Ph-D- Final Oral Exam

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Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand. —Chinese Proverb


ELPA Ph.D. Final Oral Exam

During the fall and spring term, all preliminary PH.D. exams and final oral Ph.D. exams must be scheduled between the first day of the semester though commencement. During summer, preliminary and final oral Ph.D. exams must be scheduled during the eight-week summer session (typically the third Monday in June through the first Friday in August). See the summer timetable for exact dates.  

Step #1    Determine if you are ready.

To be eligible for your final oral exam you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. You must be registered for 3 credits of research.  If you want to defend and/or deposit your dissertation in the summer term, you must register for 3 credits of research for the eight-week session.                     

Step #2   Schedule your exam.

  1. Contact your advisor several weeks prior the actual date of your defense to determine your two additional committee members (a minimum of 5 members is required) and the day and time for your exam.  At least one committee member must be from outside of ELPA.

At least three weeks prior to your final oral exam:

  1. Contact Shari Smith, Senior Student Services Coordinator, 253B Education Building, and provide the names of your additional committee members and the day/time of your exam.  A room will be assigned for your exam. 

 What happens next?

  1. The Department will request a warrant from the Graduate School that allows you to complete your final oral exam.

Step #3   Submit your dissertation.

At least two weeks (determine the exact date for submission with your advisor) prior to your final oral exam:

  1. Submit copies of your dissertation to your advisor and committee members. 
  2. The Graduate School 3’D’s, Deadlines, Defending and Depositing are available on the Graduate School website

 Step #4   Prepare documents required for your defense.

  1. Title/Committee page.  Use specific format available at

Step #5  Pick up your packet.

On the day of your final oral defense you will be given a packet that contains:


  1. Your record of graduate study (a listing prepared by the Student Services Coordinator).
  2. Your warrant.
  3. Copies of your program plan.
  4. Grade change forms (if needed).
  5. A request for an electronic version of your abstract (to be submitted after your preliminary exam is completed). 

Step #7   Return documents to ELPA Student Services Coordinator.

After your final oral exam is completed:


  1. Return your record of graduate study.
  2. Return a copy of your signed warrant.
  3. Return one copy of your title/committee page.  

Depositing Your Dissertation


Information on depositing your dissertation is available at

Dissertations can now be deposited electronically or via paper copy.  See














REVISED 2/16/2012


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