While preparing the student’s dissertation defense, then the candidate needs to prepare for a defense packet meeting together with the BPH director so that they can review the dissertation and defense process that include a review of all materials, sample forms, GSAS/FAS form of the thesis, timing, logistics, and even answering the candidate’s question concerning the process.
According to the rules and procedure, the defense committee should get ratified by the PHB program and the candidate’s advisor and then the membership written in the thesis defense committee form. Again, the committee members need to be holders of the academic position of at least Assistant Professor. Four members of the committee must meet the following conditions:
- The defense chair: A member of the candidate’s DAC, the DAC chair must chair the oral defense. DAC chair will offer insight to examiners on the candidate’s path towards completing the dissertation project. The key objective is to ascertain the committee’s satisfaction towards the written dissertation, administered exams, and even arbitrate any challenges.
- One member or more should be from the BPH faculty members, preferably from the same department.
- Collaborators and co-authors cannot be a member of the defense committee.
Defense format and timing
- In general, a candidate needs to set aside at least three hours for her or his defense as follows: an hour for a public seminar and approximately two hours for oral examinations.
- The candidate should inform the BPH office at least three weeks of the final dissertation title.
- Two weeks before the examination date, defense committee members should receive copies of the thesis for review. One copy needs to get sent to the BPH program.
- If any member of the defense committee anticipates any challenge on the examination day, they should inform the chair before the day.
- The defense packet meeting provides more details on the format and defense timing.
The oral defense rules
- Public seminar
The Ph.D. candidate’s examination includes a public seminar and then a private oral examination. The public presentation takes the utmost one hour, including time for an advisor to introduce himself or herself, the candidate’s acknowledgments and oral expression, and finally, time for audience question and answer session.
- The private oral examination
After a public seminar comes to a private oral examination, in the beginning, the candidate, together with the advisor, leave the room so that the committee members can discuss the merits and demerits of the thesis, any issues that might be there, and areas that they might want to pay attention to during the oral examination. All defense committee members shall have a chance to ask the candidate questions depending on their perspective for the thesis and the public presentation
- Getting ready to write/defend the dissertation
Candidates who are getting ready to author and defend their thesis need to review the University requirements. Candidates are also at liberty to consult previous bound dissertations.
- Writing a thesis or dissertation
All candidates should write a comprehensive PhD thesis or dissertation based on their area of research and the research results. Candidates can write their dissertations in a variety of ways. However, the dissertation should include the following key elements:
- Show original presentation of the subject.
- Have a section for a review of the literature.
- Offer evidence of quality independent research clearly and logically.
It should also include the candidate’s research that includes detailed methodology and results together well thought out discussion on the limitation of research, impact, and the conclusion.
Defense paperwork and forms
Dissertation or thesis acceptance certificate
The BPH program office will give the defense committee chair a hard copy of the dissertation or thesis acceptance certificate just before the examination. All readers need to append their signature to the certificate at the end of an exam and then returned it to the BPH office. The BPH office will then scan it and send it to the candidate to insert it as the dissertation’s initial page before it gets published online.
Dissertation defense examination report
This report is the thesis defense committee’s product, and it provides a record of all the comments or recommendations. All members need to append their signature to the report immediately after the private oral examination.