This policy sets the standards for the doctoral final oral examination and the submission of the final copy of the doctoral dissertation for the completion of the doctoral degree.
I. The Doctoral Final Oral Examination
- The doctoral final oral committee must consist of at least four members, including the advisor/s . All members assigned to the committee must meet the minimum eligibility standards established by the program and college. All members of the committee and the candidate must participate in the final oral examination. Committee members and/or the student may participate remotely as long as all conditions for remote participation in the examination are met.
- At least three members (including the advisor) must be from the student's major field.
- At least one member must represent a field outside the major. If the student has declared a minor, the outside member, or one of the outside members, must represent the minor field.
- Members cannot satisfy the requirement with respect to more than one field.
- The chair of the committee cannot be the candidate’s advisor or co-advisor.
- At least two members of the committee must be tenured or tenure-track University faculty members who hold earned doctorate degrees or designated equivalents in appropriate fields from an accredited institution. At least one of the committee members must be a tenured University faculty member.
- Collegiate deans or their designated representatives at the collegiate level must verify eligibility and approve the members of the final oral examination committee.
- Changes in committee membership may be made if approved by the director of graduate studies and the collegiate unit. Changes must also be archived centrally in the system of record.
- Thesis reviewers for the final oral examination:
- A minimum of two major field thesis reviewers and one minor/outside thesis reviewer are required. In the case of multiple minors, there must be a separate thesis reviewer for each minor.
- Advisor/s and co-advisor/s must serve as thesis reviewers.
- Students must provide reviewers with a copy of the thesis at least 14 days before the scheduled date of the doctoral final oral examination.
- Every designated reviewer on the doctoral thesis reviewer’s report must certify that it is ready for defense before the doctoral final oral examination may take place.
- The doctoral final oral examination must include:
- A public presentation of the candidate’s dissertation to the doctoral final oral examination committee and the invited scholarly community.
- A closed session (open only to the doctoral final oral examination committee and the student ) immediately following the public presentation.
- To pass the examination, all committee members, or all committee members save one, must vote
- Students are not allowed to retake the doctoral final oral examination.
II. Submission of final copy of the doctoral dissertation
- Committee members must notify the candidate in writing of all required revisions to the doctoral dissertation as well as specifying a time limit for the submission of the revised doctoral dissertation within 7 days of the final oral examination.
- If revisions are required as a condition of passing the final oral examination, the advisor/s must certify that the revisions have been completed before the degree is awarded.
- All students who complete a doctoral dissertation must file a digital copy of the dissertation with the University in accordance with University standards. Students may choose whether to request a temporary embargo on publication of the dissertation. .
Doctoral programs with approved completion requirements that do not include a final oral examination are exempt from I.
Doctoral programs with approved completion requirements that do not include a doctoral dissertation are exempt from II.
This policy applies to all students admitted after January 1, 2013. Students who matriculated before January 1, 2013 and have continuously maintained active student status may choose to continue under the policies in effect when they initially matriculated in their graduate program.
This policy does not apply to the J.D., M.D., Pharm.D., D.V.M., D.D.S, L.L.M degrees.
Reason for Policy
This policy establishes uniform standards for the doctoral final oral examination; defines timely submission of copies of the dissertation for University archives, and supports Board of Regents Policy: Openness in Research (PDF) which covers public dissemination of University-sponsored research.