Defense and Submission

This page summarizes the process of defending and submitting a dissertation. It includes a list of important deadlines (many of which are surprisingly early – so be aware!).

An overview of the process

  1. Two to three months before your intended defense date: Schedule the date with your committee. You should talk to your advisor, but the usual expectation is that the committee should have the completed dissertation six weeks before the defense. Scheduling a defense in a shorter time frame will require the agreement of the committee members. You should also take into account that finding a date and time when all five committee members are available can be challenging, so it is important to start the scheduling process well in advance of the intended date of the defense. Please let Kei know the date and time of the defense as soon as it is scheduled.
  2. Three weeks before your defense date: Submit the committee approval form. This must be done at least three weeks before the defense takes place. The form is available online at the Graduate College website. You should fill out the form yourself. Accuracy in filling out this form very important since it is the official record of your dissertation defense. The form of your name that you use here (middle name, middle initial, etc) must be used on all other graduation related documents (title page of thesis, etc.). If you are not on campus, you can email the completed PDF (or send a hard copy) to Kei to obtain the necessary signatures.
  3. Three weeks before your defense date: Your defense is a public event and must be advertised. You need to send Kei an abstract of your dissertation so that she can publicize it. Advertising your defense is required and not optional.
  4. During the term of your defense: You must be registered in the term you defend. There is a grace period extending through the first ten days of the term (five days for Summer) if you were registered in the previous term. You do not need to be registered when you submit your dissertation, only when you defend.
  5. Before submitting your dissertation: You must pay the Library Publishing Fee and submit the Dissertation Publishing Agreement.

Important dates

Fall 2018

Friday, September 14 – Last day to file for fall graduation
Friday, November 9 – Last day to submit defended and approved thesis to graduate college for fall graduation

Spring 2019

Friday, February 1 – Last day to file for spring graduation
Friday, March 22 – Last day to submit defended and approved thesis to graduate college for spring graduation

Summer 2019

Friday, June 28 – Last day to file for summer graduation
Friday, July 26 – Last day to submit defended and approved thesis to graduate college for summer graduation

You can also consult the Graduate College academic calendar.

More about submission

  1. All UIC dissertations are now submitted electronically. This means you need to be able to generate a PDF version of your dissertation for submission. If you have difficulty with this please consult with the DGS for advice. See also the Graduate College FAQ on the electronic submission process.
  2. The Graduate College offers guidance on formatting dissertations. See the Graduate College Thesis Manual for the full details.
  3. If you have any questions about formatting, they should be directed to your advisor and the DGS. Formatting can be surprisingly time-consuming so do not leave this to the last minute. You should send a copy of the formatted dissertation to the DGS to make sure that the format is acceptable. Please send only PDF files since formatting in word processor files is often platform dependent. Please allow a week for the DGS to review the formatting.
  4. The Graduate College offers a description of the online submission process. If you have any questions about the forms you should contact Kei.
  5. If you have any questions about the forms or other details of the submission procedure, contact Kei. If you have any questions about formatting requirements, contact the DGS.
  6. Remember that you do not have to be registered when you submit your thesis, just when you defend.