Biological Sciences Columbia University
FACULTYRESEARCHPh.D. PROGRAMM.A. BIOTECHNOLOGYUNDERGRADUATECOURSES
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Thesis Defense

Graduate Student Handbook
The thesis defense consists of a public presentation of the work in a forty-five minute seminar. This seminar is followed by an examination related to the thesis work of the candidate by the thesis committee. The outcome of this examination is either an acceptance of the thesis with minor revisions, acceptance with major revisions or failure.

Graduate School policy requires that all dissertations be written in English. Rare exceptions may be granted only with prior approval of the Executive Committee of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Dean (after departmental approval of the topic, but before research is begun). Guidelines governing exceptions are available from the Office of the Dean, 109 Low Memorial Library.

A student must be registered for a Residence Unit or for Extended Residence for the term in which the dissertation is defended. Exception is made for a student registered for a Residence Unit or for Extended Residence in the term immediately preceding the term in which he or she defends and for a student returning from a leave of absence for defense who was registered for a Residence Unit or for Extended Residence in the term immediately before beginning the leave. In both exceptional instances, the student may defend while registered for Matriculation and Facilities.

Deposit of the Dissertation

When the faculty committee has certified that the student has passed the final examination, the candidate must, in order to receive the degree, arrange with the Dissertation Secretary, 108 Low Memorial Library, for the deposit of the dissertation in the University library. The student has two options regarding the form in which copies of the work are acceptable - print or microfilm. The student should obtain from the Dissertation Secretary the statement of rules governing the two options. A fee of about $160 is payable at the time of deposit. Please check with the Dissertation Office for the exact amount.

Award of the Degree

When all requirements have been satisfied and all outstanding fees paid, the degree is awarded on the next conferral date (October, January, or May) following the final deposit of the dissertation (see Academic Calendar ). The deadlines for applying for degrees through the Office of Student Information Services do not apply to the doctoral degree. Once all requirements for the Ph.D. degree have been completed, the Office of Student Information Services is notified th at the degree should be awarded on the next degree date. For employment or other purposes, candidates may obtain official certification of the completion of all degree requirements from the Office of Student Information Services. Information about the annual Ph.D. Convocation held the day before Commencement is mailed from the Office of the Dean in March. Information about the annual Commencement ceremony in May is mailed from the Office of the President in March.
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