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What is a thesis defense?
What is a thesis?

But this is a very sane and helpful assessment of the process. You may want to publish it on ProfHacker. I would, however, add in addition to your list of 10 — a big goddamn poster and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub. I defend tomorrow-thanks so much for posting this! I defend Friday and I will do my best to adhere to the advice of this page and the posters above. My defense was a success. Thank you for your amazing tips.

But still, it helped me a lot. Thank u so much Sir! Thank you for this helpful advice. I defend in a week and I will try to apply all your suggestions! I kept reminding myself to have some fun, to enjoy the day, if possible. I really want to prepare, but not sure what to prepare for! Thanks so much for your tips. PhD defense advice and resources Only A Model. Defending in five days.

I defended last week, and your 10 points definitely helped a lot. It was extremely nerve-wracking, but I also had a lot of fun.

Eventually, we all determined no one in the room really knew how to answer that question. Shutting up at that point was the best thing I did. WET — What do you do? This article is great. I defend in 2 days. Almost 48 hours exactly. There are many good points here and it has helped calm me. I would also add that you should speak to the other students who are in the program with you and have already defended.

This helped me calm down quite a bit. In pre Bologna programmes students were able to skip the preparation and presentation of a Master's thesis and continue straightforward towards doctorate. In Sweden, there are different types of theses. After that there are two types of post graduate degrees, Licentiate dissertation and PhD dissertation. A licentiate degree is approximately "half a PhD" in terms of size and scope of the thesis.

Swedish PhD studies should in theory last for four years, including course work and thesis work, but as many PhD students also teach, the PhD often takes longer to complete. Outside the academic community, the terms thesis and dissertation are interchangeable.

A wide range of supervisory arrangements can be found in the British academy, from single supervisors more usual for undergraduate and Masters level work to supervisory teams of up to three supervisors. In teams, there will often be a Director of Studies, usually someone with broader experience perhaps having passed some threshold of successful supervisions.

The Director may be involved with regular supervision along with the other supervisors, or may have more of an oversight role, with the other supervisors taking on the more day-to-day responsibilities of supervision.

At most universities, dissertation is the term for the required submission for the doctorate, and thesis refers only to the master's degree requirement. Thesis is also used to describe a cumulative project for a bachelor's degree and is more common at selective colleges and universities, or for those seeking admittance to graduate school or to obtain an honors academic designation.

These projects are called "senior projects" or "senior theses"; they are generally done in the senior year near graduation after having completed other courses, the independent study period, and the internship or student teaching period the completion of most of the requirements before the writing of the paper ensures adequate knowledge and aptitude for the challenge.

Unlike a dissertation or master's thesis, they are not as long and they do not require a novel contribution to knowledge or even a very narrow focus on a set subtopic. Like them, they can be lengthy and require months of work, they require supervision by at least one professor adviser, they must be focused on a certain area of knowledge, and they must use an appreciable amount of scholarly citations.

They may or may not be defended before a committee but usually are not; there is generally no preceding examination before the writing of the paper, except for at very few colleges. Because of the nature of the graduate thesis or dissertation having to be more narrow and more novel, the result of original research, these usually have a smaller proportion of the work that is cited from other sources, though the fact that they are lengthier may mean they still have total citations.

Specific undergraduate courses, especially writing-intensive courses or courses taken by upperclassmen, may also require one or more extensive written assignments referred to variously as theses, essays, or papers. Increasingly, high schools are requiring students to complete a senior project or senior thesis on a chosen topic during the final year as a prerequisite for graduation.

The extended essay component of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme , offered in a growing number of American high schools, is another example of this trend. Generally speaking, a dissertation is judged as to whether or not it makes an original and unique contribution to scholarship.

Lesser projects a master's thesis, for example are judged by whether or not they demonstrate mastery of available scholarship in the presentation of an idea. The required complexity or quality of research of a thesis may vary significantly among universities or programs. One of the requirements for certain advanced degrees is often an oral examination called a viva voce examination or just viva in the UK and certain other English-speaking countries.

