The Thesis Defense Committee
Every candidate for the PhD degree must submit a Dissertation and pass an oral examination of their Thesis (Thesis Defense) by the Thesis Defense Committee (Committee) that consists of a minimum of three faculty members, one of whom is designated the Committee Chair, plus an examiner from outside the institution who has published in and is recognized in the field of the student’s research. A collaborator of the mentor and/or student, or individuals in any other position that could be considered a conflict of interest, cannot serve as outside examiner. Outside examiners must be approved by the Dean or Associate Dean prior to invitation. The selection of the outside examiner, to be made by the student and the student’s advisor, must be approved by the Chair of the Committee.
Scheduling of the Thesis Defense
The Thesis Defense and Seminar are scheduled by the student, who is responsible for finding the rooms and confirming that all members of the Thesis Defense Committee can attend. The Thesis Seminar is usually scheduled immediately before the actual defense. This seminar fulfills a New York State requirement that a PhD candidate demonstrate his or her ability to present scientific material in public. This seminar is usually presented immediately preceding the defense.