The dissertation defense consists of two phases: the pre-defense and final public defense.
Pre-Defense: Once the Doctoral Candidate has completed the dissertation, the supervisor has judged that it is ready for pre-defense, and all committee members have sent a confirmation email to the program coordinator that the pre-defense can be scheduled; the student gives an oral presentation of the dissertation (in max. ½ hour) to his/her Dissertation Committee members, who then raise questions and make comments with the intent of assessing and strengthening the preparedness of the student for a final public defense. The Dissertation Committee then recommends that the student:
1) proceeds to a public final defense without changes to their dissertation; OR
2) proceeds to a public final defense with minor or major amendments; OR
3) prepares for a second pre-defense after significant revisions to the dissertation are made and approved by the supervisor. A student may not pre-defend their dissertation more than twice and consequently will be unenrolled from the Program.
Final Public Defense: Before a final public defense is confirmed, one external and one internal member of the student’s Dissertation Committee (preferably not the Supervisor) must indicate in writing whether the dissertation can be submitted for defense. These written statements should be sent to the supervisor and the Chair of the defense and may be sent to the student.
For the final public defense, the candidate makes an oral presentation of the dissertation (max. ½ hour) before their Dissertation Committee, a chair (usually from another CEU department), and a designated opponent, who should be an expert in the field who has not previously reviewed and advised on the dissertation, and others from the public. The opponent is required to provide the Chair, the candidate and their Dissertation Committee members written comments and questions regarding the dissertation in advance of the defense, to which the candidate must respond during the defense. The candidate should also field any questions and comments that may be offered by their Dissertation Committee members and others in attendance.