University of Minnesota
Institute of Technology
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

PhD Final Oral Examinations

Students are responsible for meeting all requirements for completing the doctoral degree, including dissertation defense and submission.

The Ph.D. Final Oral Examination
The Ph.D. final oral committee must consist of at least four members, including the advisor(s). All members of the committee and the candidate must participate in the final oral examination. Committee members and/or the student may participate remotely as long as all conditions for remote participation in the examination are met.

   1. At least one semester prior to the exam assign members to doctoral final exam committee via
   2. Download the graduation packet which will include the Graduate Application for Degree form
       and Thesis Reviewers Report form.
   3. Schedule your doctoral final exam with the Graduate School at least one week in advance of
       taking it.
   4. Prior to your defense, submit the Thesis Reviewers Report form to the Graduate School.
   5. Submit the Graduate Application for degree by the first business day of anticipated month of 
   6. Submit your dissertation by the last business day of anticipated month of graduation.
       Consult the Graduation Packet for formatting deadlines.

Thesis Committee Information
   • At least three members (including the advisor) must be from the student's major field.
   • At least two members must represent a field outside the major. (If the student has declared a minor, the outside members, or one of the outside members, must represent the minor field.)
   • Members cannot satisfy the requirement with respect to more than one field.
   • Advisor(s) must serve as reviewers.
   • Students must provide reviewers with a copy of the dissertation at least 14 days before the scheduled date of the doctoral final oral examination.
   • Every designated reviewer on the doctoral dissertation reviewer’s report must certify that the dissertation is ready for defense before the doctoral final oral examination may take place.

Doctoral Final Oral Examination
   • A public presentation of the candidate’s dissertation to the doctoral final oral examination committee and the invited scholarly community.
   • A closed session (open only to the doctoral final oral examination committee and the candidate) immediately following the public presentation.
   • To be recommended for the award of the doctoral degree, all committee members, or all committee members save one, must certify that the student has passed the doctoral final oral examination.
   • Students are not allowed to retake the final oral examination.

Submission of final copy of the doctoral dissertation
All students who complete a doctoral dissertation must file a digital copy of the dissertation with the University in accordance with University standards.  Students may request that the University embargo publication of the dissertation for a limited period of time.

Reactivation in order to graduate
A student who is currently inactive may be reactivated for the purpose of awarding the degree if the student has completed all requirements for the degree, including submission of the approved copy of the doctoral dissertation.

Effective Date
This policy applies to all students admitted after January 1, 2013.  Students who matriculated before January 1, 2013 may choose to continue under the policies in effect when they initially matriculated in their graduate program.