The final examination consists of two parts: a Ph.D. propositions defense and a Ph.D. thesis seminar and defense. The Ph.D. Propositions Defense is a separate examination on three propositions by your Ph.D. examining committee. The Ph.D. Thesis Seminar and Defense is a public one-hour oral presentation followed by a closed-door defense of your thesis by your PhD. Committee. Starting the sixth year, students must petition the Dean's Office to continue study at Caltech.
Before the Ph.D. Examination
A guideline for preparing your thesis is available from the Graduate Office. Pick this up and read it before begin your thesis.
1. Select a tentative date (determined by you and your research advisor). Your thesis seminar should precede the exam. Make sure that the date and time are compatible with your committee members' schedules.
2. At least two weeks before your exam, distribute copies of your thesis to each member of the examining committee. Also submit a complete version to the Institute Graduate Office for proofreading.
Please see the Graduate Studies Office Degree Tracking and Degree Completion instructions for further information.
After the Examination
The Petition and Approval of Thesis form will not be signed at the time of the examination unless the thesis is completely acceptable. If corrections or revisions are required, it is your responsibility to:
(1) make the necessary corrections or revisions
(2) submit the revised thesis to the members of your committee
(3) secure committee signatures on the Petition for Examination which can be obtained from your Graduate Program Administrator.
When you have made all the necessary corrections and made the final copies of your thesis, submit one unbound corrected copy of the thesis to the Graduate Office. This copy should be on archival bond paper. Submit one unbound corrected copy (on any kind of paper) to your Graduate Program Administrator.
Before leaving the Institute, submit a forwarding address and information on your future employer and position to your Graduate Program Administrator and return your keys to the Division Office.
Bursar Exit Interview—You must make arrangements to clear your student account before you leave Caltech. The formal diploma may be held if accounts have not been cleared or a payment schedule agreed upon.
Forwarding Information—Please supply a forwarding address via access.caltech.