Defense Attendance Policy

Format for defense

The defense for the MS Thesis or Project may take place either in-person or online. The choice of modality for the defense is determined by the Committee Chair and student. The student must indicate which format the defense will use when selecting their day/time for the defense. This must be done in accordance with the deadline for scheduling the defense as stated in the Project/Thesis process.

Attendance Requirements

MS Project and Thesis defenses must have the committee Chair and at least 50% of the remaining committee members present at the time of the defense in person and/or virtually.

Guidelines for virtual or hybrid defenses

  • In cases where the defense will take place online, the Office of Graduate Studies will create the zoom link. The Chair and all UW Faculty committee members will be designated alternate host. The zoom link will be included in the details of the publication of the defense on the School of STEM website.
  • The Chair will be host of the meeting, and be responsible for managing attendees (removing guests and the student from the meeting room during the appropriate time such as end of public presentation and beginning of committee discussion).
  • Student and committee members should have one previously agreed upon back up method for communication in case of technology issues.
  • It is the responsibility for the Chair to arrange the signing (digital or in ink) of the appropriate documents (e.g., Supervisory Committee Reading form, Warrant) by the committee member, and the returning of signed documents to the Office of Graduate Studies.

What to do in unexpected circumstances

  • If the communication is broken during a virtual examination and cannot be retrieved, and the minimum number of exam participants can no longer be met, the examination must be terminated and rescheduled to a later time/date. If the minimum number of exam participants can be maintained, the defense may continue.
  • In the case of a Committee Chair not showing at the appointed time, wait for 30 minutes before contacting the Office of Graduate Studies. The office will try to contact the Chair. If no communication with the Chair has been received by 45 minutes into the defense, the defense will be rescheduled to the next earliest available time.