Your Defense Term

Congratulations! You are in the home stretch. This page has everything you need to know about how to schedule your defense, format your thesis, and submit it to the CHC.

In your defense term, you will need to:

  • Schedule the defense by the end of Week 3
  • Complete the defense by the Friday of Week 9
  • Submit the final thesis to the honors college by noon on the Thursday of Week 10

SCHEDULING THE DEFENSE

You are responsible for scheduling your thesis defense, including identifying a date and time that will work for both you and your thesis committee members and securing a room reservation or setting up a zoom meeting for the defense. A typical defense lasts for approximately one hour, although we ask students and committees to reserve 90 minutes for the defense to ensure there is ample time.

Once your committee has agreed on a date, time, and format, start by inquiring with your primary thesis advisor as to whether your major department has a space that can be used. If not, reach out to the Academic Thesis and Programs Manager Miriam Jordan (mjordan@uoregon.edu), who can assist you in identifying a room.

THESIS PROJECT FORMATTING

At least 10 days prior to your scheduled defense, you will circulate a final version of your thesis to your committee and the Academic and Thesis Programs Manager. All theses include a written component formatted according to the following guidelines. However, you are not limited in the form of your final project: your thesis submission can also include supporting materials (such as video or audio recordings, stand-alone visual material, digital content, or databases) if appropriate for your project.

 The thesis should be formatted according to the following standards:

Document Layout

  • Title page: no page number, see the example front matter for required format and content
  • Copyright page: optional, see details on copyright in final submission section below 
  • Abstract: typically 1-2 pages
  • Acknowledgments and/or Dedication: optional
  • Table of Contents: includes chapters or major sections of the text with their page numbers
  • Lists of tables, graphs, figures, plates, illustrations, etc.: if applicable
  • Text: organized into chapters or, if chapters are inappropriate, major sections. Each new chapter or major section should start on a new page
  • End notes: if not placed as footnotes or at the end of each chapter
  • Appendix or appendices: optional
  • Bibliography/References Cited: check with your primary thesis advisor for your field’s preferred format

If supporting materials will be submitted alongside the document, they should be listed in Table of Contents

Basic Formatting Rules

  • Margins. One inch margins on all sides
  • Font. The same 12pt font must be used throughout the text. Please select from Calibri, Times New Roman, Tahoma, Ariel, Helvetica, or Verdana. Tables, figures, or appendices may use different fonts if appropriate
  • Spacing. The body of the text should be left justified with consistent use of double or 1.5 line spacing. Block quotations, figure captions, table titles, data in tables, appendices, and references/notes may be single spaced.
  • Page Numbers. Pages should be numbered at the bottom center of the page with Arabic numbers, starting with number 2 on the second page of the document (copyright or abstract page). Every page must be numbered consecutively, including references cited and appendices.
  • Headings: The format of chapter headings and of each level of sub-heading must be consistent across all chapters.
  • Tables and Figures. Tables and figures must be within the document margins, be numbered using a consistent scheme, and be captioned.

For formatting questions not covered here (e.g., treatment of block quotes, citation formats, etc.) please consult your primary thesis advisor regarding the standard practices of your field.

You may also opt to use this Microsoft Word Thesis Template.

Supporting Materials (Optional)

Some projects will include significant components that are not integrated into the thesis document. For those students, CHC and Scholars Bank can accommodate a broad diversity of file formats. However, we encourage you to use those that are most likely to be readable in the future such as these preferred formats:

  • Audio: AIFF (96kHz 16bit PCM) (*.aif, *.aiff) or WAV (96kHz 24bit PCM) (*.wav)
  • Images: TIFF version 6 uncompressed (.tif)
  • Video: MPEG-4 High Profile (.mp4)

You can see more extensive lists of preferred and acceptable formats for these file categories as well as geospatial data, chemistry data, documentation and scripts and tabular data on the Knight Library website.

If you need to submit multiple files or if your thesis file size is over 100 MB, please contact the Academic and Thesis Programs Manager Miriam Jordan (mjordan@uoregon.edu) for submission instructions.

