Final Examination and Ph.D. Thesis Submission

The PhD thesis must be prepared according to a preset format and processed (revised, signatures obtained, distributed) following specified procedures.  Detailed information relative to the preparation and processing of the thesis is contained in Appendix E in the Doctoral Handbook.  Once the thesis is prepared and all other requirements have been completed, the student must present and defend his/her work in a Final Examination.  As noted previously, there must be at least two academic sessions/semesters (counting summer session) between the semester of the Preliminary Examination and the semester of the Final Examination.  The Final Examination Committee is typically the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee.  However, the Dean of the Graduate School reserves the right to appoint additional committee members.

Scheduling the Final Examination

Schedule your Final Examination with your Major Professor, your Doctoral Advisory Committee, and the ECE Graduate Office at least 3 weeks prior to the proposed date of the exam.  The Final Examination must be completed before the semester deadline (approximately one week before the last day of classes) as indicated by the Graduate School, but we strongly recommend you do not wait until this late date.  Check the Graduate School website or in the ECE Graduate Office for the specific deadline.  Those who are registered for “Exam Only” must complete their Final Examination by the 8th week of classes (6th week of a summer session).

To reserve a room for your Preliminary or Final Examination:

  • Go to
  • Select the room you wish to schedule and check the availability of that room
  • After confirming the availability of the room, select "Request Reservation"
  • Click on Elisheba Van Winkle under the list of managers--you will then be able to submit the request online
  • Should the system not allow you to make a request, send the request by email to
  • You will receive a confirmation email once the room has been reserved
  • On the day of the exam, if the room is locked, see an area secretary for a key.  If the area secretary is not available, see the ECE Graduate Office.

A request to schedule the Final Examination is in two steps:

  • An electronic request to schedule the exam (Form 8), should be submitted through myPurdue, under the academic tab and the Plan of Study Generator, three weeks prior to the exam date.  This request requires approvals from the Graduate Office, the chair of your advisory committee, and the Graduate School.
  • Send an abstract (no more than 250 words) of the thesis research clearly defining the problem and its significance, to the ECE Graduate Office ( 

Follow the steps in the Final Exam Check Sheet to complete the process from requesting the exam to depositing the thesis.

Please be aware that late requests to schedule your Final Examination do not allow sufficient time to process your request and adequately publicize your examination date.  Any requests to schedule a Final Examination less than three weeks in advance must be approved by the ECE Graduate Coordinator, and will be approved only in exceptional circumstances.

Your examination is to be held on the West Lafayette Purdue Campus.  You and all members of your Advisory Committee are expected to be physically present. The time and location of the Final Examination will be posted on the ECE Graduate website.  University regulations permit visitors to attend the Final Examination.  Such visitors are permitted to ask questions of the candidate, after having been recognized by the Major Professor, but they may not be present while the Final Examination Committee deliberates on its decision.

The Examining Committee will report the results of the Final Examination through the Graduate School Web Database.  No more than one dissenting vote is acceptable in certifying the candidate to receive the PhD degree.  If the examination is unsatisfactory, at least one semester or summer session must elapse before the Final Examination is repeated.

Thesis Preparation and Processing

Before beginning to write your thesis, you are strongly advised to review the information on the Graduate School Thesis/Dissertation Office website.  

The Purdue Graduate School has a standardized web environment for creating your thesis/dissertation.  They have chosen the Overleaf web service and worked with them to provide a Purdue compliant template/environment.  You are highly encouraged to look at and consider using Overleaf (LaTex) for your thesis/dissertation. 

You should use the template for either LaTeX or MS Word that the Graduate School provides.

Word (requires Word 2016): use the PC or MAC link for "IEEE for Engineering disciplines"

When you have completed the thesis preparation, receive your Major Professor’s approval to proceed and schedule the Final Examination as outlined in Appendix D.  Copies of the thesis are to be distributed to the Advisory Committee members at least two weeks in advance of the examination.

On the day of the Final Examination, your Major Professor and committee members will submit the “Report of the Final Examination” through the Graduate School Web Database.  This should be completed as soon as possible following the exam. 

You will create an electronic Thesis/Dissertation Acceptance form (Form 9) to begin the thesis deposit through myPurdue, under the academic tab and the Plan of Study Generator.  Once you have completed the electronic form and submitted it, the Chair and committee members will be asked to approve the thesis.  Be sure to discuss with your Major Professor whether your thesis should be confidential prior to submitting the request or if there will be a delay in the publication. 

Your Major Professor will certify that he/she has used “iThenticate” software to check the document for plagiarism in the electronic Thesis Acceptance Form.  They will also confirm confidentiality or delayed publication of the thesis “Embargo” if you have marked these.

After all of your committee members have signed off on the Thesis Acceptance Form (Form 9), schedule an appointment with the School Head via his/her administrative assistant in the Main Office for an Exit Interview.  This interview is expected prior to the Head submitting the final electronic signature on your Thesis Acceptance Form.  When you meet with the Head, please bring a copy of your abstract.

For more detailed steps or questions about the on-line thesis deposit process refer to the Graduate School Thesis website. The Graduate School Thesis Office contact information is 765.494.3231 or

Having obtained all required signatures and submitted the electronic version to HammerRR:

  • Give one copy to your Major Professor.
  • Give a copy to any member of your examining committee who wants one.

Click here to print a copy of these instructions as well as a final exam check sheet.