After the student completes the Comprehensive Examination, only the thesis research and thesis defense requirements remain. The graduate program ends with the presentation of the dissertation and its satisfactory defense in a the oral Thesis Defense examination.
The thesis defense consists of a public presentation with time allotted for questions and answers, followed by a non-public discussion and examination of the student’s work and knowledge by the student’s thesis committee.
At the end of the examination period, the student's thesis committee asks the student to leave the room to enable conference among the committee members. The thesis committee then provides feedback on whether the student has passed, and what additional measures are required to satisfy the research and dissertation requirement.