Select Page

Home » Navigating Your Degree » Pre- and Post Defense Requirements (Ph.D.-only)

Pre- and Post Defense Requirements (Ph.D.-only)

Music students, please read our article for Music (Performance and Conducting) Students.

Before the Oral Defense

View your committee on Wolverine Access to verify that it is correct. This can be found on your unofficial transcript or the “View My Committee Information” link under Student Business: Academic Records. If adjustments need to be made, have your program submit a revised dissertation committee form immediately. It is recommended that you complete this step at least 6 months prior to the defense.

At least three weeks prior to the oral defense, register online for a pre-defense meeting. Choose either the group pre-defense meeting (an in person meeting with other students and OARD staff) or the remote (e-mail) pre-defense meeting option. When registering, you will provide your name; program; U-M identification number; defense date, time, and location; and information about your committee members, including e-mail addresses.

Begin viewing your committee on Wolverine Access three days prior to your defense to confirm all members have submitted their evaluation. (All members must complete an evaluation before OARD can authorize the defense.) After confirming all evaluations have been received, your Oral Report form (that all members must sign at the defense) will be available to print through the online evaluation system. Be sure that a copy of that form is taken to the oral defense and signed by the committee members.

Register for a Pre-Defense Meeting
PLEASE NOTE: You must register at least three weeks before the date of your defense.

After the Oral Defense

Submit all of the required content revisions and corrections to your committee chair for approval.

Arrange for a post-defense meeting that must take place before the doctoral deadline. If the final deadline is exceeded, you will be required to enroll in the full term in which degree requirements are completed and pay tuition for 8 credit hours.

Remote Option

Send an e-mail to, providing your name, program and U-M identification number. In the subject line of the e-mail, please use “Rackham Post-Defense Remote Option.” An OARD staff member will e-mail you the link and instructions to submit the complete, final, correctly formatted digital copy of the dissertation which will be the official copy of record. You will need to copy and paste the text of your abstract during the online submission (note that special characters cannot be accommodated and the word limit is 550).

Individual Meeting Option

Register for your Individual Meeting.

Register for a Post-Defense Meeting
Please allow at least two working days for a response.

Before Attending the Post-Defense Meeting

During the Post-Defense Meeting

  • Submit a complete, final, correctly formatted PDF copy of the dissertation (to be the official copy on record in the University Library’s Deep Blue digital archive). You will be prompted to copy and paste the text of your abstract during the online submission. (Please note that special characters cannot be accommodated).
  • After you submit the dissertation online, an OARD staff member will perform a final format check of your dissertation. If format revisions are required, you will need to make the corrections and re-upload the dissertation.
  • Verify that your committee Chair has submitted the Final Oral Examination Report and the Certificate of Dissertation Committee Approval to Rackham OARD.
  • Students are encouraged to submit the final digital copy of their dissertation to ProQuest the world’s largest permanent archive of doctoral dissertations. Abstracts of dissertations submitted to ProQuest are listed with the Library of Congress collections and are published in Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • OARD can provide certification of degree completion at your request after all requirements have been met.
  • If the final deadline is not met, you must register and pay for an 8 hour enrollment in the term the final degree requirements are completed.
  • Your diploma and transcript will not be issued if monies are owed. Verify your financial status with the Student Financial Services (phone (734) 764-7447). Diploma information may be found at the Registrar’s website.