Last updated April 21, 2020

Handling Thesis Committee Recommendations - Submitting Electronically for Spring 2020

Thesis Defense Forms

As all defenses scheduled March 16th or later are now required to be held remotely, defense committees will not be able to fill out and sign the Defense Form in person as they normally do.  Here are the steps to fill out, sign, and submit Defense Forms electronically under these circumstances:

  1. The Honors Council Representative (referred to going forward as "Rep") will be in charge of filling out the form.
  2. The Rep will download a copy of the Thesis Defense Form PDF file to their computer.  If the Rep is unable to edit PDFs and wants to fill it out electronically, a Word document of the Thesis Defense Form is available instead.
  3. They may then either print the form and fill out the majority by hand, or edit the file, as they wish.  They will fill out the student's name, department name, all committee members' printed names, their associated department abbreviations, and the number of votes received for each designation (for example, if all three committee members voted for magna cum laude, they can either put a "3" or the roman numerals "III" in the magna cum laude box.  Please do not put an "X").
  4. The Rep should then sign the form as usual, add "on behalf of the full committee" and send an electronic copy of the form to in the naming format of "LastName FirstName Defense Form".  If the form was filled out by hand and there is no way to scan in the file, sending a photo of the form is fine as long as everything is readable.  If the Rep is filling out the form electronically and wants to sign using DocuSign, the Rep should add "on behalf of the full committee" below where they plan to place their signature, upload the form to DocuSign, electronically sign it, and email it to  For further information on DocuSign in general, please refer to OIT's DocuSign informational page.
  5. If other committee members wish to send additional email(s) to in regards to the student's defense, they are welcome to do so.  They should be sure to include the full name of the student and their major.  All associated emails will be added to the student's file.

Remember that the student must not be told what designation the committee has recommended. 

Supporting Materials

Please be sure to also include supporting materials, as usual, using the naming format of "LastName Firstname Letter of Recommendation".  For a review of supporting materials (ie: the recommendation letter(s)), please read the FAQ question "How are defenses scheduled and conducted?" under the "Thesis Defenses" section of the Thesis Information for Faculty webpage.

Updated Faculty Deadlines

April 17, 2020 (Friday): Honors recommendation letters and defense forms are due via by 3:00 p.m.  Early submissions are gratefully accepted.

April 21, 2020 (Tuesday) at noon:  Subcommittee voting ballots/surveys will be sent out via email.  Ballots must be completed and submitted by 3pm on Wednesday, April 22nd.  Votes received after the 3pm deadline will not be counted.

April 23, 2020 (Thursday) at noon: Full Honors Council voting ballots/surveys will be sent out via email.  Ballots must be completed and submitted by 3pm on Friday, April 24th.  Votes received after the 3pm deadline will not be counted.

Additional information

Here is a link to our faculty FAQ page.  It has not been modified for Spring 2020, so please rely on the above for the most up-to-date information, but it may answer other questions that you have.  If you still have questions, please don't hesitate to email