Doctoral Defense Scheduling

The doctoral defense will be scheduled no sooner than 90 days and no longer than 180 days from the time that all academic and financial obligations have been met. You will be notified by the Office of the Registrar of your eligibility to schedule a defense after the following have been received by our offices:
  • Thesis Proposal
  • Thesis Cover Sheet
  • Abstract and Biographical Statement
  • Thesis Supervisor Report Form (this form is mailed directly to our offices by the Thesis Supervisor)
  • One electronic copy of the thesis (PDF or MS Word format)
  • Payment of all tuition and fees 
Defense dates and deadlines for submission associated with each defense date are listed below.
  • First week in March (All academic and financial requirements must be met no later than December 1.)
  • First week in June (All academic and financial requirements must be met no later than March 1.)
  • First week in August (All academic and financial requirements must be met no later than June 1.)
  • First week in December (All academic and financial requirements must be met no later than September 1.)
The Doctoral Defense by Written Disputation
The defense of the doctoral thesis dates from the Middle Ages in Europe and has continued in a variety of forms to the present.  The purpose of the defense is to provide the doctoral student an opportunity to demonstrate competency in the field of research by responding to questions posed by scholars who serve on the faculty of the degree-granting institution. 
The GTF has done a thorough examination of the various doctoral defense protocols in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom and has settled upon a modified version of the Roman tradition known as disputations, i.e., a roster of  faculty-constructed questions to which the doctoral defendant must reply. 
Written disputation allows for the doctoral student to respond more formally and thoughtfully to faculty questions over a period of time.  Additionally, this format allows the student to avoid the expense of travel required for an on-site oral defense. 
Evaluation of the student thesis will occur within 90 days from submission of the thesis and all required documents and fees. Members of the Doctoral Committee will formulate and submit to the doctoral student a list of five formal questions to which the student must respond in writing by email within two weeks.  The student responses will be reviewed by faculty within approximately two weeks.  Upon review and acceptance of the written disputations, the doctoral student will be informed by email of his/her eligibility for graduation. 
The student’s transcript will show the names of the Doctoral Committee, the title of the thesis, and the date successfully defended.