Frequently Asked Questions about the Final Exam
Below are answers to questions that are not addressed by information made available by the graduate school, in some cases because the answer to the question represents a final exam policy specific to the department.
Q: Do I have to give a presentation during the defense?
A: Yes. While some departments do not require students to give a formal presentation of their work as part of the final exam, the faculty in HCDE believe in the importance of being able to describe the work orally as well as in writing (in the dissertation). The student should prepare a presentation of 30 to 40 minutes.
Q: Does the department permit me to have two people designated as my committee chair?
A: Yes, you can designate more than one faculty member as your committee chair. If you choose this route, it is your responsibility to keep both committee chairs informed as to your progress.
Q: Do I have to be an enrolled student in order to defend my dissertation?
A: You must register for at least one credit in order to defend the dissertation. This is true for summer as well as in the academic year. Because doctoral students do not typically take summer courses, they may forget the Graduate School requirement to maintain active student status when they plan a summer final exam date.
Q: When am I able to use the Graduate Registration Waiver Fee?
A: If your defense is scheduled later in an academic quarter and the committee recommends edits to the dissertation, you may need more time in order to obtain approval from the Reading Committee and submit the final documents. The registration waiver provides 14 calendar days following the last day of the quarter in which all degree requirements were met. You must have been registered in the previous quarter, and submit a $250 fee by the last day of instruction in the quarter in which you submit your final ETD.
Q: Am I able to schedule the defense if one or more committee members can only participate remotely?
A: The only person who must be physically present during the dissertation defense is the GSR. The other members can participate through video conferencing. More information can be found here.