2.9 The Final Oral Examination

The Dissertation Committee. The student, in consultation with the dissertation Advisor, selects two faculty members who along with the Advisor constitute the three-member dissertation reading committee (see sec.2.6 for the rules about the constitution of committees). When Ph.D. candidates have complete drafts of their dissertations they should confer with their Advisors and the other members of their reading committee. Should a reading committee agree that the draft warrants the scheduling of a Final Oral Examination, they request the Graduate Dean to set its date. The judgment of the reading committee that a Final Oral Examination is warranted is based on their opinion that the draft is an original and significant contribution to philosophy. Normally they will at that time suggest changes or emendations. The Final Oral Examination committee consists in the reading committee and a Graduate School representative appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. Additional changes or emendations may be suggested at the time of the student’s defense of the dissertation at the Final Oral Examination. The Final Oral Examination is passed if and only if no more than one vote for failure is cast by members of the committee. Before the student turns in the final copy of the dissertation at the Graduate School office, certification of approval must be received from his or her reading committee.

Changes in the makeup of a reading committee, before scheduling the final oral exam, require written permission from the Graduate Committee. Requests to change a dissertation topic after the  Dissertation Prospectus Examination require submitting a new dissertation topic prospectus to the Graduate Committee for approval.

If a student is scheduled to take a final defense of the dissertation, and the student does not successfully petition for an extension of the deadline for taking that examination but also fails to take the scheduled examination, then the student will automatically fail that examination.

Students who have passed the Final Oral Examination on their dissertations are expected to return all books to the Gluck Library before the final dissertation draft has been approved by the Committee.

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