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The FGS has established examination procedures for the dissertation oral examination “Guidelines and Procedures for “Oral Examinations for Master’s Thesis Route and Doctoral Programs”. The neutral chair is responsible for moderating the discussion and directing questions. As the neutral chair is not a member of the committee, they do not vote or sign the “Dissertation & Oral Examination Final Report”.
It is the chair's responsibility to ensure that FGS procedures relating to the dissertation oral examination are followed. If the external examiner is unable to attend the oral examination, the questions from the external examiner will be given to the chair to ask at the oral examination. At the completion of the discussion with the candidate about the adjudication results, the chair must complete the “Report of the Neutral Chair” for submission to the FGS. The proctor must submit the “Report of the Proctor” directly to the FGS after the oral examination.
The decision of the examination committee will be based both on the quality of the dissertation and on the candidate’s ability to defend it. The decision shall be that of the majority. Each of the committee members will hold one vote, including each of the co-supervisors. The external examiner shall have a vote equal to that of the other committee members.
The dissertation will be rated as a pass or fail. In the case of a pass where revisions are required, the supervisor and/or the committee can withhold their signature(s) until the revisions are made. The withholding of a signature may result in a delay of graduation if the student does not complete the revisions in a timely manner. This will result in a delay in obtaining final approval from the supervisor and the FGS. Such a delay may result in a fail. It is in the best interests of the candidate that they complete the required revisions in a timely manner. If the candidate receives a fail on their final dissertation they will receive a fail on their transcript.
In the case, where the examination committee recommends ‘Adjourned, Repeat Oral’ to the FGS, the student will be given a second opportunity to conduct another oral examination. At the second attempt, the examination committee must select one of two adjudication categories – pass or fail. If the committee recommends a fail, the student will receive a fail on their transcript. Under extraordinary circumstances, the student may obtain an adjournment on the second attempt.
If a decision cannot be reached, the supervisor’s report should record the recommendation of each committee member on the “Dissertation & Oral Examination Final Report” form. The chair shall also include in their report the recommendations, the distribution of the votes, a summary of the committee’s comments, and any remarks that the chair may wish to make, that may help the Dean, FGS, in reaching a decision.
(at the time of the final oral examination)
The dissertation is deemed to be of sufficient quality to represent doctoral research; there may be some required revisions. After the revisions are approved, the candidate can proceed to graduate if they received a pass on their oral examination.
The concerns with the dissertation must be serious enough to warrant a fail. A fail will appear on the transcript.
The presentation accurately described the research, and the candidate was able to accurately and articulately answer the questions.
Adjourned, Repeat Oral
The examination should be adjourned in compelling, extraordinary circumstances.
The presentation of the research was poor, with inadequate description of the study; the candidate answered the questions poorly, indicating a lack of knowledge in the research they conducted.
Updated December 10, 2018 by Student & Academic Services