Original Dissertation and Oral Defense

Students must complete a PhD Thesis Progress form at least 6 weeks before the defense of their dissertation with the signature of each member of the committee, verifying that they have received the final draft of the dissertation and that they will participate in the defense.

The dissertation should constitute an original and significant contribution to scholarship in the student’s field of expertise. It should be characterized by mature literary, cinematic, linguistic, and/or cultural interpretation; by informed and reasoned argument; and by an awareness of the means and goals of research. In the context of a PhD in Spanish this means that their dissertation will be showing the new paths of Latin American and/or Iberian Studies, for example in dialogue with African Studies, Mediterranean Studies, Caribbean Studies. Dissertations might be written in Spanish or in English, making its contribution in a wide range of fields such as Translation Studies, Linguistics, Gender Studies, Holocaust or Memory Studies, and Visual Culture, among many others.

Students must also, of course, familiarize themselves with the stringent formatting and structure guidelines for the dissertation (the information is provided by the Graduate School and is available online or in pamphlet form). A final copy of the dissertation must be distributed to the dissertation committee for final approval at least six weeks before the dissertation defense.

Final Oral Dissertation Defense
When all members of the dissertation committee have agreed that it is a defensible the dissertation, a public oral presentation and defense of the work is held. If a member of the committee does not think that the dissertation can be defended then they must notify the advisor three weeks in advance of the defense.