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The master’s examination is a test of the student’s knowledge of the field. It is the final validation of performance for that degree. The master’s examination is taken after submitting the Application to Graduate form and during the semester or summer term in which the student plans to graduate. A student must be registered for at least three graduate credit hours during the semester or summer term this examination is taken. Students must coordinate with their advisor and examination committee to determine a mutally acceptable date and time for the exam. Exams must take place during normal university business hours, Monday through Friday, and must be on the Columbus or Wooster campus.
Responsibility. The master’s examination is administered under the auspices of the Graduate Studies Committee. The responsibility for the examination rests with the student’s master’s examination committee.
Master’s Examination Committee. The master’s examination committee is composed of at least two Graduate Faculty members including the student’s advisor. Other Graduate Faculty members may participate in generating, administering, or scoring parts of the examination, but the master’s examination committee is finally responsible for the conduct and evaluation of the entire examination. The advisor of a master’s student must hold membership at the category M level or higher in the student’s graduate program. Non-Graduate Faculty members may be appointed to the master’s examination committee by approval of the Graduate Studies Committee in the student’s home program and by petition to the Graduate School. Non-Graduate Faculty members are in addition to the required two current Ohio State Graduate Faculty members.
Attendance. If the master’s examination includes an oral portion, the advisor serves as chair. Except when video conferencing is involved, all members of the master’s examination committee must be present during the entire examination and are expected to participate fully in questioning during the course of the examination and in the discussion and decision on the result. Other faculty members and graduate students may attend the examination, subject to the rules of the Graduate Studies Committee.
Video Conferencing. With the prior approval of the Graduate School, one remote examination site may be linked through video conferencing. Multiple remote examination sites may be used for the master’s oral examinations of students enrolled in master’s programs taught wholly online. All master’s examinations involving video conferencing must adhere to the Graduate School’s guidelines for video conferencing (
Thesis. The master’s examination for a student pursuing the thesis option must include an oral portion and may include a written portion. The master’s examination need not be confined to the thesis topic. The oral portion of the master’s examination must take place during announced university business hours, Monday through Friday.
Non-Thesis. The master's examination for a student pursuing the non-thesis option must include a written portion and may include an oral portion. The written portion may be in the form of an examination (in which case it should be at least four hours in length) or a substantial paper or project appropriate to the discipline and consistent with best practices in the field. The oral portion must take place during announced university business hours, Monday through Friday.
Halting an Oral Examination in Progress. If for reasons of illness, fire, or other emergency, the committee members agree that it is necessary to halt the oral portion of the master’s examination, then the examination shall be rescheduled without prejudice to the student. If, however, the committee members unanimously decide that the examination has been sufficient to reach a decision to pass the student, then they shall consider the examination concluded and report the result to the Graduate School.
Master's Examination, Dual Degree Students
Normally, students will complete a separate master’s examination for each degree program. However, if the following conditions are satisfied, a student pursuing two thesis option master’s degree programs may be required to complete only one master’s examination and one thesis:
- the Graduate Studies Committee in each graduate program must approve
- the master’s examination committee must be composed of a minimum of four Graduate Faculty members, with at least two from each graduate program
- a faculty member from each graduate program must serve as a co-advisor of the thesis
- the result of the master’s examination must be unanimously affirmative in order for the student to earn each degree
- in the event of the student’s failure, the master's examination committee will decide if a second examination for two degrees with one thesis is possible
- if the committee decides against allowing a second examination for two degrees with one thesis, then one of the Graduate Studies Committees may allow a second examination in order for the student to earn one master’s degree