Chemistry Intranet

Policy for Scheduling Prelims and Defenses


Before scheduling any prelims, grads must have an approved Plan of Work (POW) filed with me (and the Graduate School). No exams can be scheduled until a POW is filed. After filing your Plan of Work, you must use the Grad School’s exam request (note that one is for Master's, and one is for the Ph.D.) to schedule exams. Only Ph.D. candidates schedule prelims. A three-hour block (no later than 9:00 AM for morning exams or between 1:00 and 2:00 for afternoon exams) in either DAB 210 or DAB 321 (which doesn’t have an existing LCD projector but one can be reserved through the stock room) must be reserved with me once the date and time of the exam has been agreed upon by your committee. If you are on Centennial Campus you may schedule a room with Michelle. You must turn in the completed exam request and reserve the room no later than THREE WEEKS PRIOR to your exam date. Even though the form itself states a two-week window, I prefer three weeks for problem resolution. In addition, the Grad School requires enough time to assign a representative to attend defenses (if one is required). Committees are not required to sign the exam request forms, but the Chemistry Director of Grad Programs’ (currently Dr. Chris Gorman) signature is required and should be obtained by you if possible. You’ll receive approval of your exam in your mailbox soon after I submit your paperwork to the Grad School. Additional paperwork will be presented to the committee on the day of the exam. Your committee will sign the forms in consensus with their decision and any conditions. Be sure to read “Prelim Guidelines” as found in the departmental intranet which delineates additional expectations and requirements for the prelim.


Ph.D. candidates use the Exam Request Form to schedule your final defense and Master's students use the Master’s Exam Request Form. Be sure to list your committee by name. If your committee has changed or will change you must formally replace/delete them using the replacement form. You must also formally apply to graduate using MyPack Portal.

  1. Log into MyPack Portal.
  2. Click on Student Self Service.
  3. Click on Degree Progress/Graduation.
  4. Click on Apply for Graduation.
  5. Follow the prompts.
  6. After you apply, you will see that you successfully applied in MyPack Portal.
  7. If any information is incorrect, such as your degree--contact your department immediately to get the issue resolved.
  8. Check the following three items listed below:
    1. NAME – The name that you see in the Application to Graduate is the name that will be printed on your diploma and in the graduation program that is passed out at the university commencement ceremony. Make sure your name is correct. If you need a correction, contact Registration and Records as soon as possible to update your name. Requests to update your name that are received close to the apply to graduate deadline may not be processed in time for the correction to be reflected on your diploma and in the graduation program.
    2. DIPLOMA ADDRESS – Make sure you have a diploma address keyed in to ensure that your diploma will be mailed to the correct place.
    3. PRIVACY BLOCK – If you have a privacy block, your name will not be printed in the graduation program passed out at the university commencement ceremony. You can choose to release the privacy block just for graduation so your name will print in the graduation program (there are other options too) while keeping the privacy block in place.

A two-hour block (no later than 10:00 AM for morning exams or between 1:00 and 3:00 for afternoon exams) in DAB 210, or in a conference room on Centennial, must be reserved either with me or Michelle (Centennial) once the date and time of the exam has been agreed upon by your committee. You must turn in the completed exam request at least TWO WEEKS PRIOR to your exam date. If you had a prelim and had a Grad School Representative, be sure to contact that individual as he/she must be present at the final defense. If that individual cannot attend the original Grad Rep should find a replacement but often times students are responsible for finding an alternate representative. The representative must be a faculty member from any department other than Chemistry, he/she must have graduate level standing and have previous approval by the Graduate School. Typically faculty members themselves know if they qualify. Committees are not required to sign the exam request forms, but Dr. Gorman’s signature is required. You’ll receive approval of your exam in your mailbox soon after I submit your paperwork to the Grad School. The thesis/dissertation must be submitted to the Advisory Committee TWO WEEKS PRIOR to the examination date. Exactly 24 hours AFTER your entire committee signs your title page you can schedule a meeting with the Thesis Editor, Erica Cutchins. The title page is NOT the same thing as the forms from the Grad School your committee signs on the day of your defense, so do follow the ETD Submission Steps found online. Please review the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) guidelines on the Graduate School website. Erica holds ETD workshops at the library, which YOU SHOULD CONSIDER ATTENDING at least once. The schedule and registration information is also on the website.


For all defenses students customarily provide a small amount of refreshments. Some bring their own coffee and additional drinks, but I can provide the coffee service if you desire (just let me know ahead of time if you DO NOT need it). Other refreshments will still be your responsibility. You should plan to prepare at least ONE hour in advance in case of technical difficulties and for set-up (I’ll reserve the room accordingly for you). You should ask your lab mates to help you set up. If you’re on Centennial Campus and will have your exam in Partners III, you need to contact Michelle Clark. I do not provide a coffee service in that instance.



Please adhere to the posted Grad School ETD deadlines. Be sure to carefully read the definitions and descriptions of the deadlines and terms to fully understand the deadlines. All defense SCHEDULING must occur TWO WEEKS BEFORE the posted Review Deadlines. Actual defenses should occur at least ONE DAY BEFORE the posted Review Deadlines.


The department requires one bound copy of the thesis/dissertation. For instructions on binding and printing please see page 10 of the ETD Guide. If it is more convenient, you may have the bound copy sent to the address below whenever it is ready.
Chemistry Department
Box 8204
2620 Yarbrough Drive
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-8204