Oral Examination Guidelines

Guidelines and Procedures for Oral Examinations for Master's Thesis Route and Doctoral Programs

Oral examinations will normally be conducted at a distance, with both the student and committee members in separate and/or off-site locations. The presentation and question period will normally be closed for the master’s proposal oral examination and the doctoral candidacy oral examination. The final oral examination for the thesis and dissertation will be open. The adjudication process will always be closed. The academic unit has the option to hold an informal presentation and discussion separate from the formal oral examination. Any deviation from the procedures outlined below must be approved in advance by the Dean of the FGS.

Technology is evolving with current modes exhibiting inconsistent quality and reliability. Over time this will improve. AU is a world leader in distance education and therefore has a mandate, role and responsibility to “push the envelope” and create new and flexible strategies to bring education to the world. And yet, must be accountable to its students, academic colleagues, and funders ensuring that a high quality of education is provided.

The integrity of the oral examination must be ensured. This means there must be satisfactory accommodation for reliable technology; back-up to the primary technology selected; arrangements that ensure safety and support for the student who will be anxious at the examination; that the identity of the student is verified; and that academic honesty and integrity are maintained.