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Dissertation Evaluation

Before the Oral Defense

The Dissertation Evaluation

The dissertation evaluation enables the graduate school to:

  1. Alert the dissertation chair of potential problems before the defense
  2. Assists committee members in recognizing common and diverging concerns in planning the defense
  3. Serves as a record of the committee’s evaluation

Because divergent evaluations submitted by the members of a committee may require further discussion prior to the oral defense, we ask that evaluations be received by OARD at least three working days prior to the day of the oral defense.

If the student does not supply each committee member with a copy of the dissertation and abstract, at least 10 working days before the oral defense the committee member may ask for a postponement of the defense.

The evaluation asks you to rank and/or comment on:

  1. Whether the dissertation and abstract are acceptable:
    • As submitted
    • After minor typographical and stylistic corrections
    • After minor substantive changes
    • After substantial revisions
    • Not acceptable
  2. The scholarly character
  3. Contribution to the field
  4. Originality
  5. Quality of writing
  6. Quantity of research represented

Returning the Dissertation Evaluation


Visit the Online Evaluation System


Email to [email protected]. (Include the student name, ID number, and committee member’s name in the message).

Please allow enough time for the evaluation to reach us three working days before the defense.

After all of the evaluations are received and reviewed by Rackham, they will be available for review by the entire committee. The Oral Report Form (that all members sign at the defense) will be available to print through the online evaluation system. Please note: The dissertation evaluations are considered part of the student’s public file and the student has the right to see them after all requirements for the dissertation have been completed.

During and After the Oral Defense

The committee chair is responsible for printing, signing, and returning to Rackham OARD the Final Oral Report Examination within 48 hours after the defense but no later than 5:00 p.m. on the final doctoral degree deadline date. The student should confirm with the chair that the report has been submitted. The committee signs in on the Oral Defense Examination Report included that was printed from the online evaluation system, writes the results of the oral defense in the space provided, and returns the Oral Defense Examination Report to OARD.

The Chair will complete the Certificate of Dissertation Committee Approval in the online evaluation system when they have seen all the required revisions and corrections, then checks the appropriate box on the form and signs his or her name. The Certificate of Dissertation Committee Approval as well as the Oral Defense Examination Report must be submitted to OARD by the deadline the student is working with.

Contact Academic Records and Dissertations

0120 Rackham Building
915 East Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
Phone: 734.763.0171
Fax: 734.936.3335


Academic Records and Dissertations is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The office is closed Saturdays and Sundays and on the following holidays: Thanksgiving (Thursday and the following Friday), Christmas through New Year's, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day.