Dissertation and Graduation

Graduation Forms and Procedures

In the beginning of the semester in which you wish to graduate you need to apply to graduate on line by filling out the Online Application for Graduation (be sure to click the "Graduate" tab to get the correct information). For the precise deadline see the Official School Calendar.

Details of all the required forms and deadlines for submitting your thesis can be found on Georgia Tech's Office of Graduate Studies' Theses and Dissertations webpage. In particular, you need to turn in the Doctoral Minor Form (if you have not already done so) and your Request for Admission to Ph.D. Candidacy Form well before your dissertation defense. Then after your defense you need to turn in your Certificate of Thesis Approval Form.

In general students need to be registered for the semester in which they wish to graduate; however, if they have already satisfied all degree requirements, then they may be exempted from registration by filing out the Enrollment Waiver Form. For more details and further info see Requirements for the Doctoral Degree described in the GT Catalogue.

Defense of the Dissertation

The final official event in the PhD program is the defense of the thesis, which is also known as the final oral exam. Please refer to Georgia Tech's Office of Graduate Studies for official rules. In the School of Math defense takes place in the student's last semester, two weeks or more before the dissertation is due (in final form!) in the Graduate Office, and it should be preceded by several officially registered events: Comprehensive Exams, Approval of Minor, and Admission to Candidacy.

The Dissertation Committee and the defense should be approved by the School's Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and by the Vice Provost two weeks in advance, at which time a copy of the dissertation is placed on public display in the faculty lounge, and the time and place of the defense are announced to the public. The Dissertation Committee consists typically of five members including the dissertation advisor and at least one academic member from outside the School of Mathematics. The Committee is selected by the advisor in consultation with DGS.

The student takes responsibility for announcements, room reservations, delivering copies of the dissertation, etc. The student and/or his/her advisor, must make a copy of the theisis available to all members of the Dissertation Committee at least two weeks before the defense date, or as otherwise agreed with the Committee's members.

The final defense is a public event, and after a presentation of the dissertation everyone is invited to ask questions of the candidate. The public is then dismissed and the Committee continues to ask probing questions. Eventually the candidate leaves the room and the Committee deliberates, then announces the decision. The Committee reports the result of the defense to the DGS and to the Vice Provost. The dissertation is archived electronically.

Forms to Bring to the Defense

The student should bring one copy of the Certificate of Thesis Approval Form to the defense.The committee should complete this form and give it to the student, who will make a copy for the DGS and turn in the original form to Georgia Tech's Office of Graduate Studies. Furthermore the student should bring to the exam a copy of the Dissertation Defense Survey for each committee member. The student's advisor will collect these forms at the conclusion of the exam and hand them to DGS. Committee members who participate in the exam via remote video conferencing may fill out the form online and email it to DGS.

Exit Survey

As new PhD recipients of the School of Math, you are asked to please fill out our PhD Exit Survey and send it to the graduate director. The replies to these questions will be tabulated anonymously for internal evaluation of our PhD programs, while the individual identity of the respondents will be held in confidence by the Graduate Director.