This examination normally occurs after the dissertation is finished but before it is submitted to the university, and may comprise a presentation often public by the student and questions posed by an examining committee or jury.

In North America, an initial oral examination in the field of specialization may take place just before the student settles down to work on the dissertation. An additional oral exam may take place after the dissertation is completed and is known as a thesis or dissertation " defense ", which at some universities may be a mere formality and at others may result in the student being required to make significant revisions.

The result of the examination may be given immediately following deliberation by the examiners in which case the candidate may immediately be considered to have received his or her degree , or at a later date, in which case the examiners may prepare a defense report that is forwarded to a Board or Committee of Postgraduate Studies, which then officially recommends the candidate for the degree.

At most North American institutions the latter two verdicts are extremely rare, for two reasons. First, to obtain the status of doctoral candidates, graduate students typically write a qualifying examination or comprehensive examination, which often includes an oral defense.

Students who pass the qualifying examination are deemed capable of completing scholarly work independently and are allowed to proceed with working on a dissertation. Second, since the thesis supervisor and the other members of the advisory committee will normally have reviewed the thesis extensively before recommending the student proceed to the defense, such an outcome would be regarded as a major failure not only on the part of the candidate but also by the candidate's supervisor who should have recognized the substandard quality of the dissertation long before the defense was allowed to take place.

It is also fairly rare for a thesis to be accepted without any revisions; the most common outcome of a defense is for the examiners to specify minor revisions which the candidate typically completes in a few days or weeks.

At universities on the British pattern it is not uncommon for theses at the viva stage to be subject to major revisions in which a substantial rewrite is required, sometimes followed by a new viva. Very rarely, the thesis may be awarded the lesser degree of M.

Phil Master of Philosophy instead, preventing the candidate from resubmitting the thesis. In Australia, doctoral theses are usually examined by three examiners although some, like the Australian Catholic University and the University of New South Wales , have shifted to using only two examiners; without a live defense except in extremely rare exceptions.

In the case of a master's degree by research the thesis is usually examined by only two examiners. Typically one of these examiners will be from within the candidate's own department; the other s will usually be from other universities and often from overseas. Following submission of the thesis, copies are sent by mail to examiners and then reports sent back to the institution. Similar to a master's degree by research thesis, a thesis for the research component of a master's degree by coursework is also usually examined by two examiners, one from the candidate's department and one from another university.

For an Honours year, which is a fourth year in addition to the usual three-year bachelor's degree, the thesis is also examined by two examiners, though both are usually from the candidate's own department. Honours and Master's theses sometimes require an oral defense before they are accepted.

In Germany, a thesis is usually examined with an oral examination. This applies to almost all Diplom , Magister , master's and doctoral degrees as well as to most bachelor's degrees. However, a process that allows for revisions of the thesis is usually only implemented for doctoral degrees. There are several different kinds of oral examinations used in practice.

The Disputation , also called Verteidigung "defense" , is usually public at least to members of the university and is focused on the topic of the thesis. In contrast, the Rigorosum is not held in public and also encompasses fields in addition to the topic of the thesis.

The Rigorosum is only common for doctoral degrees. Another term for an oral examination is Kolloquium , which generally refers to a usually public scientific discussion and is often used synonymously with Verteidigung. In each case, what exactly is expected differs between universities and between faculties.

Some universities also demand a combination of several of these forms. Like the British model, the PHD or MPhil student is required to submit their theses or dissertation for examination by two or three examiners. The first examiner is from the university concerned, the second examiner is from another local university and the third examiner is from a suitable foreign university usually from Commonwealth countries. The choice of examiners must be approved by the university senate.

In some public universities, a PhD or MPhil candidate may also have to show a number publications in peer reviewed academic journals as part of the requirement. An oral viva is conducted after the examiners have submitted their reports to the university. The oral viva session is attended by the Oral Viva chairman, a rapporteur with a PhD qualification, the first examiner, the second examiner and sometimes the third examiner.

Branch campuses of British, Australian and Middle East universities in Malaysia use the respective models of the home campuses to examine their PhD or MPhil candidates.

