Doctoral students must be registered during the term (including summer) in which they distribute the defense copies of the dissertation (as approved for defense by the sponsor) to the five approved defense committee members (see Distributing Dissertation Copies). Students who are defending while on teaching or research appointments, or who are also completing pre-dissertation degree requirements, must register for Extended Residence; other students should register for Matriculation and Facilities. These rules apply during the summer term as well as the fall and spring semesters.
Note: The term in which distribution occurs is the last semester in which a student is permitted to register, even if the defense takes place in a subsequent term.
- Distribution deadlines can be found here.
- Dates for the fall and spring terms can be found on the Registrar's Academic Calendar.
- Dates for the summer term can be found on the School of Continuing Education website.
For International Students in F-1 or J-1 Status
International students must be registered during the term (including summer) in which they distribute the defense copies of the dissertation, as stated in the previous section. International students in F-1 or J-1 status must consult with the International Students and Scholars Office to make sure they remain in visa compliance for the dissertation defense.
For All Students
Doctoral program offices should ideally submit the Application for the Dissertation Defense four—but no fewer than two—weeks before the scheduled defense date. The application must be typed; handwritten applications will not be accepted. Applications received less than two weeks before the proposed defense date will require that the defense be rescheduled.