The candidate for an advanced degree must pass a final oral examination (defense) in which the candidate demonstrates to the examining committee that the degree should be awarded. The examining committee is appointed by the graduate dean,  who also appoints an additional member as a graduate faculty observer. Committees are composed of at least five graduate faculty members  for the doctorate, excluding the observer. Three of the five members have qualifications in the student's major area, and each of the other two has primary responsibility for the minor subject. At lease one member must be from outside the ECE Department.

Once set, the examination becomes an official University matter. The exam cannot be changed without prior arrangements (done by the chairman of the committee) amongst the committee members and the student, and approval of the graduate dean.

In all instances oral examinations are considered to be open to the members of the University community.

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