THE THESIS DEFENSE

In the oral defense, you will demonstrate your depth of knowledge by synthesizing your thesis project in a 20-30 minute presentation and answering questions from your committee and audience members. Immediately following the presentation and Q&A, your committee will consult privately and, using the thesis evaluation criteria, determine whether you have successfully completed the thesis requirement. The full defense (presentation, Q&A, and deliberation) typically takes around an hour.

Prior to your defense: Talk with your primary thesis advisor about your presentation. Practice both the presentation and answering questions about your work.

The day of the defense: Arrive early to get set up and troubleshoot any issues with your technology. Your committee will let you know their evaluation of your thesis immediately following the defense.

Following the defense: It is not uncommon for students to make minor revisions to the thesis prior to final submission. In rare cases significant revisions may be required. In all cases, your primary thesis advisor will need to review your final version before you submit it so they can sign off.  

FINAL SUBMISSION

Final thesis submissions are due by noon on the Thursday of week 10 of the term in which you defend your thesis. The thesis must be formatted in accordance with the standards discussed above.

TO COMPLETE THE THESIS PROCESS, COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING STEPS:

  • To submit the final thesis to the CHC, use the CHC Thesis Post-Defense Form. This is a two-part form. You will start by filling out a Qualtrics questionnaire and uploading your thesis document (.doc or .docx format) as well as any supporting materials. You will then be automatically redirected to a form where you will enter basic thesis information and request a final signature from your primary thesis advisor. The Academic and Thesis Programs Manager will review your Final Thesis one last time, and submit all approved theses to the UO Libraries Scholars' Bank by the end of the term.If your thesis document is over 100 MB or if you have supporting materials, please contact Academic and Thesis Programs Manager Miriam Jordan (mjordan@uoregon.edu) about the submission process as the post-defense form can only accommodate one file of 100 MB or less.
  • To archive your thesis, complete the UO Libraries Scholars’ Bank Contribution Form. If you have questions regarding the form, please contact the Scholars’ Bank Manager to make arrangements at scholars@uoregon.edu. Your Final Thesis will be submitted to the Scholars’ Bank by the Clark Honors College after completion of the thesis process and final approval of your Final Thesis.  Scholars’ Bank is described in more detail below.

Archiving your Thesis in Scholars’ Bank

Scholars' Bank is an open-access digital archive dedicated to preserving and providing worldwide access to the intellectual output of the University of Oregon. The CHC encourages you to submit your thesis, joining the larger community of UO scholars and beyond, ensuring preservation of your thesis over time, and gaining the advantage of a stable URL for citation and inclusion in your CV or portfolio. When you submit your thesis, you may choose to make it publicly available or to limit access to those on the UO campus.

Please note that students working on theses articulated with larger research projects should consult with their primary thesis advisors to make sure that there are no restrictions on publishing research from their lab or research group on Scholars’ Bank.

The default license for Scholars' Bank is Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND. To choose a different licensing option see this page: How should I choose this?   If you have questions about licensing please contact: Jeffrey Staiger, CHC Liaison librarian or Catherine Flynn-Purvis, Scholars' Bank Manager.

The United States' government copyright office website can help students understand the process for copyrighting a thesis. Please note: students don't have to register the copyright in the work in order to have it copyrighted. As of 1978, copyright "subsists" in a work the moment it is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. In the case of a thesis, that means from the point that a student types it up. However, there are two main reasons that authors still register the copyright in their work:

  • If at a later point one finds that copyright has been infringed, the work has to be registered before a suit can be brought, and registration of copyright allows one to file suit for additional damages. 
  • Many people like to register their work to have the paperwork and documentation for their own purposes. Fortunately, the copyright office now offers an electronic filing option, which is much cheaper than the traditional paper version. 

If you opt out of the Scholars’ Bank submission process when you graduate but later decide to deposit your thesis in Scholars’ Bank, you will need to contact the library directly at scholars@uoregon.edu.  For further information about copyrighting your thesis, or questions about this process, contact Catherine A. Flynn-Purvis (cflynn@uoregon.edu), Institutional Repository Program Manager, UO Libraries.