A degree candidate who has or will have satisfactorily completed the minimum credit Plan of Study, the comprehensive examination, and the draft of his or her thesis or dissertation will be permitted to undertake an oral defense of the thesis or dissertation. The thesis or dissertation committee will have conferred with the candidate and had a suitable copy of the manuscript in their hands at least 30 days prior to the oral examination and defense.

The master’s degree candidate’s committee will be chaired by the student’s major advisor and will normally include at least two other faculty members qualified in the student’s major discipline.

The doctoral degree candidate’s committee shall normally consist of two faculty members qualified in the major discipline including the major advisor (chair), one to two faculty members qualified in support areas of study, and one expert faculty member from outside the department or visiting professor from the subject of specialization. The subject of the examination shall be the background, methods, results, and conclusions of the student’s dissertation and the relationship of these results and conclusions to the major discipline. The dissertation defense will be open to all graduate faculty, although faculty from outside the committee may not participate directly in the examination.