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Guidelines for Video Conferencing Relating to Master's and Doctoral Examinations

Section B.1 of the Graduate School Handbook

Graduate programs must adhere to the following if a master’s examination, the oral portion of the doctoral candidacy examination, or the final oral examination involves video conferencing.

Facilities and Support Requirements

  1. At minimum, the video communications facilities must be such that the candidate and all members of the examination committee can see and hear one another during the entire examination.
  2. There must be adequate provision for the transmission of any text, graphics, photographs, or writing referred to or generated during the examination.
  3. The use of audio-only communications is not permitted.
  4. All participants should satisfy themselves in advance that the video communications facilities are satisfactory. The student must agree in advance to the conduct of the examination by video communications. Immediately prior to the examination, the student may cancel the examination without prejudice if the facilities differ significantly from those previously inspected.
  5. Any technical support staff required to operate equipment is bound by university policy to observe strict confidentiality.
  6. The oral examination must be scheduled for a two-and-one-half-hour time period to allow for any delays resulting from video communications use.
  7. In the event of a technical failure, the advisor in consultation with the other committee members will decide whether to cancel the examination without prejudice to the student.
  8. In all cases, all members of the committee, including any off-site committee members, must record their vote on the Report on Final Examination form and Report on Final Document form as necessary. Both forms may be found at GRADFORMS.
  9. Departments can enforce stricter guidelines. Programs should use good judgement in whether individual exams should be conducted by videoconference and enforce an on-campus only policy when appropriate.

Attendance requirements: Campus-based graduate programs

  1. Graduate students must be physically present for examinations.
  2. One member of the graduate student’s committee (including advisor) can be at a distance without petitioning. The student must be in agreement with this arrangement. Programs must insure that students are well advised about videoconference procedures and guidelines related to an examination, especially in the case where the advisor is not on campus.
  3. A petition to the Graduate School is required if a graduate program seeks to have more than one committee member at a distance. Approval by the Graduate School is required before the examination can proceed. The student must submit a Committee and Examination Petition form through GRADFORMS at least two weeks prior to the proposed date of the exam.

Attendance Requirements: Fully on-line graduate programs

  1. Graduate students enrolled in a fully online graduate program can take examinations at a distance.
  2. All committee members, including the advisor, can be at a distance.