As required by the Graduate School, master's degree students and doctoral degree students must pass certain examinations to be awarded a degree.
For a Master's Degree
All master's degrees (except non-thesis EdM students electing the internship option) require a final oral exam. You must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 on both your Program and cumulative graduate transcript to schedule the final oral examination. All course work with a grade of I appearing on the program of study must be completed prior to scheduling the final oral examination. You must schedule your exam with the Graduate School two weeks in advance to allow time to audit of your program of study. Please refer to the OSU Graduate Catalog for more details on this requirement.
For a Doctoral Degree
Preliminary Oral Examination:
In order to be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, you must pass a comprehensive preliminary oral examination conducted by your committee. The purpose of this exam is to determine your understanding of your major and minor fields and to assess your capability for research. The exam may cover your proposed research topic, although no more than one-half of the time should be devoted to specific aspects of the proposal. The preliminary oral exam is taken near the completion of all course work on the Program of study. Please refer to the OSU Graduate Catalog for more details on this requirement.
Final Oral Examination:
At least one complete academic term must elapse between the preliminary oral exam and final oral examination. The examination committee will consist of the same members as for the preliminary examination, although substitutions may be made if approved by the department/program or college and the Graduate School. Please refer to the OSU Graduate Catalog for more details on this requirement.
Submit one examination copy of the pretext pages of the thesis to the Graduate School at the time you schedule. Distribute examination copies of your thesis to all committee members, including the Graduate Council Representative, sufficiently early to permit thorough review prior to your exam date.
The first part is the thesis defense portion is open to all interested parties. After the thesis defense portion of the exam, the examination committee may exclude all other persons and continue with the examination of your knowledge of your field.
Graduate Committee Attendance
It is generally expected that all committee members be physically present for all examinations. If you have a special case in which a committee member may need to participate remotely, you and your committee must assure that all the conditions for remote participation are met. If it becomes necessary to replace one of your committee members for your final exam, please follow the requirements for changing your committee membership.
Scheduling Your Exam
You must contact members of the committee to arrange the date, time and place of the exam, then schedule the exam with the Graduate School not less than two weeks before the examination date using the Exam Scheduling Form. The exam should be scheduled for at least two hours.
You must submit the pre-text pages of your thesis (via email if possible) to the Graduate School office at least two weeks before the final exam. You are expected to distribute examination copies of your thesis to all your committee members, including the Graduate Council Representative, sufficiently early to permit thorough review prior to your final oral examination. See the Thesis Guide for more details.
The Exam Process
The first part of the exam is the thesis defense, a presentation which may be open to all interested parties. After the thesis defense portion, the examination committee excludes all other persons and continues examining your knowledge of your field.