Saint Louis University

Protocol for Public Defense

The public oral defense of the dissertation is applicable to all students who initiated their Ph.D. studies during and after the 1994 Fall Semester. In preparation for the Oral Presentation and Defense, all doctoral candidates are expected to adhere to the following guidelines:

1. The candidate must complete and submit to the Graduate Education Doctoral Candidacy Advisor, with the approval of the dissertation chair, the following items at least three weeks prior to the presentation/defense:

  • the readiness form,
  • a 300 word abstract, and
  • a brief autobiographical sketch

2. The candidate must prepare an oral presentation summarizing the relevant components of the dissertation including, but not necessarily limited to, an explanation of the problem investigated, the research questions and/or hypotheses, the research design, the analysis of data, conclusions, and recommendations. The oral presentation should be limited to no more than 45 minutes of the two hour oral defense. While the candidate is expected to prepare a concise well rehearsed oral presentation, the final assessment of the dissertation will be based on the content of the research rather than the presentation skills of the student.

3. The candidate may use appropriate technology, models, and/or visual aids during the oral presentation. The candidate is responsible for securing these items at his or her own expense. Technology and/or audio-visual items available to the Department through the University may be used by the candidate.

4. The candidate is responsible for duplicating any materials that he or she wishes to be distributed during the oral defense. It should be noted that the draft copy of the dissertation, the abstract, and autobiographical sketch will be available to the invitees prior to the oral defense. If the abstract/digest and biographic information are provided on diskette at least three weeks prior to the defense, a program will be prepared and distributed by the Candidacy Advisor. Therefore, the candidate is not required to prepare any materials for distribution at the oral defense.

5. After completion of the oral presentation, the candidate should defer to the dissertation chair who will conduct the question and answer period. Members of the dissertation committee will be recognized prior to any questioning by the general audience or invited guests.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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