Thesis Defense

All master's and doctoral students are required to give a public presentation of their research and pass a final oral examination.You must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 on both your Program and cumulative graduate transcript to schedule the final oral examination. All course work with a grade of I appearing on the program of study must be completed prior to scheduling the final oral examination. The examination should be scheduled for two hours after the seminar.

As you prepare for your defense, you should review OSU transcripts and make sure the classes you actually took match what is on your program of study. If they don’t, you can update your program of study by submitting a Petition for Change in Program form. Ideally this should be completed 15 weeks prior to your defense. At this point, FW Master's students will also need to add a Graduate Council Representative (GCR) to their committee. This is a Graduate School requirement and the GCR is not the same as the Research Reviewer who participated in your proposal defense earlier in the degree. PhD students are required to have a GCR on their committee for throughout their entire program so no changes to PhD committees are necessary during defense preparations. 

If you have questions about this or any other degree requirements set by the graduate school, Debra Ricciotti ( should be your initial point of contact.

Financial Support

A Thesis or Dissertation Completion Award is a competitive award, which supports outstanding master’s and doctoral students who are in the final stages of their theses or dissertations by offering an award to cover the cost of three graduate credits of tuition at the student’s tuition rate (resident/nonresident) and mandatory fees for one academic term only. Please keep in mind that students need to be enrolled in at least three graduate credits to be eligible to defend (per the continous enrollment policy).

The award, useful in situations where GTA opportunities do not exist or where grant funding is insufficient to fund the student’s final term, enables students to focus on research and writing with the goal of improving the quality of their work and expediting time to degree completion.

Unit heads/chairs from each degree program (as defined by university major code) may nominate no more than one student (total) per award cycle. Nominations must be made during the term prior to the anticipated completion term. Requests for retroactive funding will not be considered.