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Graduate Program: Ph.D. Program: Final Exam

PhD Reading Committee and PhD Final Examination

NOTE: Review Biost dissertation info and Grad School dissertation info for important dissertation requirements.

The mandate of the Reading Committee (a subset of the Supervisory Committee) is to ensure that the student's dissertation is a significant contribution to biostatistical knowledge, and is an acceptable piece of scholarly writing.

The purpose of the Final Examination is to enable the Supervisory Committee to assess whether the student has produced a dissertation that is a significant contribution to biostatistical knowledge and that the student has PhD-level training in biostatistical research. After a successful Final Exam, the student must submit a final dissertation to the Graduate School; this final version of the dissertation should address any issues raised in the Final Exam, to the satisfaction of the Supervisory Committee.

The student must be registered throughout the course of the degree (up to and including the quarter in which the final version of the dissertation is turned in to the Graduate School). A student who does not complete all degree requirements by the last day of the quarter must register for the following quarter. (Note: The Final Exam and submission of final version of the dissertation may happen in different quarters as long as the student stays registered.)

Scheduling your Final Exam
You must apply for your Final Exam at least two weeks before the date on which you plan to take your Final Exam

This means that your Final Exam will take place no sooner than, at the very minimum, fifteen days after your reading committee members have all agreed to allow you to proceed to the final.

What that means is:
1) you have given the reading committee a copy of your final written dissertation well in advance of seeking their approval and
2) your reading committee members have all read your final written dissertation, agree that you are prepared and approve you to schedule the Final Exam in time for you to:
3) apply for your Final Exam at least two weeks before the date on which you plan to take your Final Exam

This two-week deadline for applying to take your Final Exam is a minimum and must be met in order to ensure that the Graduate School and the Department have time to review and process all the information needed to approve the Final Exam. Failure to meet this deadline may result in a delay of your Final Exam (including a possible delay to the following quarter).

Students may not take both the General Exam and Final Exam in the same quarter.


Graduate School Doctoral Student Resources
Graduate School Appointment and Responsibilities of a Doctoral Reading Committee
Graduate School Dissertation Defense
Graduate School Final Quarter policy

Administrative Guide: Reading Committee

  • As you near completion of your dissertation, and at least six weeks before scheduling your Final Examination, decide with your Committee Chair which members of your Supervisory Committee will be the assigned Readers (three members are required).
  • Email your list of the Reading Committee members, indicating which one is the Chair, to the GPA. Also, include the estimated date for the Final Exam.
  • If, after one week, you have not received a confirmatory email from the Graduate School listing your Reading Committee members, notify the GPA. You will need this confirmatory email before scheduling your Final Exam.

Administrative Guide: Final Exam

  • After confirming that all Reading Committee members have read your dissertation and have suggested no further major revisions, and no less than 3-4 weeks before you hope to hold your Final Examination, arrange a Final Exam date with your Committee members. IMPORTANT: Make sure you confirm the date and time of your Final Exam with all members of the Committee, especially the GSR. It is recommended that you get agreement in writing; email confirmations should be saved as documentation that you have made the arrangements.
  • Submit the Doctoral Final Examination application form at the Graduate School website. Submit it at least two weeks before the Final Examination date. The GPA prepares the Final Examination warrant and will leave it in your box.
  • Arrange a room for your Final Examination. Reserve an LCD projector, if you need one. If any members of your committee will be participating via audio or video conference, contact Cathy Greenbaum ( 2-3 weeks in advance to make arrangements for the appropriate equipment.
  • Tell the Biostatistics Calendar editor, Sandra Coke,, to announce your Final Exam presentation. Send her:

    Your Name
    Date, Time, and Room Location
    Presentation Title
    PhD Committee Members noting the committee chair and GSR

    The deadline for Biostatistics Events Calendar announcements is 12:00 PM on Thursday of the week prior to the actual week of your exam.

  • Please note: The public is welcome to attend the open part of your examination. Usually there is time for questions from the general audience. Then the committee asks everyone and continues the examination in a closed session with only the committee and the examinee.
  • On the day of your Final Exam be sure to bring your warrant to the exam as well as the Grad School Reading Committee Approval Form. At the end of your Final Exam, have your committee members sign the warrant, doublecheck to make sure that all information is noted on the warrant and then have one of the committee members send/deliver the signed warrant to the GPA.
  • To graduate you must meet the Graduate School requirements AND ensure that the GPA receives the following items:
    • Original signed warrant - must be sent or hand-delivered by a faculty committee member (not by the student)
    • Completed GOODBYE form
    • Copy of your most current CV
    • E-mail verification from Sandra Coke that your student webpage is disabled (click here for instructions)
    • E-mail verification from Alex MacKenzie that your keys and HSB ID cards have been returned
    • Hard copy of dissertation - The student may submit a copy of the receipt showing that a hard-bound copy to be sent directly to: Curriculum Coordinator, Department of Biostatistics, Box 35-7232, HSB, Room F-600, Seattle, WA 98195-7232. Call 206-543-9630 for more information.
  • IMPORTANT: The Graduate Program cannot recommend you for graduation until the above steps are complete.

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