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Master’s Student Oral Exam Committee Composition

Policy
Purpose: 

To establish the requisite configuration of members on master’s student oral examination committees, which include the master’s comprehensive oral exam and the master’s final oral exam

Applies to: 

All Lawrence/Edwards Campus Graduate students in a master’s program

Campus: 
Lawrence
Edwards
Policy Statement: 

Master’s student oral examinations include the master’s comprehensive oral exam and the master’s final oral exam (i.e., thesis defense).

  1. Master’s committees are composed of at least three voting members.
  2. The majority of committee members serving on a master’s student oral examination committee must be tenured/tenure-track faculty holding regular or dissertation graduate faculty status in the candidate’s department/program of study. Tenured/tenure-track faculty who are appointed as courtesy faculty within the program/department are considered (for the purposes of committee composition) to be faculty of that program/department.
  3. Beyond the majority requirement, additional members may hold any graduate faculty status, including regular, dissertation, or special status. This third member can be, but need not be, a member of the candidate’s department/program.
  4. For approved professional master’s degree programs (listed in Exclusions or Special Circumstances section below), the committee may be composed as described above, or any number of the committee members may be professors of the practice, clinical faculty, or research faculty in the department/program. For the approved professional master’s degree programs, the committee chair can hold any graduate faculty status.

As long as the conditions above are met, the committee may include more than three members.

The master’s committee chair must hold regular or dissertation status. While master’s committees are not required to have a co-chair, the student or the committee members may decide to select a co-chair. The co-chair can hold any graduate faculty status.

Substitutions of the committee chair (and/or co-chair) are prohibited after the committee has been approved by the Graduate Division of the school/college. If a committee chair (and/or co-chair) needs to be replaced, the revised committee must be approved by the Graduate Division of the school/college in advance of the exam.

Substitutions of the committee members are permitted as long as the new members hold regular or dissertation graduate faculty status. Special members can be added after the committee has been approved by the Graduate Division of the school/college, but these additions must be approved by the Graduate Division of the school/college in advance of the exam.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Graduate Studies will manage any exceptions to the policy outlined above. Program requests for exceptions should be routed through the appropriate school/College for approval and then forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Requests for exceptions should provide details of the exception requested and the extraordinary circumstances that have resulted in the request.

The following master’s programs are approved to utilize professors of the practice, clinical faculty, and/or research faculty committee composition as outlined elsewhere in this policy:

  • Master of Science in Engineering Management
  • Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Master of Science in Geology
  • Master of Construction Management
  • Master of Civil Engineering
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering
  • Master of Science in Architectural Engineering
Contact: 

Graduate Studies
785-864-8040
graduate@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Approved on: 
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Effective on: 
Friday, June 1, 2012
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Keywords: 
Graduate student exam committee, Graduate degree requirements, Master’s final exam, Thesis defense, Graduate Faculty appointment
Review, Approval & Change History: 

November 2014:  Graduate Studies added four programs to the exclusions list.

October 2014: Graduate Studies added a program to the exclusions list.

September 2014: Graduate Studies made minor edits and added a program to the list in the exclusions section.

May 2014: This policy that specifically applies to master’s student exams was developed from the preceding policy titled: Graduate Student Oral Exam Committee Composition. Prior to final approval by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, this policy was reviewed and endorsed by the academic deans and associate deans, directors of graduate study, school personnel, the Executive Committee of Graduate Faculty, and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

October 2012 and December 2012: Updates were made to the policy.

March 2012: The Office of the Provost approved Graduate Student Oral Exam Committee Composition policy.

Academic Categories: 
Academic Programs
Graduation & Degrees

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