Defense in the context of the dissertating process refers to the presenting, explaining and defending of your ideas. It also includes laying out the rationale behind your choices and decisions, for example, regarding theory selection and research methods. Efforts to recruit your chair and other committee members will entail some of this communication behavior. Seeking approval for your dissertation proposal, the foundation of all your research activities, will also entail a bit of defense. Throughout the course of the project many exchanges with your chair and other committees will involve explaining and defending your ideas and decision. However, the most important defense is the dissertation defense which comes at the end of a long and arduous process and which may have unfolded over a number of years.
Thesis Defense Rules
Thesis Defense Rules - Graduate Studies
The ability to do independent research in the field of chemical and biomolecular engineering must be demonstrated by an original dissertation on a topic approved by the Department or program. Directions for preparing and submitting dissertations is found in the Graduate Student Academic Handbook. During the preparation of the dissertation, all candidates for any doctoral degree must register for the prescribed number of semester hours of Doctoral Dissertation Research at the University of Maryland. A minimum of 18 hours of Dissertation Research is required.
Defending Your Dissertation
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A chair is appointed for each PhD oral defense to monitor and promote fairness and rigor in the conduct of the defense. For more information about chair responsibilities, read the instructions for the chair. The chair must be physically present during the entire defense, including the public oral presentation if applicable and the questioning session. The chair does not need to be an expert in your research area. It is your responsibility to get a copy of the final dissertation to the chair at least one week prior to the defense.