Dissertation Defense

The final steps of the process for the PhD is the completion of your PhD dissertation and the oral defense exam, which is open to the public.

At least 60 days before the PhD defense, complete the Appointment of Dissertation Committee Form located at https://viterbigrad.usc.edu/academic-services/forms/.

The committee requires a minimum of three faculty members (maximum of five) with the following conditions:

  • two with their primary appointment within ECE, with at least one with a tenured/tenure track appointment
  • one with a primary appointment outside of ECE with a tenured/tenure track appointment. Tenured/tenure track faculty with a courtesy appointment to ECE may serve as an outside member.

At least one week before the date of the oral defense exam, the PhD student must provide to all members of the committee, electronically or in hard copy, a draft of the written dissertation. The student should additionally provide their advisor's administrative assistant with the following information about the defense so that fit may be publicly posted a week in advance of the exam.

  • Name
  • Dissertation Title
  • Dissertation Abstract
  • Room for Defense
  • Time

Work with the ECE Student Services Advisors to make sure that your STARS is updated.

More information at the USC Graduate School's website including deadlines and Thesis Center info here:


Published on November 1st, 2016

Last updated on August 2nd, 2023