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Ph.D. Oral Defense Information

PhD Oral Defense and Dissertation Submission

The final step in the completion of the Ph.D. is the writing up of the thesis dissertation document and an oral defense exam, which is open to the public.

At least 30 days before defending, complete the Disseration Committee form. It requires a minimum of three faculty members. The student must take it to the Director of Doctoral Programs at the Viterbi School of Engineering (Jennifer Gerson) in OHE 106 to get the Dean's signature.

At least 1 week before the date of the oral qualifying exam, the Ph.D. student must provide to all members of the committee, electronically or in hard copy, a draft of the written dissertation. In addition, the student should also provide their advisor's administrative assistant with info about the defense talk (name, title, abstract, room and time) to be publicly posted a week in advance of the exam.

Here is a link to the PhD Completion forms

The student should take the Approval to Submit Defended and Final Copy of Doctoral Dissertation to the exam (the form will be signed and returned to the student if and when the Chair and the members of the committee are satisfied with the dissertation). The student will need to submit the Dissertation Committee form and the signed Approval to Submit form to the Graduate School before being allowed to upload their dissertation.

More information from the at the USC Graduate School's website including deadlines:
Guidelines for Submission
Degree Conferral Dates
Guidelines for Format and Presentation