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 following.
1. Doctoral Minor Form.  For "School/Program Graduate Coordinator" put the graduate chair Xingxing Yu.
2. Admission to PhD Candidacy Form. For "School Chair" put the graduate chair Xingxing Yu, and for "Graduate Coordinator" put Chris Jankowski.  This form should be completed well before your dissertation defense. 
3. After your defense, you need to have completed your Thesis Approval Form.  For "School Chair OR Graduate Coordinator" put the graduate chair Xingxing Yu.
4. In addition, there is the SMARTech Repository Agreement Form and the Dissertation Abstract to be submitted.

See the GT document checklist for full details.

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) two weeks in advance and then submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies.  At this 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 announcing the dissertation defense by going to our seminar page, clicking "Add Seminar" and then selecting "Dissertation Defense" as the appropriate seminar series and completing the page.  The student must also handle the room reservations, deliver copies of the dissertation, etc. The student and/or his/her advisor, must make a copy of the thesis 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 will need to request that the committee complete the Thesis Approval Form upon a successful defense. Furthermore the student should bring to the exam a copy of the Dissertation Defense Survey  (here is the new Dissertation Defense Survey beginning in Fall 2023) 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.