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Completing Your Degree

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About Your Defense

Before scheduling your defense

Before you schedule your defense and submit your complete thesis, dissertation, or equivalent for format review, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Minimum 3.0 GPA (iPOS and graduate GPA).

  2. Have an approved iPOS including committee composition, on file in the Graduate College.

  3. Complete all required exams (Foreign Language Examination, oral/written, etc.) with results reported to the Graduate College and final processing received before scheduling.

  4. If you are a doctoral student, you must have achieved candidacy.

  5. You must be enrolled for at least one credit hour of appropriate graduate level credit during the semester in which you defend.

  6. Make certain all committee members will be in attendance (required). If you have members that cannot be physically present at the defense because of extenuating circumstances, please refer to the Absent Committee Member Procedures.

  7. You must have a completed, defense-ready document for format evaluation. Please refer to Formatting your Thesis or Dissertation for more information on this process.

  8. Apply for graduation through your MyASU.

  9. Please refer to Graduation Deadlines to ensure you meet all deadlines and requirements.


Scheduling your defense

You are required to hold a public defense of your thesis or dissertation on an ASU campus as part of your degree requirements. You and your committee chair (or one co-chair) must be present at the defense.

Your defense must be scheduled at least 10 working days before your anticipated defense. Please see 10-Working-Day Calendar for permissible defense dates. When scheduling via your MyASU page, you will have an interactive calendar with available dates as well. If your defense will be conducted in-person or via ASU Sync, you are required to schedule a room for the defense before proceeding to schedule it in the iPOS.

To schedule your defense, follow the Scheduling your Defense process.

If you do not have the defense tab available, please refer to the requirements in the "Before scheduling your defense" section above.

Once you have submitted the request to schedule a defense through your MyASU, the request must be approved by your academic unit.  Note that your defense is not officially scheduled until approved. Once your defense is scheduled, you must upload your complete, defense-ready document to your iPOS for format review at least 10 calendar days prior to your defense.  Refer to Formatting your Thesis or Dissertation for more information on this process.

A document called the Report for Master's Thesis Defense form or the Report for Doctoral Dissertation Defense form (commonly known as the Pass/Fail form) will be emailed to your entire committee and your graduate support staff one week before the date of the scheduled defense. Your committee will indicate the defense results, any revisions needed, and sign the form afer your defense.


Rescheduling or cancelling your defense

To change, reschedule or cancel your defense, please follow the steps outlined in Scheduling your Defense.

Note: If your defense is still pending approval by the academic unit, NO changes can be made. You CANNOT change your committee after your defense has been scheduled. 

Preparing for an Online or ASU Sync Defense


Addressing Zoom Bombing

Zoom bombing is when someone joins a videoconferencing event being held via Zoom and disrupts the event. You are required to hold a public defense of your thesis or dissertation as part of your degree requirements, so addressing Zoom bombing is important.

Zoom bombing can be prevented from happening in public defenses by enabling specific settings in Zoom. These include:

  • enable the “waiting room”
  • “mute participants upon entry”
  • Limit screen sharing to “host only” 
  • Disable the “annotation” function

Please note that any meeting hosts can remove unwanted participants from meetings by clicking on “manage participants” and can also keep them muted during the event. These simple settings can be safeguards from any ill-intended zoom bombers.

After your defense

  1. Items and steps required in order to graduate
  2. Check Deadlines for important semester deadlines.
  3. Complete your committee revisions and submit to your committee for an additional review.
  4. Once your committee’s revisions have been completed and reviewed, the Chair or Co-chairs can issue the final “pass” result of your defense on the pass/fail form. Submission of the Pass/Fail form is electronic. The following directions will provide you with an overview of the process.
    • One week before your scheduled defense, an electronic Pass/Fail form will be generated in DocuSign and emailed to your Supervisory Committee.
    • After the defense, the members of the Supervisory Committee enter their decisions electronically through DocuSign.
    • A final pass result is assigned once the Chair or Co-Chairs issue their final signature(s) on the DocuSign Pass/Fail form. If the committee required revisions, the final pass is provided after their revisions have been submitted and reviewed.
    • After the final pass has been entered, the DocuSign form will automatically be routed to the Graduate College and to you.
  5. Complete your format revisions. Check your ASU email regularly for communication from the Format Advisors. You can email them at gradformat@asu.edu with any questions. 
  6. Submit final document to UMI/ProQuest. You must have completed the following before you can upload to ProQuest:
    • Signed approved Pass/Fail form submitted to the Graduate College (all revisions required by committee/chair must be completed at this point)
    • Receive approval from the Graduate College (Ready for ETD/ProQuest) to upload to ProQuest
    • Please remember to refer to Deadlines to meet the graduation deadlines for submitting Pass/Fail forms and uploading to ProQuest.

Embargo

At the time of your defense, your committee should determine if public release of your document will be delayed for a maximum of two years to protect any of the following reasons:

      • information of commercial value
      • patentable rights
      • sensitive or classified information
      • academic or commercial press from acquiring publishing rights
      • other relevant scholarly issues related to the release of your work

The Delaying Publication of Your Theses/Dissertation (Embargo Status form) must be submitted along with your completed Pass/Fail form to the Graduate College in order for your Thesis or Dissertation to be embargoed.

Once the 2-year ASU embargo expires, full documents are available through the ASU Digital Repository and ProQuest. If you would like to extend your embargo through ASU for 2 additional years, please contact the Graduate College by sending an email to gradformat@asu.edu. To extend embargos with ProQuest, please contact them directly at disspub@proquest.com. *Please note: The maximum allowed time to embargo your document is 4 years. As a product of Arizona State University, all ASU Theses/Dissertations will be released through the ASU Digital Repository once the embargo time limit has expired.

IMPORTANT: Embargoing through ProQuest is separate from embargoing through ASU. If you would like to secure an indefinite embargo from ProQuest on your theses/dissertation then you must have successfully completed all requirements and graduated. You may then submit a request directly to ProQuest, either by email (disspub@proquest.com) or by telephone (800-521-0600, ext. 77020).

Submission Instructions: Please scan and electronically send the form (only chair/co-chair or academic unit support staff) to grad-gps@asu.edu OR the student may hand-deliver the signed form to the Graduate College, Interdisciplinary B-Room 288 (Tempe Campus). Please ensure the graduate support staff receives a copy for departmental records.