Ph.D. Dissertation and Final Examination

Ph.D. Dissertation Defense, Exam, and Filing Instructions

Dissertation Defense and Examination (Ph.D.)

The dissertation and defense are the culminating projects of the Ph.D. degree. The student is encouraged to discuss with members of the degree committee both the substance and the preparation of the dissertation well in advance of the planned date of dissertation defense and final examination.

The Ph.D. final defense and examination consists of an open seminar on the dissertation work followed by a closed examination by the degree committee.  During the examination, the student is expected to explain the significance of the dissertation research, justify the methods employed, and defend the conclusions reached. 

The defense consists of an open seminar by the candidate followed by questions from the audience (approximately 1 hour). The open session is followed by a closed session of the candidate and degree committee members (examination portion). The entire defense and exam may not be longer than three hours.

At the conclusion of the exam, the committee shall vote on whether both the written dissertation and the student's performance are satisfactory to earn a Ph.D. degree from the University of California.

Ph.D. Dissertation Defense, Exam and Filing Procedure

  1. Review Graduate Division Checklists
    1. Please visit http://graduatedivision.ucmerced.edu/faculty-staff-resources/forms-publi... for the Ph.D./M.S. Checklist for Degree Completion and all related forms.
    2. Complete the Graduate Student Graduation Application during appropriate filing period (Fall: February 16-September 15; Spring: September 16th-February 15; Summer: September 16-June 15).  The application is available on the student portal under “MyStudentRecord.” No signatures are required.
  2. Set Date with Faculty Committee Members
    1. A defendable copy of your dissertation should be sent to your committee members at least three weeks in advance of their defense date.
  3. Reserve a Room
    1. To reserve a room in SE2, please complete the request form at: http://engineering.ucmerced.edu/form/room-reservations-request-form
    2. To reserve a room in SE1, please email naturalsciences@ucmerced.edu with your request (title /purpose of meeting, time, date, number of people, equipment requirements)
    3. Non-academic room reservations, please go to http://rooms.ucmerced.edu/#/search
  4. Announcements
    1. Fill out the seminar announcement template with your seminar information and abstract. Template: soe_defense_seminar_template.docx
    2. Please email your announcement at least 1 week prior to your examination date in a word document and a pdf to soegrads@ucmerced.edu and copy soe-grstaff@ucmerced.edu. We will post the announcement in SE1 & SE 2, and send out the announcement 1 week prior to your examination date.
  5. Defense Date
    1. Stop by SE2 Room 315 to pick up school-specific documents from the front desk and hand them to your committee chair.  The committee chair will be responsible for submitting all forms to the SoE Graduate Staff in SE2 315 within 48 hours of the completed examination.
    2. Bring a few copies of your signature page to your defense.  Please note that you will need to submit your dissertation signature page with original signatures to the Graduate Division when you upload/submit our final dissertation. 
  6. Finalize Dissertation and Submit Forms to Graduate Division
    1. Make any corrections/edits to final dissertation
    2. Upload to UC Merced Proquest website by deadline (please refer to  http://graduatedivision.ucmerced.edu/current-students/calendar-and-deadlines )
    3. Submit original dissertation signature page by deadline (please refer to  http://graduatedivision.ucmerced.edu/current-students/calendar-and-deadlines )