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Final Defense

Before the Defense:

  1. Register for 599 Thesis Research after Prelim and until Final Defense. You must be registered in the semester in which you take your final exam. Doctoral students should register for 590 Individual Topics up until your Prelim and then register for 599 Thesis Research from the time of your Prelim until your Final Defense.

  2. Complete at least 96 credit hours of 400- or 500-level courses (64 hours beyond the M.S. requirements) with grades no lower than B or S, and complete at least two semesters of favorably evaluated teaching.

  3. Add yourself to the degree list in the term you plan to deposit your thesis/dissertation via UI Integrate Self-Service. You do not need to be registered in the semester in which you deposit your dissertation if it is not the same semester as the one in which you took your final exam.

  4. Reserve a Room or provide a Zoom Meeting link for your defense after the date and time have been approved by your defense committee. Inform the PEEC Office Administrator of the date, time, room/zoom link, and the names of your committee members at least 3 weeks before your defense date. If you need help reserving a room, contact the PEEC Office Administrator.

  5. Submit a Graduate College Final Exam Committee Approval Request through the Graduate College Student Portal exactly 3 weeks before the date agreed upon by you and your committee for your Final Defense Exam. You will need to submit the date, time, and place of the exam, as well as the NetIDs of all your committee members while also distinguishing which one is the Chair of the Committee (your major advisor) and which one is your Director of Research (your advisor, as well). You can find the NetIDs of most of our faculty and affiliates in the Graduate College Faculty Database. See PEEC’s Graduate Program Handbook. for specifications for your committee.

  6. Schedule your exit seminar. The Exit Seminar can be scheduled 1) as one of PEEC’s weekly seminars by contacting the PEEC Office Administrator or the seminar coordinator before the beginning of the school year, 2) the first hour of your scheduled Final Defense, 3) or at a different date/time. Again, inform the PEEC Office Administrator of the date, time, and room/zoom link of your exit seminar if not scheduled as one of PEEC’s weekly seminars.

  7. While writing your dissertation, be sure to follow the Grad College Thesis Requirements for formatting your dissertation. Click on the following link to view a sample Title Page, Sample (Doctoral). If you have any questions about any of the formatting requirements, ask the PEEC Office Administrator, who is required to approve the formatting of your dissertation before you are allowed to deposit.

  8. Previously the Graduate College has required that depositing doctoral students make their dissertations available through ProQuest to ensure the wide dissemination of the work. These dissertations are included in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global and Dissertation Abstracts International. Since 2010, all dissertations are now included in IDEALS, the Illinois digital repository, which also provides access through web and WorldCat indexing. The Graduate College Executive Committee recently voted to remove the requirement that students provide their dissertations to ProQuest for dissemination and have now made it optional. It is recommended that you discuss with your defense committee whether they feel you should make your dissertation available through ProQuest or not. There will be a step during your deposit in which they will ask you to make a choice.

After the Defense:

  1. After you have made the revisions recommended by your committee, make sure that you have followed the Grad College Thesis Requirements for formatting your dissertation, and then email the PEEC Office Administrator a copy of your dissertation (Word docx version) for format review at least 5 business days before the deposit deadline.

  2. After making any necessary format changes suggested by the Office Administrator, resubmit the final revision to the PEEC Office Administrator for a final review and approval. The Office Administrator will then submit the Thesis/Dissertation Approval (TDA) form to the Grad College and notify you that you may then submit your dissertation for electronic deposit to the Graduate College.

  3. Deposit your dissertation and submit supplemental materials.
    1. Convert your dissertation file(s) to a single PDF file, if not already in that format.
      1. Name the PDF file: Lastname_Firstname.pdf (Use last and first names as they appear in Banner and listed on the title page; do not include middle names/initials in the filename.)

      2. Do not embed audio/video files in or apply security settings to PDF file.
    2. Go to to create a submission profile and submit your electronic dissertation.

    3. At the same time, submit the following to the Thesis Office (the deposit is not complete until all items are received):
      1. IDEALS deposit agreement. See the Release Options page for a detailed overview of the IDEALS release options and license text. You will agree to the IDEALS license agreement during step 2 of the thesis submission process.

      2. Doctoral Exit Survey. The Doctoral Exit Survey is required for all doctoral students. Upon completion, the Thesis Office will be notified automatically. However, please retain your certificate of completion as evidence that you have completed this requirement. The average amount of time required to complete the Doctoral Exit Survey is about 10 to 15 minutes.

      3. Survey of Earned Doctorates. After you complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates, the Thesis Office will be copied on the email with your certificate of completion. However, please retain your certificate of completion as evidence that you have completed this requirement. The average amount of time required to complete the SED is about 20 minutes. The SED is not required for dissertations submitted for the Ed.D. and D.M.A. degrees.

      4. Copyright permission letters (If applicable). The author determines if letters granting permission to reprint copyrighted material are needed. If so, there will be an opportunity to upload them with your submission. If you need to send them separately, please email them to For more information about this item, see the Copyright Tools page.

      5. ProQuest publishing agreement (optional). During the thesis submission process, doctoral students may opt to have the Graduate College transfer a copy to ProQuest. ProQuest provides non-exclusive distribution via the ProQuest Dissertation & Theses Database. Please review the Release Options page for an overview of the ProQuest publishing and release options. Students who wish to send their dissertation to ProQuest should agree to the ProQuest publishing agreement during step 2 of the thesis submission process. Note: Paper agreements are no longer accepted.
    4. Make all necessary corrections to your dissertation, if any, as required by the Thesis Office. They will notify you of required changes via email.

    5. The Thesis Office will notify you via email when your deposit is complete. The deposit fee ($50) will be charged to your student account.

    6. All final corrections and required materials are due no later than 4:45 p.m. on the final day of the deposit period for your intended graduation (see Graduate College Academic deadlines).

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