You are here

Back to Section 7

Oral Portion of the Candidacy Examination

Section 7.6 of the Graduate School Handbook

Scheduling. The oral portion of the candidacy examination lasts approximately two hours and is held after completion of the written portion. The oral portion normally must be completed within one month of the written portion. To schedule the oral exam, the student must submit an Application for Candidacy on GRADFORMS and have this approved by their program and advisor at least two weeks before the oral's proposed date. The oral examination must take place during announced university business hours, Monday through Friday.

Deadlines involving Graduate Faculty Representative. For second examinations, a typed copy of the questions, the student’s responses, together with a statement of the program’s examination format, policies, and procedures, must be presented to the Graduate Faculty Representative no less than one week before the oral portion of the exam.

Attendance and Format. Attendance is limited to the student and members of the candidacy examination committee. Except when video conferencing is involved, all members of the candidacy examination committee must be present during the entire oral examination. The oral portion of the candidacy examination lasts approximately two hours. Oral presentation of any proposal or other prepared materials must be made prior to or after the oral examination. Questioning of the student should occupy the entire period of the examination. All committee members are expected to participate fully in the questioning during the course of the examination and in the discussion of and decision on the result of the candidacy examination.

Video Conferencing. All doctoral candidacy oral examinations involving video conferencing must adhere to the Graduate School’s guidelines for video conferencing, available from the Graduate School (Appendix B).

Halting an Oral Examination in Progress. If for reasons of illness, fire, or other emergency, the candidacy examination committee members, including the Graduate Faculty Representative (during second examinations), agree that it is necessary to halt the oral portion of the candidacy 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 complete the Report on Candidacy Examination.

Postponement. The oral portion of the candidacy examination is expected to be held as scheduled; however, circumstances (other than failure to pass the written portion) may prompt the advisor to postpone it. Before taking this action, the candidacy examination committee chair must consult the student and other members of the candidacy examination committee, which does not include the Graduate Faculty Representative. Prior to the oral examination, the candidacy examination committee chair must notify the Dean of the Graduate School of the postponement. See section 7.5 regarding the student’s waiver of the oral portion when the candidacy examination committee judges the written portion to be unsatisfactory.