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GBJ thesis defense, commencement ceremonies may be held online; thesis process continuing

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

The 2020 commencement ceremonies will take place online. Here's the in-person celebration from 2019.

The global coronavirus pandemic has forced the Global Business Journalism program to consider completing the 2019-2020 academic year online. No final decision has been made, GBJ academic officer Chengzhang Li said on April 8.

Commencement ceremonies for graduating Global Business Journalism students are planned for June, and university officials are deciding whether they will be held via an online platform. There will be three ceremonies: for GBJ students, for the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication, and for the entire university. The exact dates of the ceremonies will be announced later, according to university officials.

Global Business Journalism co-directors Hang Min and Rick Dunham, in consultation with the TSJC academic office, have agreed to a schedule for master's candidates to defend their theses and journalism portfolios, even if in-person defenses are impossible. The process began on April 5 with a one-day "pre-defense" online workshop conducted by the co-directors, with the assistance of a group of TSJC Ph.D. candidates.

Students whose academic studies have been substantially disrupted by the pandemic will be permitted to apply for an extension until August for completion of their final thesis. The application deadline for a postponement is April 9.

The next steps in the process are sending the draft thesis to supervisors, completing the required plagiarism check. The final thesis must be submitted to students' supervisors on April 10. Updated theses – incorporating suggestions from supervisors – are due on April 24.

The theses will be entered into the TSJC's electronic learning system in late May for review by the thesis review committee of five GBJ professors. The thesis defense will take place in late May. The Global Business Journalism office will inform students of the date for thesis defenses when it is released by the TSJC academic office.

Co-director Rick Dunham said the second-year students deserve "a great deal of credit for their persistence, grit and commitment to learning during these very difficult times." He praised the GBJ staff for its "user-friendly service" and timely updates.

"Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus, the Global Business Journalism program has continued to operate at a very high level," Professor Dunham said. "This success is a testament to the character and skill of our students and the excellence of our staff."

>>> Students with questions about the schedule should contact the GBJ office at or

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