In the Philippines, a thesis is followed by an oral defense. In most universities, this applies to all bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees. However, the oral defense is held in once per semester usually in the middle or by the end with a presentation of revisions so-called "plenary presentation" at the end of each semester. The oral defense is typically not held in public for bachelor and master oral defenses, however a colloquium is held for doctorate degrees. Typical duration for the total exam is 1 hour 30 minutes for the MSc and 3 hours for the PhD.

In North America, the thesis defense or oral defense is the final examination for doctoral candidates, and sometimes for master's candidates. The examining committee normally consists of the thesis committee, usually a given number of professors mainly from the student's university plus his or her primary supervisor, an external examiner someone not otherwise connected to the university , and a chair person.

Each committee member will have been given a completed copy of the dissertation prior to the defense, and will come prepared to ask questions about the thesis itself and the subject matter. In many schools, master's thesis defenses are restricted to the examinee and the examiners, but doctoral defenses are open to the public. The typical format will see the candidate giving a short 20—minute presentation of his or her research, followed by one to two hours of questions.

A student in Ukraine or Russia has to complete a thesis and then defend it in front of their department. Sometimes the defense meeting is made up of the learning institute's professionals and sometimes the students peers are allowed to view or join in. After the presentation and defense of the thesis, the final conclusion of the department should be that none of them have reservations on the content and quality of the thesis.

A conclusion on the thesis has to be approved by the rector of the educational institute. The Diploma de estudios avanzados DEA can last two years and candidates must complete coursework and demonstrate their ability to research the specific topics they have studied.

After completing this part of the PhD, students begin a dissertation on a set topic. The dissertation must reach a minimum length depending on the subject and it is valued more highly if it contains field research. Once candidates have finished their written dissertations, they must present them before a committee. This is your day. The audience does not just listen to what you have to say, they observe it. If you look good, your work looks good. The last thing you want to worry about when the opponents start lightening up the fire is whether your shirt matches your socks.

Treat yourself with a complete new outfit. You certainly deserve it, and it boosts your confidence and cools your nerves. Presentation skills is king. Make sure you get these basic things right: A run-through with colleagues is essential and tremendously helpful. Leave some room for nerves and energy. I recommend about three to five full trials, of which at least one in the actual defense room. A difficult thing during a PhD defense is to reach your audience. Probably, your public defense draws a rare mix of friends, family, expert colleagues, other PhD candidates and wild-card walk-ins.

How can you possibly deliver a speech that will reach them all? Make all of them feel smarter. That simple story will offer something for anyone.

Your presentation is delivered. This is when the real defense start. If you got a written comment to your thesis from the committee you should have read it carefully and practiced a few responses to the obvious questions in it. In any case, the most important advice is this one: This is the day to be humble. All research has weaknesses. Be confident about your choices and results, but agree that it could have be done better or differently.

That will take you far. Some questions deserve a few seconds thought.

The Role of PhD Committee Members

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The dissertation defense is a significant milestone signaling closure on your graduate student career. The dissertation defense can be divided into three distinct components (Foss and Waters): the preparation, the defense, and follow-up.

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You are likely only to defend a PhD thesis only once; your defense is a special occasion, so consider dressing appropriately, at least business casual, but a suit is not inappropriate. It is customary to provide refreshments for the audience, such as coffee, bagels, cookies and fruit, depending on the time of day.

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Oct 28,  · A dissertation defense in the humanities and social sciences looks and feels different from its scientific counterparts. It resembles an examination in which the candidate is questioned closely about work that the faculty committee has read in elmercuriodigital.ml: Leonard Cassuto. A defense presents evidence for a thesis. What kind of evidence is apprpropriate depends on what kind of thesis is being defended. Thesis: process X is a feasible way to do task Y. One defense for this kind of claim is an analysis of the complexity, or completeness, or whatever, of the theoretical algorithm.

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A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings. 10 tips for surviving a dissertation defense by Erik Marshall | Apr 9, | 35 comments The title should probably read “How I survived my dissertation defense,” because each project is different, each committee is different, and, therefore each defense is different.