The number, type, and length of exams and meetings required for graduate students depend on your program and degree type.
Most meetings and exams also require having forms signed and submitted to the Graduate School.
Check out our tips on scheduling meetings.
Types of exams and meetings
Program of study meeting
The Graduate School requires MAIS and doctoral students to submit a form following their program of study meeting. These meetings are not scheduled in advance with the Graduate School. Prior to a program meeting, students need to:
- Be registered in the term of the program meeting
- Select a GCR from a list provided by the Graduate School
- Schedule the meeting with all committee members.
- Print the MAIS Program Meeting Checklist or Doctoral Program Meeting Checklist and take it to the meeting. The Graduate Council Representative will complete and sign this form and return it to the Graduate School with the signed Program of Study.
Thesis proposal meeting
A formal thesis proposal meeting is recommended but not required by the Graduate School. It is, however, required for some majors. This meeting should be held with the student's committee prior to the start of any substantial thesis research.
Oral preliminary exam
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.
To schedule your oral preliminary exam, contact the members of the committee to arrange the date, time, and place, then schedule the exam with the Graduate School not less than two weeks before the examination using the Exam Scheduling Form. The exam should be at least two hours in length. It is generally expected that all members of graduate committees should be physically present.
Final oral exam
All graduate students (except non-thesis EdM students electing the internship option) require a final oral exam. Prior to the final oral examination, students must:
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.00 on both your program of study and cumulative graduate transcript
- Have completed all course work on the program of study with a minimum grade of "C"
- Contact members of the committee to arrange the date, time and place, then schedule the exam with the Graduate School not less than two weeks before the examination using the Exam Scheduling Form.
- Submit one examination copy of the pretext pages of the thesis to the Graduate School at the time you schedule your exam. Pretext pages are found on the Thesis Guide.
The exam should be scheduled for two hours. It is generally expected that all members of graduate committees should be physically present at all required graduate exams. 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.
Doctoral students - 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.
Physical Presence at Committee Meetings
All members of graduate committees should be physically present at all required graduate committee meetings (i.e., program meetings, preliminary examinations, and final examinations). However, it is permissible for the student, and/or committee members to participate from a remote location provided the conditions listed below are met:
- Advance agreement of the student and all committee members has been obtained
- All participants join in with two-way audio and video connections; audio-only connections must be approved by the major professor if the video connection is not possible. When the student is the remote participant, his or her connection must be an audio and video connection
- Any visual aids or other materials have been distributed in advance to the remote participants;
- The committee members participate in the complete meeting, discussion, presentation, and evaluation
- The student is responsible for making arrangements.
Tips for scheduling meetings
Plan your meeting time
- Start organizing your meeting two months in advance. It can be very difficult to find a date when every member of your committee is available!
- Obtain contact information (email, office phone, cell phone) for each committee member including your Graduate Council Representative.
- Over the phone have each committee member identify possible dates/times over a one week window. Using the phone can be quicker than using email.
- Select a date and time that works for all meeting participants.
- When the meeting is set, immediately phone each member to request that they enter the meeting date/time on their calendars, or send them a calendar invite.
Find a meeting room
Your department or school office should be able to help you find a room. The Graduate Student Success Center also has a meeting room. The Valley Library also has rooms for meetings.
- Send an e-mail to all committee members (and assistants) with the meeting details - time, date, building, room number, and purpose (program committee meeting, oral exam, thesis defense).
- File an Exam Scheduling Form with the Graduate School.
- 48 to 72 hours before the meeting send an email reminder to the committee members with time, date, building, room number of the meeting and meeting purpose. Make sure to get confirmation that each member can attend. If one person doesn't show up you will have to reschedule the meeting.
- Arrange for access to the meeting room. (Get building and room keys if necessary.)
- Arrange for audio/visual equipment.
- Set up remote participation (if needed).
- Twenty-four hours prior to the meeting reconfirm audio/visual support.
- Twenty-four hours prior to meeting test remote connections (if needed). If the connection does not work at the time of your meeting you will have to reschedule the meeting.
Day of Meeting
- Determine that audio visual equipment is working.
- If needed, set up and test equipment of remote participant.