Dissertation Defense Process 2020-2021

All of the following Defense forms must be submitted to DMS four weeks prior to your defense via email or in person (see degree application for specific deadlines and instructions)

Before scheduling the defense and submitting any of the forms, a DAC report stating the student has the permission to write the dissertation must be on file in the Division Office and students must attend a dissertation packet meeting. Please sign up for a packet meeting here.



Helpful Defense Process Handouts

Defense Preparation Checklists:


Dissertation Defense Examining Committee Members


Stipend and Health Insurance Information


Online Degree Application Hints


Final Dissertation Submission Steps


Dissertation Submission Links

ProQuest ETD – final dissertation submission


Harvard University Links

FAS Registrar Degree Information

GSAS Dissertation Page

GSAS Center for Writing & Communicating Ideas

Office of Scholarly Communication

ORCID Information

Harvard Commencement Information


Writing Your Dissertation

DMS Dissertation Guidelines


Formatting your Dissertation
When preparing the dissertation for submission, students must follow strict formatting requirements. Any deviation from these requirements may lead to rejection of the dissertation and delay in conferral of the degree.


Dissertation sample


Thesis Writing Tips – from DMS Alumni


Academic Resource Center
ARC offers individual coaching, Dissertation Writers Accountability Groups, and many other helpful workshops.

DMS Remote Defense

DMS Remote Defense Policy and Tips


DMS Dissertation/Defense Contact

Jane Riccardi



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