You are here

Back to Section 7

Result of the Final Oral Examination

Section 7.11 of the Graduate School Handbook

Decision. Only the final oral examination committee members are to be present for discussion of the student’s performance and the decision about the outcome. After discussion, the satisfactory/unsatisfactory decision is reached by means of a vote. Each examiner indicates judgment by posting their decision on the Report on Final Examination form that must be submitted to the Graduate School by the posted deadline for the semester or summer session  of graduation.

Satisfactory. The student is considered to have completed the final oral examination successfully only when the decision of the final oral examination committee is unanimously affirmative.

Unsatisfactory. If the examination is judged unsatisfactory, the final oral examination committee must decide whether the student will be permitted to take a second final oral examination and must record that decision on the Report on Final Examination form.

Role of the Graduate Faculty Representative. During the examination, if the Graduate Faculty Representative finds that parts of the process are not up to the quality standards that all doctoral students and faculty must adhere to, the GFR is expected to halt the examination and contact the Graduate School immediately for guidance. The examination may then be rescheduled without prejudice to the student once the issues raised by the GFR have been satisfactorily resolved.

Should the GFR cast the only negative vote at the conclusion of the examination, the matter will be referred to the Graduate School for review. 

Second Final Oral Examination. If a second examination is held, the final oral examination committee must be the same as the original one unless a substitution is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. All other rules pertaining to final oral examinations must be followed.

Failure. A student who fails the final oral examination twice is not allowed an additional examination. After two unsatisfactory attempts at the final oral examination, a student is not permitted to be a doctoral candidate in the same or in any other graduate program at this university. A notation of dismissal will be posted to the student’s academic record and further registration will not be allowed. Such students can seek admission to a master’s degree program at this university by utilizing the transfer of graduate program procedure and securing a support letter from the Graduate Studies Committee chair of the proposed master’s program.

Review. Upon written appeal by the student or a member of the final oral examination committee, the Graduate School Grievance Committee reviews that student’s final oral examination to ensure its conformity to Graduate School rules and to determine if it was conducted fairly and without prejudice to the student. The Graduate Council has established review procedures (Appendix D).