Oral Defense for Individually Contracted Honors Thesis

Oral Defense for Individually Contracted Honors Thesis

The oral defense provides an excellent opportunity for you to share what you have learned, receive valuable feedback from specialists in your field, and develop oral presentation skills. 

You will conduct an oral defense with your Thesis Committee following the conclusion of your research or creative endeavor.  


Content and Structure 

In general, the oral defense consists of an hour-long meeting between you and the Thesis Committee during which you will be asked to discuss various aspects of your work, such as: 

  • research techniques or creative experiences 

  • knowledge or skills acquired 

  • applications and usefulness of the research results 

  • issues for future exploration 

  • your future goals  


Location, Participants, and Audience 

The location of the oral defense is arranged between the Honors student and Thesis Committee. It is possible that the oral defense might consist of a presentation at the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference or within your department. At the discretion of the Committee Chair, the oral defense may be restricted to the Thesis Committee or opened to a broader audience.  



The oral defense is usually held before final exams to give you time to incorporate suggestions and make final corrections before submitting your final Research Manuscript or Portfolio by the last day of classes.