6. CC Defense

Preparing for your Defense (Final Oral Examination)

What you SHOULD do prior to your target defense semester:

  • You should be finishing the majority of your writing the semester BEFORE you defend
  • ​Respect your major professor's time. Work with your major professor on a timeline to complete a full draft before the first deadline (deadlines below). 
  • Pass sections of your document for your major professor to review while you work on others.  While your major professor reviews those, you can be working on other sections.
  • The draft that is due the first day of the semester does not need to be polished, but it does need to be fully written
  • The first deadline gives your major professor a few weeks to review your draft to give permission to have a defense (or not) before the graduation application deadline
  • WE DO NOT MAKE ANY PLANS UNLESS YOUR MAJOR PROFESSOR APPROVES A DEFENSE 

What NOT to do:

  • Don't send your major professor a fully written draft on the first deadline and expect approval if you haven't been in contact with them for months or years
  • Don't expect a quick turnaround if you send an entire draft all at once.  If it took you a long time to write it, it will take some time to review.

    Graduation Deadlines

    The MS Agronomy program must follow Graduate College policies in planning defenses, including Graduation deadlines.  

    In order to meet the Grad College deadlines, we have a program policy asking you to submit a fully written draft of your creative component to your major professor on the first day of the semester that you hope to defend.

    Spring 2018 Dates

    1. Monday, January 8, 2018: Full draft of your creative component to your major professor (Program deadline)
      • you MUST be in contact with your major professor long before this deadline
    2. Friday, January 28, 2018: Graduation Application deadline (Grad College deadline)
    3. Friday April 13, 2018: Last date to defend Spring semester (Grad College deadline)

    Summer 2018 Dates

    1. Monday, May 14, 2018: Full draft of your creative component to your major professor (Program deadline) 
      • you MUST be in contact with your major professor long before this deadline
    2. Friday, June 1, 2018: Graduation Application deadline (Grad College deadline)
    3. Friday, July 13, 2018: Last date to defend Summer semester (Grad College deadline)

    Fall 2018 Dates

    1. Monday, August 20, 2018: Full draft of your creative component to your major professor (Program deadline) 
      • you MUST be in contact with your major professor long before this deadline
    2. Friday, September 7, 2018: Graduation Application deadline (Grad College deadline)
    3. Wednesday, November 21, 2018: Last date to defend Fall semester (Grad College deadline)

    Important:

    • The Grad College requires the Request for Final Oral Examination a minimum of 3 weeks in advance of a defense date.  If you want to defend early in any given semester, give as much notice as possible..
    • You can defend any time after the "last date to defend".  It will be processed as a graduation for the following semester.

    Green light from your major professor? Excellent!!

    You will have time to make additional edits and polish your CC, in addition to the following preparations:

    1. Complete the Graduation Application in AccessPlus.  
      • On the left menu click Graduation
      • Follow the prompts - it is a very simple form
    2. Set a defense date
      • You and your major professor narrow down a week that is open in your schedules
      • Contact Dawn Miller msagron@iastate.edu or 1-866-MSAGRON or 515-294-2999 
      • Dawn will check with your other committee members regarding their availability
    3. Dawn will make additional arrangements for you
      • Reserve conference room for your defense date
      • Submit Request for Final Oral Examination to the Grad College
      • Register you for your remaining 599M credits
      • Prepare additional paperwork to be signed the day of your defense (Report of Final Oral Exam and Grad Student Approval Form)
    4. You will be required to submit the polished, defense-ready copy of your CC to the MS Agronomy office two weeks prior to your defense date
      • If the file is extremely large, let Dawn know and she will create a Cybox folder for you to upload it
      • Dawn will distribute your copy to your committee
    5. You must prepare a seminar presentation (PPT) for the day of your defense
      • Plan for a 30-45 minute presentation.  Check the content and length with your major professor.
      • Send a copy of your seminar to the MS Agronomy office msagron@iastate.edu prior to your arrival.  This copy will be backup.
      • Bring along a flash drive of your presentation.  This copy will be used the day of your defense and saved as a final copy.