Section VIII-B: Dissertation and Final Oral Exam

DISSERTATION
(Graduate School Handbook Section VII.9)

Except when changes are required due to members leaving the program or the University, the Dissertation Committee is identical to the Candidacy Examination Committee.  The GSC wishes to emphasize the importance of continuity in the exchange between students and Advisory Committee members.  Only when absolutely necessary may the Dissertation Committee differ from the Candidacy Examination Committee.  Such changes should be reported to the GSC in a written statement from the student and her/his advisor.  This statement should be presented as soon as possible, but no later than when the graduation paperwork is submitted to the GSC Chair for signature.

The final copy of the dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School within five years following the successful completion of the Candidacy Examination or the candidacy is cancelled.  All Dissertation Committee members must approve the final dissertation copy.

FINAL ORAL EXAMINATION
(Graduate School Handbook Section VII.10)

The Advisory Committee, together with a Graduate School Representative, will make up the Final Oral Examination Committee.

The final oral examination includes two parts:  1)  A one-hour public seminar presenting the major results of the dissertation research, scheduled at least two weeks in advance, with announcements circulated to students and faculty (students are responsible for their own announcements and circulation); and 2)  Immediately following the public seminar, the Final Oral Examination Committee meets with the candidate to pursue further questions, such as the originality, quality and independence of thought demonstrated by the thesis, and the student’s ability to synthesize concepts and interpret data.  This portion of the oral examination may last to up to two hours.

After part two of the examination, in the absence of the candidate, the Examination Committee decides the examination result by means of a vote.  A unanimously affirmative vote is required for the examination to be considered successful.  If the examination is judged to be unsatisfactory, a second examination may be scheduled with the permission of the Examination Committee.

Rev:  December  2010

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