PhD Oral Exam: Information
Doctoral students must pass an oral examination of the subject of their thesis and matters relating thereto before they may obtain the Ph.D. degree. The examination will be conducted by the Dean of Graduate Studies or the Dean's designate chosen from among scholars of the University. The examining committee will include at least three members of the University of Manitoba academic staff, normally the same members as that of the candidate's advisory committee, and an examiner external to the University of Manitoba. The doctoral candidate, advisor, and all internal members of the examining committee must be present. The presence of the external examiner is strongly encouraged but not mandatory.
PRIOR TO SCHEDULING THE ORAL EXAMINATION
The following must be assured prior to scheduling the oral examination:
Attendance of internal examiners
It is required that all internal members of the examining committee be present at the defence, unless exceptional circumstances prevent this and prior approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies has been given. If for any reason an internal examiner is unable to be present in person, participation via video-conferencing may be approved by FGS depending on the constitution of the committee and the presence of other examiners. Oral examinations will be cancelled and deferred if members of the examining committee are not present at the scheduled time and place.
At least two weeks prior to the proposed date the following information must be received by the Faculty of Graduate Studies:
1. It is the responsibility of the Department to reserve the room for the oral examination and notify FGS of the date, time and location.
2. The examination must be held at either the University of Manitoba Fort Garry or Bannatyne campus, or the St. Boniface Research Centre.
SCHEDULING AND ADVERTISING OF THE ORAL EXAMINATION
Once the oral examination has been scheduled, the Faculty of Graduate Studies must be notified. A minimum of two weeks' notice is required. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will then ensure that memoranda announcing the examination are sent to the Department/Unit and the event is posted on the University webpage.
1. The oral examination is open to all members of the University community. Graduate students should especially be encouraged to attend.
2. Notices of the examination, including the invitation to graduate students, should be posted within the Department/Unit.
DOCUMENTATION FOR THE CONDUCT OF THE EXAMINATION
Upon receipt of the External Examiner’s report, FGS will forward the report and the “Guidelines for the Scheduling and Conduct of Ph.D. Oral Examinations” to the Department/Unit Head, Advisor, and Internal Examining Committee members.
Approximately one week prior to the oral examination, FGS will provide the Chair of the examination with a Chair package including the following:
1. Questions submitted by the external examiner will not be forwarded to the advisor or to the candidate prior to the examination, unless this is explicitly requested by the external.
CONDUCT OF THE EXAMINATION
The individual chairing the oral examination bears a very important responsibility. A thorough examination and defence of the thesis serves as the University's guarantee that the standards of the Ph.D. are not only maintained, but strengthened. To this end, the procedures for the conduct of the examination must be consistent and adhered to strictly.
Prior to the start of the formal examination
The Chair ensures that:
General introduction and welcome
The Chair welcomes all of those in attendance and impresses upon the candidate, the examiners, and the audience that this occasion is the senior academic event in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and is a formal examination process prior to awarding the highest academic degree of the University of Manitoba;
Introduction of candidate and examiners
Referring to the Examination Program, the Chair:
1. The Chair should note that all members of the examining committee have read the thesis and submitted written reports. The advisor may or may not have included a report.
Outline of procedures for the Oral Examination.
The Chair outlines the procedures for the conduct of the examination for the candidate, examining committee, and audience as follows:
1. The Chair is not permitted to pose any questions of his/her own to the candidate. The Chair must remain neutral at all times.
2. At the conclusion of the candidate's presentation and before the questioning period, the Chair should allow sufficient time for those members of the audience who wish to leave the session to do so.
3. One and one-half hours should normally be sufficient for the conduct of the oral examination by the committee, but in no case should the questioning exceed two hours.
Following completion of the presentation and questioning period
The Chair conducts the remainder of the Oral Examination as follows:
1. *If the external examiner or two or more internal examiners indicate a fail, the candidate fails the examination.
2. The decision of the Examination Committee is reported on the “Final Oral Examination of the Ph.D. Thesis” form, submitted to FGS.
3. A second attempt at the oral defence of the thesis may be scheduled in accordance with the regulations of FGS.
4. The nature of required revisions, prior to submission of the final copy of the thesis to MSpace as well as the procedures for their completion is determined. This is done by the Chair in discussion with the committee.
5. The members of the Examining Committee are asked to sign the approval form, and indicate whether they assign the candidate a vote of “Pass” or “Fail” on their oral defense.
Following completion of the examination.
The Chair shall:
The Dean of Graduate Studies shall:
The Advisor shall:
The Candidate shall: