Basically, I set my defense for 3 weeks from now but forgot that I will need to send my dissertation to the committee before the actual defense (it's been a busy week), and I need as much time to work on it as possible. I'm thinking I will send it to them a few days before the defense (e.g., over the weekend if the defense is in the middle of the following week). Knowing them, it would probably be fine anyway, but would that be really bad form? Just trying to get an idea of what is typical.


The exact requirements vary by institution and program (e.g., some may require a dissertation draft to be submitted to a committee within a minimum amount of time before the defense, perhaps around a week or 10 days) though I suspect that these requirements are rarely enforced. The presumption is that you will give your committee members sufficient time to read your manuscript before you present it to them, both so they're familiar with your work, and so they can catch any obvious problems with the document. It's not their job, of course, to proofread your work or even to review the entire document in great detail before the defense, but they should have the option to read it, and you may find their suggestions are more helpful if you give them more time to review. Otherwise, you may find yourself referring to portions of the written dissertation during your defense despite having only made the material available for a few days. The material is less likely to be surprising if you give your committee ample time to see it beforehand.

So, if your question is "am I good?" then your answer is "possibly, but don't make peoples' lives harder than they already are." A defense is not a good time to irritate your committee members. Give them a week, at least.

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    One other factor that should be considered is the academic calendar. One week might be ample time during a slow part of the semester, but students may want to add even more time if the dissertation is being handed over at an especially busy time in the semester (such as finals week). – J.R. May 22 '17 at 19:20

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