Final Dissertation Announcement

Circulate finished copies of the dissertation to the members of the dissertation committee at least one month before the final defense.  An official announcement of the dissertation defense must be distributed to all Joint Doctoral Program faculty, staff, and students following the same general procedures outlined for the proposal defense two weeks prior to the scheduled final defense.  Faculty/student notification is a requirement, not simply a courtesy.  Failure to comply may delay the defense.

NOTE:  No defense will be permitted less than two weeks prior to final copy submission deadlines.  This will give students and dissertation committees time to ensure that corrections/additions are made to the final copy.

The information for the defense announcement must include the student’s name, the title, the committee and each department/university represented, date, time and location of the defense, and an abstract. A template can be found here.

This one page announcement must be submitted for approval first to the dissertation chair and then to the appropriate co-director.  The following is the procedure for submitting the final dissertation defense announcement:

    1. The announcement must follow APA format and be written in clear, concise language. It must contain a brief synopsis of the research question and the reasons for that question; the methods used, the analysis, and results.  In other words, briefly and clearly describe study.
    2. The student must first submit the announcement to the Dissertation Chair well in advance of the time of the defense for it to be approved and forwarded for distribution two weeks ahead of the defense date.
    3. After the student has made any necessary changes required by the Dissertation Chair, the announcement must be submitted by email to the appropriate Program Co-Director, i.e., Dr. Malcarne for a dissertation chair at SDSU or Dr. Brookman-Frazee for a dissertation chair at UC San Diego. To ensure that the Dissertation Chair has approved the announcement, the email sent to either Dr. Malcarne or Dr. Brookman-Frazee must simultaneously be copied to the Dissertation Chair. Failure to copy it to the Dissertation Chair may delay the public announcement and may mean that you will need to re-schedule the entire final defense. Please include in your emails a cell or other phone number at which you can be reached to discuss any questions or concerns; these questions and concerns are most readily resolved by talking rather than by a string of emails, so being available to talk will greatly facilitate this process.
    4. Dr. Malcarne or Dr. Brookman-Frazee may ask you to make changes in the announcement. These requests will be sent to both you and your dissertation chair. The announcement will not be sent out until the director gives final approval.
    5. Response to the initial request to review the final announcement should be within a day or two. If either Dr. Malcarne or Dr. Brookman-Frazee does not respond within a couple of days, please contact the respective office to ensure that he or she is in town. Should either director be unavailable to review the dissertation announcement in a timely fashion, the other Director can provide the review.
    6. Once the director has approved the announcement, it is ready to be sent for distribution. Submit the approved announcement by e-mail to both Program Coordinators,  Lynsey Miller ( and Kristin Deveraux (, making sure to copy this email to your dissertation chair and the Director who provided approval. Please follow the following conventions when submitting the proposal abstract for distribution:
      1. The file should be a Word document.  The title of the file should be Final Dissertation Defense [Your complete name] [date of the defense].
      2. The email should read: Attached please find a copy of my final dissertation defense announcement.  It has been approved by [dissertation chair name] and [director name].
      3. The subject line should read [Your name] Final Dissertation Defense, and the email should be copied to your dissertation chair and the director who approved it.

The JDP office will need keep an electronic copy of the email indicating that the announcement was approved by the chair and the appropriate director, and the announcement itself.  This copy will be maintained in the student’s electronic file.  It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that, prior to submitting the final announcement, information on the announcement is correct and that there are no typographical or grammatical errors.  Please do not ask the SDSU Program Coordinator to make changes to the announcement.  The one exception would be a change of date.

Final Dissertation Defense

At your Final Dissertation Defense, remember to bring:

  • A pen that writes in black ink.  Virtually all forms need to be signed in black ink.
  • The JDP Form 5.  All committee members must sign and indicate whether or not the student has passed.  The student must have the exact title of the dissertation on the proper line, and the pass date of the final exam.  After the committee and co-directors have signed, the form is kept by the student until he/she meets with the Graduate Division at UC San Diego for the final dissertation appointment.
    • It is recommended that you bring two copies of the JDP Form 5 for your committee members to sign (just in case)
    • BEFORE you get signatures from the co-Directors, make sure to complete all of the fields for the following section: “The final examination and dissertation are ___unanimously___not unanimously approved, and the candidate is ___recommended ___not recommended for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in: __________ in the Department/Group of___________ as of________.”  Refer to the JDP Form 5 webpage for what to put in each field. 
  • Two blank signature pages (refer to the UC San Diego Theses “Bluebook” located on the Dissertation & Thesis Submission website). The original signature page is required by both the UC San Diego Graduate Division as well as Montezuma Publishing (which is why you will need to obtain two original copies).
    • Be sure that your signature page is formatted correctly, or you will need to obtain all of the signatures again. Note that the signature form will include the names of both universities, and that the “Co-Chair (if applicable)” text should be deleted if not applicable.
    • Also, make sure you list the year in which you are filing and not the year in which you defend your dissertation (if different).
  • A copy of the Embargo Form to be signed, if an embargo is being requested (this form is available at UC San Diego Theses “Bluebook”)
  • Permission letters and cover letter that will need to be signed by the committee chair and all co-authors (Permission letter templates available at UC San Diego Theses “Bluebook”)
    • These letters must be submitted to the Graduate Division prior to or at the student’s preliminary formatting appointment.

Although the defense will be open to the entire faculty, final determination of the content, including “passing” the defense of the proposal, rests with the dissertation committee.

Students also getting an MPH Degree: Please note it is not permissible to graduate with two different degrees in the same semester.  Therefore, the latest you will be allowed to graduate with your MPH degree is during the Fall semester of your internship year.

Updated 8/28/2019