Oral Defense Attendance Policies

The preferred, best practice is to have the student and all members of the dissertation committee physically present at the final oral defense. However, it is permissible for one core member (not the chairperson or the institutional representative) to waive their attendance and submit any questions to the committee chair in advance.  

It is also permissible for the student and/or one or more committee members to participate remotely, provided the conditions below are met: 

    • Advance agreement of the student and all committee members has been obtained; 
    • All remote participants must join in with two-way audio and video connections; 
    • Any visual aids or other materials must have been distributed in advance to the remote participants; 
    • The committee members must participate in the complete meeting, discussion, presentation, and evaluation; and 
    • The student is responsible for making technological and logistical arrangements.  

For "hybrid" defenses, enter the building and room number as the location in GradWeb, and for each committee member indicate whether they will attend in person or remotely. 

If a member of your dissertation committee waives their attendance (i.e., does not physically or remotely attend the defense), the faculty member still must log in to GradWeb within 2 weeks after the oral defense and certify the results of the defense.