Students need to pass several oral exams—a qualifying exam, the candidacy exam, and the thesis defense. Exams are administered by an Examination Committee as part of the PhD program requirements.

The oral exams share a common set of procedural rules:

  1. Prior to scheduling an oral exam, the student must:
    • have his written materials approved by his advisor,
    • deliver a draft of the written materials to the Examination Committee, and
    • upload a draft of the written materials to the department's on-line tracking system prior to scheduling the exam.
    • make a practice talk to ensure that both contents and duration of the talk are adequate (check with the advisor for proper format and schedule)
    • confirm the date, time and venue to the Student Support Representative
  2. The student must have her exam announced at least two weeks in advance.
  3. The student should pickup the relevant forms from the Student Support Representative on the day of the exam.
  4. After the exam, a student completing a candidacy exam should obtain signatures from the Examination Committee on the relevant forms and return the forms to the program administrator.
  5. After the exam, a student completing a Master’s presentation or thesis defense must:
    • obtain signatures from the Examination Committee on the relevant forms,
    • complete any required revisions,
    • obtain his advisor’s signature on the form that states that all revisions have been completed,
    • upload the final version of the master’s paper or dissertation to the on-line tracking system,
    • obtain the signature of the Director of Graduate Studies,
    • obtain the signature of the Department Chair, and
    • return all signed paperwork to the Student Support Representative.