A pre-defense meeting of the DAC occurs at least two to three weeks prior to the defense to make sure that the quality of the dissertation document is close to being acceptable for the degree and to review necessary paperwork. At this time, the committee reviews the abstract and title. The defense cannot be scheduled before the abstract is approved and copies sent to the GMS at least three weeks before the defense. At the time of their defense, students give a 50-minute oral presentation, followed by 10 minutes of questions, that is open to all members of the University. This public forum is followed by a closed session of the DAC, at which the student is asked to respond to questions put forth by the committee to test her/his ability to defend the work presented in the dissertation document.
13. Include a title on your proposal. I'm amazed at how often the title is left for the end of the student's writing and then somehow forgotten when the proposal is prepared for the committee. A good proposal has a good title and it is the first thing to help the reader begin to understand the nature of your work. Use it wisely! Work on your title early in the process and revisit it often. It's easy for a reader to identify those proposals where the title has been focused upon by the student. Preparing a good title means: