The Deadline for Requesting a Representative for Summer 2024 Graduation is June 10, 2024

Final Examination Dissertation Committee

When the advisor believes the candidate’s dissertation is ready for preliminary approval, the advisor will convene an examining committee. The examining committee will consist of members of the dissertation committee and an appointed graduate faculty representative. The procedures for appointing the graduate faculty representative are detailed in the procedures section below.

Once the graduate faculty representative is appointed, the advisor will submit the dissertation to the members of the committee for a 10-day reading period of the dissertation. Following the reading period, the advisor will convene the examining committee to evaluate the dissertation. The advisor will note and communicate to the candidate any revisions recommended by the committee. When, in the opinion of the advisor and the candidate, the appropriate revisions have been made, the advisor will inform the graduate/program coordinator, the academic unit’s lead administrator and the college dean.

Procedures for Appointing a Graduate Faculty Representative

The college dean, or designee, will appoint the graduate faculty representative to the examining committee after consultation, when appropriate, with the advisor or lead administrator of the academic unit. The graduate faculty representative must have the following credentials:

  • Directed a dissertation to completion
  • Familiar with the general content area of the candidate’s dissertation
  • Outside the candidate’s program or outside the candidate’s area of focus

The principal responsibility of the graduate faculty representative is to preside and moderate the final examination (oral defense) and to note whether the nature of the questioning of the faculty and the responses of the candidate meet highly respectable scholarly standards. Any concerns must be presented immediately to the college dean or designee. As moderator, the graduate faculty representative should ensure that all participants in the defense act in a civilized, polite and proper manner. The graduate faculty representative should be familiar with the procedures of the oral defense and has the authority to suspend the examination should a situation arise that would not be conducive to a fair examination.

The graduate faculty representative is expected to question the candidate and to vote on the passing of the final examination.

If a separate moderator for the final oral defense is desired, that individual will be selected by the dissertation committee from the members of the graduate faculty who have been approved to direct dissertations. The separate moderator will not be a faculty member in the candidate’s program.

Request for appointment of Graduate Faculty Representative is submitted by the faculty advisor using Graduate Faculty Representative Request Form and email it to

View the Graduate Faculty Roster