis.

You should provide copies of the thesis to all committee members prior to the final defense. Electronic copies are also necessary because some members want to read soft copies. But you do all this according to the committee requirements. The chairman of the committee has the authorities to schedule the plan but he will finalize the task after consultation with students. 

There is a possibility, the student has to leave the room at the starting meeting according to the instruction of the committee. Because the committee plans the order of question and the agenda of questioning/answering. After planning the agenda, the student is invited again to initiates the defense discussion. He starts his defense from a presentation in which he describes the important arguments, plus points, weaknesses and significance. Committee members enquire questions turn by turn in sequence on the related topic. Usually, it ends with the chairman’ question.  After one- or two-hour the chair ends the meeting and the student leaves out the room. After committee members discuss the result has declared instantly through the graduate secretary.

Time Limitations

Every student must know about the time limitations. There is a specific time limit for every level to complete the degree within time. The students who admit the graduate level with a B.A, have a limit of 7 years for PhD degree after first registration. The students who enter in M.A level should complete the PhD within five years’ time limit after first registration. Those students who passed their M.A from Illinois, then leave the institution and terminate their enrollment and return to PhD again a year after or more. They must complete their PhD within six years.

The graduate students who fulfill the official requirements of time limits may slightly vary according to the college or university. If they some issues, they can appeal for approval from universities to continue. For this approval, they have to provide require evidence to continue the program and confirm a date to complete the degree. The petition should complete with necessary signatures and can be proceeded to college through the graduate secretary.

When students have done 96 hours with required work, they can cease to enroll and keep continue work on the dissertation. But they can’t get services without registrations and fees. A PhD student can re-apply to register in the final semester in which they have to present the final defense.

If they slip away for five years then they have to show their knowledgeability to regaining the course.