Oral Defense

Spring 2020 Thesis Oral Defenses

Graduate students defending during Spring Quarter 2020 should consult with their committee chairs to arrange a defense format. Acceptable options include videoconferencing with tools such as Skype or Zoom. Under current university guidelines, you may hold an in person defense that includes only the graduate student and committee, in a space large enough to accommodate safe social distancing, if the entire group agrees that this is the best option. Check the Western Coronavirus Information page for current guidance on holding in person meetings. Public or department-wide presentations are not required by the Graduate School.

Students who do not have access to the necessary technology to hold a video defense should contact ATUS to request equipment loan. 


Defense Notification Requirements

  • Schedule your defense with your department
  • Submit an Oral Defense Schedule form at least two weeks prior to your defense
  • If requested, submit a draft of your thesis to the Graduate School one week before your defense date

The Graduate School will announce your oral defense to Graduate Faculty Governance Council. If a Graduate Faculty Governance Council member volunteers to observe your defense, you will need to include that person in your video conference. We will ask you to provide a copy of your draft for the representative to review.