Scheduling the Oral Defense

Instructions for Scheduling the Oral Defense

When scheduling the dissertation defense, students need to follow the instructions below, and also refer to the Checklists and PhD Graduation Information on the GRS website.

The Orals Committee consists of the three readers and two additional committee members, one of whom serves as committee chair. The first reader and the committee chair must have primary appointments in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. All five committee members are required to attend the final oral examination. One committee member, who is not the chair of the committee or the first reader, can attend via audio/video communication during the final oral examination. The first reader and the student are responsible for setting the date of the Oral Examination.

AT LEAST FIVE WEEKS BEFORE THE ORALS DATE, students must:

  • Obtain a copy of the Ph.D. Schedule of Final Oral Examination with Abstract Approval form and submit the form and the abstract to the major professor for approval.  After the major professor approves the abstract and signs the form, please submit an electronic copy of both the abstract and Schedule of Final Oral Examination with Abstract Approval cover sheet to Dr. Joanne Hebden Palfai (jpalfai@bu.edu). The abstract will then be reviewed by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Department Chair. If revisions are required, the student will be contacted and will need to resubmit the revised abstract to Dr. Palfai. Once the abstract is approved, the student will be notified and the dissertation defense (oral exam) will be officially scheduled. Students may need a longer lead-in time during the summer months because faculty are often away. Please note that the abstract must be written in a clear and concise manner and must strictly follow University guidelines for formatting.

Notes:

    • Although the Guide for Writers of Theses and Dissertations states that there is no limit to the abstract, the department requires that it does not exceed 350 words. A sample abstract can be found at: http://library.bu.edu/ld.php?content_id=24728519.

AT LEAST THREE WEEKS BEFORE THE ORALS DATE, students must:

  • Submit a draft of the dissertation emailed as a .pdf to the GRS Records Office at grsrec@bu.edu for the Graduate School’s format review.

AT LEAST TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE ORALS DATE, students must:

  • Submit electronically one (1) invitation to the Dissertation Defense (same format as invitation to the prospectus hearing on p. 19) and one (1) copy of the approved abstract to Dr. Joanne Hebden Palfai (jpalfai@bu.edu). 
  • Submit electronically a copy of the full dissertation to Dr. Joanne Hebden Palfai (jpalfai@bu.edu).

The responsibility of the Orals Committee is to determine whether the candidate has presented an adequate defense of the Dissertation. Only one FAIL vote is permissible for a pass. If it is determined that a re-examination will be permitted, the Examination Committee will make recommendations regarding any necessary changes in the thesis. The Dissertation must be approved and signed by the Readers. Revisions may be requested.

UPON SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE ORALS EXAMINATION, students must:

  • Submit an electronic copy of the signed Examination Report Form (obtained from the first reader) and signed signature page, signed by the three readers, as well as the final signed copy of the dissertation to Dr. Joanne Hebden Palfai (jpalfai@bu.edu). 
  • Submit the final approved dissertation to the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) web site (http://www.etdadmin.com/bu). 
  • Submit the electronic Contact Information Form online (https://www.bu.edu/cas/academics/phd-and-mfa-academics/graduation-information/, Click on Final Dissertation Submission). 
  • Submit the Dissertation Processing Fee of $115, which can be paid online via credit card by clicking on the link provided at the Guide for Writers of Theses and Dissertations (http://www.bu.edu/library/guide/theses/, under Library Submission).

2022/2023 Graduation Calendar

A candidate must be registered for the semester in which degree requirements are completed and during the preceding semester.

Jan. 2023 Award May 2023 Award Aug. 2023 Award
Dissertation Prospectus As soon as approved but no later than six months before dissertation defense As soon as approved but no later than six months before dissertation defense As soon as approved but no later than six months before dissertation defense
*Intent to Graduate Sept. 23, 2022 Jan. 25, 2023 May 26, 2023
Dissertation Abstract submitted to Department for review (to Dr. Joanne Hebden Palfai) At least five weeks prior to Final Oral Exam At least five weeks prior to Final Oral Exam At least five weeks prior to Final Oral Exam
Properly Formatted Draft of Dissertation emailed as a PDF to grsrec@bu.edu At least three weeks prior to Final Oral Exam At least three weeks prior to Final Oral Exam At least three weeks prior to Final Oral Exam
Last date to hold Final Oral Examination Dec. 2, 2022 April 7, 2023 July 7, 2023
**Last date for submission of Dissertation to ETD, Dissertation processing fee to GRS Office (Contact Form), BU Doctoral Exit Survey, and Survey of Earned Doctorates Dec. 9, 2022 April 14, 2023 July 14, 2023
Last date for submission to ETD and Dissertation Processing Fee to GRS Office for graduation in the next semester without registering for that semester Jan. 9, 2023 May 8, 2023 Aug. 4, 2023

* The intent to graduate form is available online and is valid only for the graduation date specified. New applications must be filed if students do not graduate as planned. Please note that the August 2023 graduation dates are subject to change. For the most recent graduation calendar, please visit the Graduate School website.

** All Ph.D. requirements are complete only when the copy of the dissertation has been certified as meeting the standards of GRS and accepted by the library.

Appendix

Collaborative Research

The faculty member and student should discuss ownership of data and authorship on presentations/publications early enough in the process so that each is aware of his/her role, and should publicly acknowledge one another’s contributions at conferences, in written work, etc. Guidelines about authorship and authorship order are addressed further in the APA Ethical Standards.