University of Texas at Austin

Guidelines for the Dissertation Defense

  • Follow all steps outlined by the Graduate School's Graduation Deadlines and Submission Instructions page.
  • Key timelines to note:
    • Your committee should receive a copy of your dissertation at least one month before you plan to defend.
    • The Request for Final Oral Examination Form must be submitted to the Graduate School at least two weeks in advance of the defense. Submitting this form officially schedules your defense with the university.
  • Contact the CSEM Graduate Coordinator once you have selected a date for the defense. The Graduate Coordinator can help you obtain electronic signatures on your Request for Final Oral Examination form.
  • If your defense is being held in-person, reservations for POB 4.304 and 6.304 are made through Charlott Low. In your request, please include: room number, date, start time, end time, purpose of reservation. Reservations for any other room in POB are made through the POB online reservation system.
  • When scheduling your defense, 2 hours should be sufficient. Be sure to allow time for set-up (refreshments, seating, media) and clean-up. It is your responsibility to make sure the room is clean after the defense.
  • Plan for 10-15 minutes for set-up (refreshments, seating, media), and 10-15 minutes for clean-up. It is your responsibility to make sure the room is clean after the defense.
  • If possible, avoid scheduling the defense back-to-back with another student’s defense.
  • The defense must be announced publicly to CSEM faculty and students within the Oden Institute. Please send your announcement to Melissa Manifold a day or two before the defense and she will send it to the Oden Institute message lists.