Skip to content

Dissertation/Thesis and Defense


  • Important Dates and Deadlines
  • Ph.D. Checklist
  • When you schedule your defense, and at least one week before the date, ask Tom and Vanessa at to send an email announcement to the department and add it to the department calendar. A flyer should include a title, abstract, bio, and photo, and be posted around the department. You can have it created by filling out this form from SNS: Refreshments will be ordered by the physics department. You can reserve a classroom or conference room via
  • After submission of your dissertation, be sure to provide your advisor with the data that supports the results in your dissertation, in case any questions may arise later, or for use in preparation of further publications. This could be in the form of a Box folder or external hard drive, for example.
  • You are invited to join our alumni LinkedIn group.


As per the Graduation Division's Graduate Handbook:

C) Qualifying Examination and Dissertation Defense Modality: Qualifying examinations and dissertation defenses are expected to be held in person. The student/candidate and all in-residence committee members are required to attend the examination/defense in person. Committee member(s) not in residence are encouraged to join in person as well but may participate remotely with approval of the Committee Chair, who is required to be in person. The Committee Chair must notify the Graduate Division at least 14 days before the examination/defense of remote participation for any committee member(s) that will not attend the examination/defense in residence. Such notification should be made by email to Exceptions for students and in-residence committee members must be approved by the Graduate Dean. Such petitions should be submitted using Section E of the General Petition form.


  • LaTeX template
  • Physical Review policy about including published work in theses (check also similar policies for other journals you may have published in)
  • If you are including collaborative and/or co-authored work, be sure to identify clearly your contributions vs. those of others (which should be mentioned only for context or comparison) and which should be clearly credited to the other researchers.
  • Previous dissertations from UC Merced on eScholarship, as examples
  • Writing in LaTeX, you may find some places where the text (or images) goes beyond the right margin. Some approaches to fix this: Grad Div will complain about this otherwise.
  • Your signature page on your dissertation should not include faculty members' signatures. The signature lines should be left blank. Only the signature page submitted to Grad Services should include your committee member's signatures.