PhD Oral Exam: Chair Information


Prior to the start of the examination: seating, audio visual aids etc.

  • means of presenting data appropriate
  • examiners present; understand procedures

General introduction and welcome: senior academic event at U of M/ awarding of highest academic degree

  • formal examination process; part of exam is ability of candidate to present thesis clearly and concisely (about 25 to 30 minutes)
  • introduction of examining committee (special welcome if external present)
  • note that examining committee have read thesis and provided reports
  • refer to programme and biographical information, awards etc.

Outline the procedures that will be followed:

  • candidate will be asked to present the thesis (25 - 30 minutes)
  • the examiners will then ask questions; about 20 minutes each examiner:
  • external (if not present, chair will put questions)
  • internal examiner from outside department
  • internal examiner advisor (not compulsory)

Invite candidate to present thesis

Conclusion of presentation:

  • formal questioning period (external, external-internal, internal, advisor)
  • second round-if examining committee have additional questions
  • if time permits, questions from audience, beginning with other members of Faculty of Graduate Studies

Thank audience for support of candidate and attendance, ask everyone but examining committee to leave the room

Ask each examiner, in sequence, whether oral examination is "pass" or "fail".

Determine nature of revisions and procedures to ensure completed according to wishes of committee, ask if committee prepared to "sign off" both written and oral parts of examination.

Invite candidate back into room: review determination from #8.

Ensure candidate understands procedures for submission of thesis and use of accompanying forms.

Thank committee