University of Minnesota  Appendix

Required Conditions and Best Practices for Remote Participation in Graduate Examinations

I. Required Conditions

Master’s final oral examinations, and doctoral preliminary and final examinations are expected to be conducted in person, with all parties on site.  When circumstances argue for off-site participation by the student and/or committee members, the following conditions must be satisfied to ensure fairness and to minimize potential problems or concerns at the examination.

  • The committee chair is notified in advance if the student and/or examining committee member/s wish to participate remotely.
  • All committee members must agree in advance to allow the student to participate remotely.
  • Participants must be able to communicate with each other at all times during the examination.
  • Accessible versions of all materials must be available to all examination participants.
  • Provisions must be made for independent balloting during the initial vote by examiners.
  • For doctoral final oral examinations, arrangements must be made for a public presentation, including opportunities for questions from the audience.
  • The chair of the examining committee must recess the examination immediately if any technical problems unduly interfere with the proceedings.
  • All participants must be notified ahead of time of the options for recessing the examination.
  • The chair of the examining committee must guarantee that all the above conditions are satisfied.

II. Best Practices

Master’s final oral examinations, and doctoral preliminary and final examinations are expected to be conducted in person, with all parties on site.  While remote participation is increasing, and at times necessary, best practice remains having the student on site for the examination and no more than one committee member participating remotely.  When circumstances argue for off-site participation by the student or committee member/s, the committee chair should be contacted at least two weeks prior to the scheduled examination.