Private and Public (Final) Defenses

The dissertation represents the summation of the student’s independent research. Therefore, adequate time must be set aside for preparation of the dissertation and for the Dissertation Committee members to evaluate the work. The student must have at least one first-author, peer-reviewed and accepted research publication prior to the private defense. While a student may begin writing their dissertation prior to formal acceptance of the paper, the private defense cannot occur before formal acceptance of the manuscript. The student should contact Amy Anderson when they begin writing their thesis, and complete the SOM Degree Application online for the semester they plan to graduate in. (The deadlines are Fall – September 30, Spring – January 31, Summer – June 30).

  • The dissertation is to be prepared in consultation with the mentor (see Amy Anderson for possible suggestions).
  • When the document is complete to the satisfaction of both the student and mentor it should be submitted to the first reader/chairperson. The first reader must have at least two weeks to evaluate and comment on the dissertation.
  • Any changes to the dissertation deemed necessary by the first reader must be incorporated into the document and approved by the first reader and the student’s mentor before it can be submitted to the rest of the committee.
  • The dissertation must be submitted to the full committee a minimum of one week prior to the Private Defense date.
  • Private Defense. All Dissertation Committee members must agree to the Private Defense date and must be present for the Private Defense. Any changes and revisions to the dissertation deemed necessary by the committee during the Private Defense must be made and approved prior to scheduling a date for the Public (Final) Defense.
  • Public Defenses. The Public Defense may not be scheduled any sooner than 7 days following successful completion of the Private Defense.  (Exceptions to the seven-day period must be approved by the MIC Departmental Chairman).

Final Details – After the Final Defense


  • Bring the signed Final Exam form to Amy Anderson by the deadline and she will scan and email it to the SOM Registrar.  This must be done before a student can upload the thesis.
  • After the Public (Final) Defense, students must upload their thesis and complete the instructions on the Steps to Graduation webpage before the graduation deadlines (Fall – November 30, Spring – April 30, Summer – July 31).

Bound copies can be ordered either before or after the deadlines.  It is recommended that you take these instructions with you because you will need the PTAO below.

There are no formatting requirements for the uploaded thesis, but there are some for bound copies. Please follow the “physical standards” guidelines.

The UVA Copy Center has 2 locations:  UVA Bookstore Copy Center or 2474 Old Ivy Rd.

Please be prepared before you go:

  • You can take your thesis on a flash drive or CD.  If you give them a CD, it should be labeled.
  • They will want to know exactly which page numbers are in color and how many total pages you have.
  • Large envelopes – one for each bound copy, labeled.

If you come to my office, I can give you envelopes, a CD and labels.


  • 2 bound copies can be charged – see Amy Anderson for PTAO.  One copy is for the MIC library and one copy is for the student.
  • Please ask if mentor would prefer a bound copy or a digital copy on CD.  A CD copy is free and if they want a bound copy, they should provide a PTAO.
  • We will not pay for copyrights.
  • If you want more than one personal copy, you should pay for it yourself.

The Copy Center will ask for an address to send the bound copies and you can give them my address below if you want to.  Please bring the receipt for the PTAO above to me and don’t forget that one copy is for the MIC library.

When you have completed all of the above, you are FINALLY FINISHED!! Congratulations!

Amy Anderson
BIMS Administrator
P.O. Box 800734
Phone:  434-924-5611