Dissertation Procedures

Defending Your Dissertation and Final Approval


The dissertation defense is sometimes referred to as your "Orals" or "Oral Exam."  Two separate approvals are required to confirm your eligibility for a degree.  Further, defenses are formal, public events of the CGU academic community and are announced by the Registrar's Office.  Specific guidelines follow, deviations from which must be requested on an academic petition and approved by the Provost. 


Doctoral Study.  Completion of your dissertation and your readiness to defend is an indicator that you are on the threshhold of graduation.  Make sure that your enrolled in Doctoral Study for the semester in which you will complete your degree requirements.  Enrollment in Doctoral Study is not required for Summer unless you were not enrolled during the previous Spring term.  Consult the Registrar's Office if you are uncertain of your need to enroll in Doctoral Study.

File Your Intent.  You must submit an Intent to Receive a Degree to the Registrar's Office for the term in which you expect to graduate by the deadline for submission established in the Academic Calendar and provided in the Degree Completion Checklist.  Two versions of the form are available as indicated in the links below.

Please remember that if you submit an Intent for one semester and must delay your graduation term for any reason, you must submit a new Intent form for the next term in which you expect to complete your degree requirements.  These forms do not automatically roll over from one term to the next.

Time Requirements for Defenses.  Within one month of completing your dissertation and receiving the concurrence of your dissertation chair, you may defend your dissertation.  The following requirements must also have been met.

  • You have maintained your student status and are enrolled in Doctoral Study during the semester of your intended defense.
  • A minimum of six months has elapsed since the date your dissertation proposal was approved.
  • Your completed dissertation has been delivered to all members of your committee at least two weeks before the scheduled defense date.
  • Committee members are given at least two weeks advanced notice of the date the dissertation defense is scheduled.

All members of your dissertation committee must agree to the date and time of your defense.  Committee members must also be present at the defense, whether physically or by other technologically-assisted means.  As a minimum, you and one committee member must be physically present in the same location.


Scheduling Your Defense

The dissertation defense is a formal, public event of our academic community and is announced by the Registrar's Office.  Submit a completed Request for Dissertation Defense Announcement to the Registrar's Office to ensure that a minimum of one week advance notice is provided to the CGU community.



You have met all eligibility requirements for your degree when all of the following requirements are satisfied.

  • You have passed your dissertation defense--that is, satisfactorily completed your oral exam.
  • You have submitted your dissertation to the Registrar's Office in the electronic format requested and its final version is approved by your dissertation committee.

A Degree Completion Status Form is used to document your completion of these degree requirements.  If you pass your defense and your dissertation is accepted without need for revision, only one form is necessary.  If, however, revisions are required, a separate Degree Completion Status Form must be completed and submitted at the time the revised dissertation is approved.

For all Degree Completion Status Forms, the signature of each committee member is required.  

IMPORTANT On all approval forms submitted to the Registrar's Office, individual members of the committee must personally affix their own signatures or provide other written evidence of the individual's approval.  Such evidence may include written documentation faxed to the Registrar's Office at (909) 607-7285 or an e-mail from an institutional or professional domain.  If approval is provided by such documentation, "See attached" must be recorded on the signature line for the individual.  Under no circumstances maya committee chair, another member, or anyone else sign for a colleague.

All Degree Completion Status Forms and the final, approved version of your dissertation must be received in the Registrar's Office by the degree completion deadline in order to receive a degree for the applicable semester.  The degree completion deadline is announced each semester in the University's Academic Calendar as well as on the Degree Completion Checklist page.

Regardless of the date you complete your degree requirements, all degrees are conferred and recorded on the degree conferral date for the semester.  This date is usually the last day of the semester and is published in the University's Academic Calendar.

If you do not meet the degree completion deadline, your degree may be delayed until the next semester.  An additional semester of enrollment in Doctoral Study and a new Intent to Receive a Degree may be required.  Contact the Registrar's Office for specifics regarding your situation and  individual requirements.


Failing the Dissertation Defense

If you do not pass your dissertation defense, a second attempt may be scheduled after a period of six months.  You must maintain your student status and continue to enroll in Doctoral Study.  During this period, work with your dissertation chair to determine your readiness to defend again.

Failing a second dissertation defense, a third attempt is not allowed.



The Registrar's Office - student.records@cgu.edu or (909) 621-8285 

Go to the Degree Completion Checklist page.

Go to the Completion of Degrees page.

Return to the registrar's website.



2014 Claremont Graduate University 150 E. 10th St., Claremont, CA 91711 (909) 621-8000 Campus Safety Emergency Info Campus Map/Directions Give us feedback