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Graduate Student Oral Exam Attendance


To outline the attendance requirements for graduate student oral examinations, including options for participating via video-conferencing technology, and to provide instruction for situations in which a technology failure interrupts the proceedings of the exam.

Applies to: 

All Lawrence/Edwards campus graduate students

Policy Statement: 

All members of the exam committee must participate in graduate student oral examinations, which include the master’s final oral exam, the doctoral comprehensive oral exam, and the doctoral final oral exam (i.e., dissertation defense). One (1) or more members, as well as the student, may participate via video-conferencing technology.

A student's milestone outcome will not be influenced by any proceedings that take place without all members participating, either physically present or participating via video-conferencing technology. If a committee member does not arrive or appear, the exam may not begin, and if a committee member leaves, the exam may not proceed. Oral examinations that do not meet these attendance requirements are not valid.

All members of the examining committee must be aware of what transpires during the examination. All committee members must be able to participate fully in the discussion with the student and each other. All committee members shall have full access to all relevant exam materials.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

In the case of technology failure during the examination, a majority of committee members must concur that the examination was substantially complete in order to move to an outcome vote. Otherwise, the examination is considered canceled and must be rescheduled. Every effort should be made to reschedule the exam in a reasonable amount of time. If the exam is judged complete, any committee members whose participation was interrupted by technology failure must be contacted to submit their assessment before the exam results are recorded.


Office of Graduate Studies
213 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Effective on: 
Friday, June 1, 2012
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Graduate student oral exam attendance, Master’s comprehensive oral exam, Master’s final oral exam, Doctoral comprehensive oral exam, Doctoral final oral exam, Graduate Studies representative
Change History: 

07/18/2023: Updated links, corrected typos.
03/31/2022: Updated policy to allow video-conferencing option and procedural information regarding technology failures.
06/25/2020: Changed Dean of Graduate Studies to Vice Provost of Graduate Studies.
07/02/2019: Technical edit to clarify that the attendance rules must be observed for the full duration of the exam. All members must be fully participatory throughout the exam -- physically present if required by related policies or through mediated means as approved.
05/23/2018: Updates defining how mediated attendance may be used were approved by EC at 11 May meeting, SVPAA 17 May.
09/2014: Minor edits by Graduate Studies.

Academic Categories: 
Academic Programs
Graduation & Degrees

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