Final Exam FAQ

Q: When may I take the final exam?
A: The Final examination must be taken between nine months and five years after the preliminary exam.

Q: How do I notify the department that I plan to take the final exam?
A: Each semester an email is sent to all graduate students asking who is planning to take the final exam during the upcoming semester. You may respond to that email or send an email to at any time.

Q: How is the information about my final exam announced?
A: You will need to provide the following information at least two weeks prior to your exam. This information will be sent electronically to AE faculty, staff and graduate students. You will need to make sure that your committee members who are outside AE are notified of the details. In addition, you will need to provide a hard copy of your thesis to be kept in the main department office for review by the public.

  • Date/Time/Location
  • Title of Dissertation
  • Abstract (electronically please)

Q: How do I set up my doctoral committee?
A: At least three weeks prior to the date of your exam, complete the Request for Appointment of Doctoral Examination Committee form and return it electronically to It is okay to send the form with the graduate faculty member and tenured columns unchecked.  The committee members meet Graduate College requirements.

Q: Do the same people who served on my preliminary exam have to be appointed to my final exam?
A: Usually the same people serve on both exams but changes in the committee are allowed.

Q: May someone from off-campus be appointed to my committee?
A: Yes, but you must provide a brief description of the qualifications and justification for each non-Graduate College Faculty member being nominated to serve as a voting member of the committee. You must also provide a copy of the person's cv (electronically is preferred) as well.

Q: Are there any forms I need to worry about?
A: The Thesis Office will send letters of appointment to your committee. They will also send a Certificate of Result of Final Examination for the Doctoral Committee. You will need to pick up this form from Staci Tankersley in 306 Talbot Lab the day before your exam. Your committee will need to indicate the results of the exam on the form and each member will need to sign it. The form must be returned to Staci as soon as possible after the exam.

In addition, you will want to take copies of the Certificate of Committee Approval form to you exam. The exact number is up to you but at least two are needed - 1 for the department and one for the Thesis Office. This form requires signatures from your committee members and it is helpful to have this form signed when your committee is together rather than trying to get each signature separately.

Q: How do I reserve a room for my exam?
A: The final exam is open to the public. Due to their size, the conference rooms in Talbot Lab are generally not used for the final exam. For classrooms or other rooms on campus, please contact Laura Gerhold at

Q: Am I supposed to provide refreshments for the committee?
A: Most students do. The most common treats are coffee, donuts, cookies, pastries, etc.

Graduate Contacts

Ioannis Chasiotis
Director of Graduate Studies

Jenna Russell

Jenna Russell
Graduate Programs Coordinator

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