Final Steps

Final Public Oral and the Ph.D Degree in Physics

When a student has written his/her thesis and is ready to defend, there are several steps to be followed.  You need to  allow at least six weeks between the time you have a finished draft in hand the date of your FPO. Most importantly, it is necessary to review the Graduate School's guidelines for the Advanced Degree Application Process where you will find a complete detail of the process and consult with the Graduate Administrator  (Jadwin 210).  

At Least Six Weeks Before FPO

  • Distribute a final draft of your dissertation to readers;
  • Incorporate suggested edits into your dissertation.

At Least Four Weeks Before the FPO

You must choose an FPO committee and arrange  a date for your FPO.

  • A minimum of 3 faculty members who are at least at the rank of assistant professor at Princeton, two of whom have not been readers.
  • Theorists must have an experimentalist on the committee;
  • Experimentalists must have a theorist on the committee.
  • Both theorists and experimentalists must have a committee member who is not in their area of physics.
  • Both of these requirements may be the same person.

Once you have put your committee together and set a date and time, please contact the Graduate Program Administrator who will set up your defense.

No Later than two weeks prior to your defense:

  • Going on deposit: This means that the thesis is placed on the web for all department members to read, for a period of two weeks. If corrections are suggested, the student makes them at that time. The Graduate Administrator must receive an e-mail from the student with the thesis in .pdf format and the abstract in a word document.
  • If you have experimental data, computational date, and/or code that has been generated as part of your dissertation make sure your advisor/department has been provided access to and reviewed all relevant data and/or code related to the dissertation before the department submits your application to the Graduate School.  
  • The Graduate Program Administrator submits your completed application (cover sheet, abstract, two reader reports, Prior Presentation and Publication form, Embargo form if applicable, Request to Hold FPO form)  to the Graduate School.  Once approved by the Graduate School an announcement with date and time will be posted.

After the FPO

Follow the Graduate School's Advanced Degree Application guidelines under "Following the FPO" and review the steps you must take before submitting your final paperwork to the Graduate School.

Students may wish to consult Benefits and Status after the FPO for information about benefits you may receive between FPO and degree conferral.