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A copy of the dissertation/essay/thesis must be given to the committee two weeks prior to the scheduled defense. (This copy is to be used for the defense; any further revisions should be made following the defense.) It is important to schedule the defense at least two weeks prior to the Graduate College’s deposit date to allow for any substantial changes that may be necessary.  

Please note that School of Music deadlines may differ from some of the Graduate College deadlines and if so then the School of Music deadlines take precedent.

Fall 2023 deadlines   

Spring 2024 deadlines     TBA

Summer 2024 deadlines     TBA

In many cases it is advisable to consult with committee members during the actual preparation of the dissertation/essay/thesis. This avoids potential problems that could occur at the time of the defense itself. Co-advisers are certainly possible, and indeed necessary in many situations.

Once the defense has been passed, the thesis must be complete and in final form before it is submitted to the Graduate College. See this link for the Graduate College’s formatting requirements:  Be aware of the Graduate College’s thesis deadline for each semester:

Degree- and Discipline-specific Information:

For Master's degrees with thesis, not more than 9 semester hours of credit for thesis research and writing shall be counted in satisfying the 30-hour minimum requirement.

For doctoral students, the deposit can be no later than the end of the semester (summers excluded) following the session in which the final examination is passed; failure to meet this deadline will require re-examination of the student.

General Information & Process

1)      Students complete their Plan of Study at time of final/comp exams.

2)      Only approved sub-track is the Theory Minor.

3)      Exam date, time and location must be included before defense can be requested.

4)      Two hours are allowed for the defense. Suggestion – when reserving a room try to reserve for 30 mins prior (prep time) and after defense (for committee discussion).

5)      Name and Rank: use full faculty names and title/rank.

6)      Program is Music unless you have an outside member then use that department name.

7)      Electronic verification of the thesis/essay will follow deposit and Graduate College examination. Committee members will be notified to provide electronic verification of thesis/essay. 

Dissertation Defense Room Reservation

Dissertation defenses are to be scheduled within the first five weeks of classes. Please include the name of the Primary Advisor, date, and time that the committee is free.

Many dissertation defenses are held in the conference rooms in the administrative suite.  A defense will be scheduled for two hours, and the reservation will include an additional half-hour for set-up and half-hour for discussion afterwards (3 hours total). For scheduling in the conference rooms, email

Email to reserve any other room. The reservation will be confirmed by email to the student, the advisor and the Academic Office.