Thesis Defense and Graduation
Permission to Write and Scheduling a Defense Date
- When a thesis committee formally grants permission to student to write her/his thesis, the student must notify the IGG coordinator that permission to write has been granted.
- The student must notify the IGG coordinator of the defense date as soon as it is scheduled so a room can be reserved.
- The student has six months from the time that permission to write is granted to submit the thesis. If the student does not meet the submission deadline then another thesis committee meeting must be convened to review the student’s progress.
Submitting the Thesis
- The student must submit a complete thesis to the committee at least three weeks prior to the defense date.
- The student should follow up with the thesis committee one week prior to the defense date to confirm that the thesis is acceptable and the defense can move forward.
- If student does not give the thesis committee and outside reviewer sufficient time to examine their thesis, the student jeopardizes the preservation of their defense date. In such circumstances, the scheduled defense date can be canceled at the discretion of the IGG chair.
An external reviewer is a scientist from an academic institution other than Penn.
- If the student would like an outside reviewer at her/his defense, the student, with thesis committee approval, must give the name of the outside reviewer to the IGG chair for approval at least six weeks prior to the defense date.
- With mentor approval, the student submits a completed thesis to their thesis committee for review at least six weeks prior to the defense date.
- The student follows up with the thesis committee four weeks prior to the defense date so that they can make any recommended changes prior to submitting their thesis to the external reviewer.
- The student ensures that the thesis committee chair communicates his/her approval for submitting the thesis to the external reviewer to the IGG chair/coordinator.
- The student sends the thesis and the document “Criteria for Dissertation Review” (provided by the IGG coordinator) to the outside reviewer at least three weeks prior to the defense date.
- The student follows up with the external reviewer to ensure that she/he submits comments to both the IGG chair/coordinator and thesis committee chair prior to the defense date.
- During the defense, the thesis committee operates without the active participation of the mentor. The defense itself is preceded by a public seminar on the thesis results by the candidate. This seminar is followed by a closed session in which the candidate answers questions from her/his committee.
- When uploading the final draft of the thesis, students are given an option to delay the release of her/his thesis. The student or the PI may want to delay publication when a paper is in press, a patent application is pending, etc. Students must talk with her/his PI prior to uploading the thesis.
- Delays longer than one year require additional paperwork that must be completed prior to uploading the final draft of the thesis.
Students should contact the IGG coordinator when they are granted permission to write. The coordinator will send specific instructions for the defense, thesis submission, and graduation.