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Preparing and Defending your PhD/MS Dissertation/Thesis

You are responsible for knowing and following the deadlines set forth by the Graduate School.  Useful links to Grad School pages are provided at the bottom of this section.


Applying to Graduate

          You must apply for graduation, and it is advised you do this well in advance of your expected graduation semester. It is safer to apply a semester in advance of when you expect to graduate than to find you are unable to graduate because you waited too long.   As of summer 2013, the Grad school rules state “An application for graduation must be filed with the Graduate School no later than Friday of the second full week (the first full week for summer) of classes in the semester of the anticipated graduation date.”


Registration your final semester

Be sure to register for 3 credits of MIBO9300 or MIBO7300 (dissertation/thesis writing) in the semester you plan to graduate.  If you do not graduate, this course is repeatable (for a maximum total of 9 credits).


Scheduling Your Defense

1.  Ask your committee well in advance to confirm a defense date in case someone will be away for an extended period and may need to be replaced on your committee, which requires submission of a revised committee form to the Graduate School for approval.

2.  The defense announcement must come from the graduate coordinator's office at least two weeks prior to the exam.  It is your responsibility to notify the graduate program assistant of the defense date and to leave enough time that this announcement can be made by our office at least two weeks before your defense.  This is a graduate school rule, and failure to provide ample time for notice of the defense could result in postponement and rescheduling.

3.   Members of your committee probably will want a copy of your thesis or dissertation two weeks prior to the defense.    This is not a rule however, and some committee members may request more or less time.  It is each student’s responsibility to communicate with the committee no later than when scheduling the defense to determine when the committee members require the document.  If the dissertation/thesis is distributed too late for the committee to evaluate it prior to the defense, the defense may have to be cancelled and rescheduled.

4.  The graduate school must be notified if the defense is postponed.


Thesis and Dissertation Details

          See the Grad School Website for a dissertation/thesis format overview.  You can find dissertation template examples here.

          You may use published articles as chapters in your dissertation or thesis if you are first author (or co-first author, i.e. you are designated as contributing equally to the article with the first author). For such chapters in your thesis, the cover page MUST have you first in the author list, even if you are listed second in a co-first author situation. If there are multiple authors on the paper, you need to briefly tell what each author did in the research and writing of the manuscript; the best place to do this is on the first page of the chapter where you give the title and authors. Also, you must get permission from the journal to reproduce your paper in the thesis or dissertation.


1.  The Graduate School must be notified of the exam outcome, regardless of whether the student passes or fails.

2.  If the student passes, they are asked to file and exit survey with the department.

3.  After the student graduates, their UGA email account remains active for a limited time.  As of May 2013, accounts remain active two semesters beyond graduation.  Contact EITS for up to date information.


Helpful Links

Enrolled Student FAQ 

Graduate School Forms

Commencement Information

Graduation Deadlines

Academic Regulations & Procedures

Financial Information

Travel Funding

Professional Development

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