The Pre-Defense meeting serves as a “dress rehearsal” for the Final Defense presentation and is the opportune time to address any final edits, questions, or concerns leading up to the Final Defense. Prior to scheduling the Pre-Defense, the candidate will provide the complete manuscript to the Chair. When the Chair is satisfied with the quality of the complete written manuscript (solid in terms of content, clean in terms of overall formatting standards/EndNote references, and free from any major issues/errors/omissions), s/he will contact the candidate and Committee to schedule a final “Pre-Defense” meeting of the candidate and Committee (allotting 60 minutes). The Chair will request the Pre-Defense date and time with the Program Office ([email protected]) and must provide the Committee with the manuscript draft at least 14 days prior to the Pre-Defense.
The Chair will guide the candidate in preparing for the Pre-Defense. The candidate will provide the Chair with a draft of the PowerPoint presentation at least 14 days prior to the Pre-Defense. The PowerPoint presentation is typically limited to no more than 30 slides (not including references). Please note it is recommended to rebuild data/results tables using PowerPoint (rather than copying/pasting SPSS tables).
The Pre-Defense (and Final Defense) PowerPoint should be built from the Proposal presentation and should follow the following recommended organization:
- Introduction to the Topic (1-2 slides)
- Summary of the Background/Literature (2-4 slides)
- Research Questions and Research Design (3-5 slides)
- Limitations (1 slide)
- Descriptive Statistics (2-4 slides)
- Findings by Research Question (5-8 slides)
- Implications for Practice (1-2 slides)
- Recommendations for Future Research (1-2 slides)
- Conclusions (1-2 slides)
- References (as needed)
The candidate is responsible to being able to access an electronic copy of research and presentation materials for the defense (a backup plan is strongly recommended). The candidate will present a 25-35 minute oral defense of the study with an emphasis on the findings and the conclusions. The oral defense may not exceed 45 minutes.
- If upon completion of the Pre-Defense the manuscript is not ready for approval, the Chair will notify the Program Office ([email protected]) to hold the Examination Results Form. The candidate will work with the Chair to complete the manuscript based upon the Committee’s feedback, and another defense meeting will be convened within a time frame agreed upon by the Dissertation Committee.
- If there are revisions needed for the Pre-Defense manuscript, the Chair will notify the Program Office ([email protected]) to hold the Examination Results Form. Once the requested revisions have been made and approved, the Chair will request that the Program Office circulate the Examination Results Form for digital signatures from each Committee member and the Program Director/Advisor.
- If the Pre-Defense manuscript is approved (with only minor revisions), the Chair will request that the Program Office circulate the Examination Results Form for digital signatures from each Committee members and the Program Director/Advisor.
Once the Pre-Defense manuscript has been approved by the Committee and the Program Director/Advisor and the Examination Results Form has been signed by the Committee and the Program Director/Advisor, the Final Defense may be scheduled. The Pre-Defense manuscript and Examination Results Form must be fully approved at least 14 days prior to the Final Dissertation Defense.
Applying for Graduation
For doctoral candidates, the graduation application process should not be completed until the Pre-Defense stage of the dissertation process is approved. Once the candidate has successfully completed the Pre-Defense stage of the dissertation, the Program Office will notify the candidate to apply for graduation, as well as the appropriate steps to complete. Commencement ceremonies are held each year in May and December with a degree conferral option in August. To confirm graduation application status, login to MyMocsnet, click on the Academics tab, and select “My Graduation Status.” Refer to the Registrar Graduation website for graduation ceremony participation guidelines (link: Registrar - scroll down to access the Graduation section).
Confirming Graduation Eligibility
The Graduate School will audit the candidate’s file in preparation for graduation. Ph.D. candidates must earn a minimum of 76 total graduate credit hours toward the doctoral program of study and meet all other academic requirements as listed in the Graduate Catalog in order to be eligible for the graduation ceremony and degree conferral/release of the diploma and transcript. For questions regarding graduation eligibility, contact Mr. Mark Fairchild at [email protected].