Step 9: Request Date for Oral Defense of Dissertation


  • To complete all tasks to this point in the process, including all revisions to your dissertation manuscript, so that you can request approval from your committee chair and committee members for a date on which you may defend your dissertation.


  • After receiving approval of your dissertation manuscript from each member of your committee, you can proceed to ask for a date to present your dissertation defense.


Due Dates:

  • Request your date to defend your dissertation as soon as possible so your committee can put it on their calendars.

John's Experience:

John contacts Dr. Sells and requests a date to present his dissertation. He receives approval to move ahead and requests a date for his defense that fits into his work schedule as well as with the schedules of his committee. John is really glad he's had his timetable to refer to throughout this part of the process, and with the exception of a couple revisions, he's been able to keep to the schedule he set.

Pitfalls to Avoid:

  • Don't assume your chair will contact you about setting a date for your defense; be proactive and initiate contact with your chair.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to request a date for your defense because committee members need advanced notice to include your defense seminar in their schedules; reserving rooms requires advanced notice, as well.
  • Don't fail to follow through with thorough communication with all the members of your committee; send confirmation emails, and follow up with telephone calls.