QUICK REFERENCE TO ANSWERS TO SPECIFIC QUESTIONS
How is the final oral exam structured?
How can I prepare for the examining committee?
What are my responsibilities in the oral defense?
How are decisions made about my success in the final oral exam?
The research project is not finished until the student has submitted to an examination on it, made whatever adjustments are shown to be needed as a consequence of that examination, and received a signed statement of faculty committee approval. This chapter deals with those matters, how they are to be carried out, and the factors that influence and guide faculty decision making.
The oral examination in most institutions is the final procedural step in student evaluation in the degree process. It concentrates on the study, the findings, and the interpretation of the findings. However, questions regarding the academic and professional preparation of the candidate may also legitimately arise.
In the historic tradition of great European universities, the rite of passage from the rank of student to the community of scholars was marked by hours and even days of examination by established schol-