Final Oral Examination

Satisfactory performance on the Final Oral Examination, in which the student defends his/her dissertation before the Advisory Committee, dissertation readers, faculty, students and the public, is required. This examination is based primarily on the dissertation and the field of knowledge that constitutes the student's major subject. The student must be enrolled in the semester that the examination is administered.

The Dean or his appointed representative chairs all Final Oral Examinations for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. In addition, external examiners (readers) must be present. The readers participate in the exam and vote along with the student’s Advisory Committee on the student’s performance. A majority vote of the examining committee is required for satisfactory performance.

It is the responsibility of the student and his/her Major Advisor to select two or three readers for approval by the Dean. After approval, the student contacts the readers to determine that they will be available to serve in this capacity. The Graduate Studies’ office must be notified when the readers agree. The Dean and readers must receive a corrected copy of the dissertation approved by the Advisory Committee at least two (2) weeks before the Final Oral Examination is scheduled.

The student should contact the College of Graduate Studies office, Advisory Committee, and readers to arrange a time that all individuals will be able to attend the oral examination. Once the time is established, notification in writing is sent to the Dean on a completed Oral Examination Faculty Agreement Form. The examination is open to the public. Departments will be responsible for typing the printed Program Announcement. These announcements must be mailed to students and faculty of the area of study (i.e., graduate nursing faculty and students, biomedical sciences faculty and students, etc.). The Graduate Studies office provides mailing labels. The student may call to request labels three days in advance of the mailing. A sample of the Final Oral Examination announcement is included in the "Thesis/Dissertation Preparation" document available in the College of Graduate Studies office and at the forms web site. The Final Oral Examination Form, provided by the College of Graduate Studies office, is completed at the end of the examination by the committee, readers, and Dean.

After the Final Oral Examination, three final copies of the dissertation on Crane’s Thesis Paper bearing the signatures of the Major Advisor and Department Chair are submitted to the Dean at least one week before graduation.