If the Supervisory Committee consists of an non-UW external faculty member at the time of the Dissertation Proposal Defense, an Internal Reviewer is not required (). If an Internal Reviewer is appointed , then at least three months prior to the dissertation defense, the Chair of Supervisory Committee or the Candidate contacts potential Internal Reviewers to identify someone who is available and willing to act as an Internal Reviewer of the dissertation. The Chair of the Ph.D. Program, in consultation with the Chair of the Supervisory Committee, must finalize the Internal Reviewer selection no less than 8 weeks prior to the defense. Eight weeks prior to the defense, the Candidate will give the Internal Reviewer a complete copy of the dissertation that has been reviewed by the other members of the Supervisory Committee at least once and revised based on committee feedback.
The doctoral candidate, committee chair, and his or her committee members attend the dissertation defense. It is best if all committee members attend in person. If not, options such as Skype or audio conferencing can be arranged for a committee member still recognizing that a majority of the committee should be present. External readers, if there are any, may attend.
English Department Dissertation Defense
The dissertation defense is typically a two hour meeting held after the student has completed a final draft of the dissertation. The purpose of the defense is to evaluate the quality and originality of the dissertation as a contribution to scholarship in the relevant field of study. When the student and advisor are satisfied that a draft of the dissertation is in finished form, the defense can be set. The defense itself, including its scheduling, is a formal process and must follow rules set by the graduate school. An "Intention to Receive Degree" form must be filed prior to scheduling the defense. The graduate school's rules for dissertation submission and defense, including instructions on layout, footnotes, and citation techniques, can be found in the Guide for the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations (available online at: ). All students should familiarize themselves with these rules.