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Dissertation and Thesis Defense

Each student must complete original research and produce a dissertation acceptable to the student’s adviser and the Thesis Committee. The Thesis committee is comprised of a minimum of three faculty members. At least two members of this committee, including the chair, must be members of the Northwestern University Graduate Faculty. The last milestone of the graduate program is an oral defense of this dissertation. The student must notify TGS of their thesis defense by submitting the Final Exam form at GSTS. Submission of a dissertation to TGS is performed electronically. Information on this process can be found in the Degree Requirements section of theStudent Services page of the TGS website. 

Students must consult the TGS website for the latest information on submission requirements and guidelines. They must, however, give electronic or hard copies of the dissertation to each member of your committee at least three weeks prior to the scheduled date of the oral examination. The student must also provide an electronic copy of the thesis, location and time of thesis defense to the graduate program assistant three weeks prior to the scheduled date of the thesis defense. The examination on the dissertation will be open to the public. The student must announce their thesis defense by email to the department and also enter the event in the department event calendar. The examining committee has discretion to exclude the public during part of the examination for additional questioning of the candidate and confidential deliberations.