The University Senate of Michigan Technological
Oral Examination Attempts
Senate Policy 115.1
Graduate students who must pass an oral examination associated
with one of the milestones required for completion of a graduate degree may be
allowed a second opportunity to successfully complete each of the required oral
examinations if this is allowed by the student’s graduate program.
This policy applies to graduate students pursuing a degree that requires an oral examination.
Individual graduate programs may have a more restrictive policy (meaning that they may allow only a single attempt at one or more of the oral exams) but they may not have a more lenient policy.
Oral examinations can have one of the following outcomes:
· Conditional pass
Students who conditionally pass an exam but fail to complete the imposed conditions within a specified period of time will normally not be given a second opportunity to take the oral exam.
A student who fails an oral exam on the first try can request an
opportunity to repeat the exam one time if this is allowed by the student’s
Reason for Policy
This policy clarifies that a student can, when allowed by their
graduate program, request a second attempt at an oral examination associated
with a milestone required for completion of a graduate degree.
Related Policy Information
Degree requirements for graduate degrees, including which oral examinations are required to complete a milestone for each type of degree are listed online:
This policy does not apply to undergraduate students or graduate
students pursuing a degree that does not require oral examinations to complete
Office/Unit Telephone Number
Graduate School (906) 487-2327
Oral examination – an oral test at the graduate level. There are typically three oral examinations – Qualifying Examination, Research Proposal Examination, and Final Oral Examination
Required oral examination – An oral examination that is required to complete the degree.
Qualifying Examination – a test of disciplinary knowledge
Research Proposal Examination – test of capability to conduct independent research
Final Oral Examination – public defense of research
Pass – an oral exam result when a student has successfully completed the associated milestone examination.
Conditional Pass – an oral examination result when a student has not successfully completed the associated required oral examination until specific conditions are met within a specified period of time.
Fail – an oral examination result when the student has not successfully completed the associated required oral examination.
Examination committee – a group of graduate faculty formed following current Graduate School and graduate program policies to evaluate the student’s oral examination.
Graduate Student – Must be aware of the policy. If an exam is conditionally passed, must complete the conditions required to pass the exam within the allowed timeframe in order to complete the milestone. If an exam is failed on the first try, the student can request an opportunity to repeat the exam one time if this is allowed by the student’s graduate program.
Graduate Program – Must either adhere to this policy or establish a more restrictive policy that only allows a single attempt at an oral examination (if this is desired by the program).
Examining Committee – Must communicate in writing the results of the required oral examination to the graduate program director and graduate program assistant. Must document in writing the conditions as well as the period of time the student has to address conditions of a conditional pass. Must monitor the completion of conditions for a conditional pass of a required oral examination. For a failed exam, the committee must also communicate if the student requested a second attempt, whether or not the second attempt was allowed, and the outcome of a second attempt if one was allowed.
Graduate Program Director and Assistant – Must monitor the results of required oral examinations by its students and communicate the results to the Graduate School and student using normal procedures.
Graduate School – Must
monitor that the appropriate documents are on file to record the results of
required oral examinations.
In support of this policy, the following procedures are included:
Procedure on Required Oral Examination Attempts
Forms and Instructions
In support of this policy, the following forms/instructions are included:
Report on Final Oral Examination form
Report on Qualifying Examination or Research Proposal Examination form
Approved by Graduate Faculty Council on March 5, 2013
Senate: 9 April 2014
Approved by Senate: 23 April 2014
Approved by Administration: 27 June 2014