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Examination committees

Assign/update your final examination committee

Use the steps below to assign or update members to your final examination committee. You will need your Internet ID and password to launch the form.

Once submitted, your form will be routed to your advisor, director of graduate studies (DGS), and college for review and approval. Email confirmation will be sent to your email upon final approval. Please do not submit duplicate requests.


Consult with your graduate program to identify faculty members. Most graduate programs require that committee members have GER in the field they represent (major field or minor/outside of the major field). Advisors and committee members must also meet college-specific requirements to carry out GER.

  • Identify which committee members will serve in the following roles:
  1. Outside/minor field examiner
  2. Chair of the committee
  3. Thesis/dissertation reviewers (if applicable)
  • Internet IDs can be found in the University Directory
  • Employee IDs can be obtained from your graduate program
  • See below for information about adding committee members from outside the University. 

Do this step at minimum one month prior to your exam date and only after you have finalized your committee member selections.

Doctoral students, please see the doctoral oral exam scheduling page for more information on scheduling and requirements. See the quick start guide for assisstance with submitting your committee request. 

Committee policies

The final examination committee must consist of at least three members, including the advisor(s). You and all members of the committee must participate in the final examination.

  • At least one member must represent a field outside your major field.

  • If you have a declared minor(s), the outside member(s) must be from the minor field(s).

  • Members cannot satisfy the requirement with respect to more than one field.

Advisor:

  • Must represent the major field on the examination committee.

  • May serve as chair for the final examination.

Co-advisor (if any):

  • May represent the major field or the outside/minor field.

  • May serve as chair for the final examination.

Thesis reviewers (Plan A only):

  • Assigned committee members also serve as thesis reviewers for the Plan A students.

The doctoral preliminary and final oral examination committees must consist of at least four members, including the advisor(s). All members of the committees and the candidate must participate.

  • At least three members (including the advisor) must be from your major field.

  • At least one member must represent a field outside the major.

  • If you have declared a minor, at least one member must represent the minor field.

  • Members cannot satisfy the requirement with respect to more than one field.

The final oral examination committee is not required to include the same members who served on the prelim oral committee.

Thesis Reviewers for final oral examination:

  • A minimum of two major field reviewers and one minor/outside reviewer are required. In the case of multiple minors, there must be a reviewer for each minor.  

  • Advisor(s) must serve as reviewers.

  • Every designated reviewer on the doctoral dissertation reviewer’s report must certify that the dissertation is ready for defense before the doctoral final oral examination may take place.

Advisor:

  • Must represent the major on the preliminary oral and final oral committees.

  • May serve as chair for the preliminary oral examination.

  • The chair of the doctoral final oral examination committee may not be the candidate’s advisor.

Co-advisor (if any):

  • May represent the major or the minor/outside field on the preliminary oral and final oral committees.

  • May serve as chair for the preliminary oral examination.

  • The chair of the doctoral final oral examination committee may not be the candidate’s co-advisor.

Final examination committee:

The final examination committee must consist of at least three members, including the advisor(s). You and all members of the committee must participate in the final examination.

Advisor / co-advisor:

  • May serve as chair for the final examination

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate students do not have examination committees.

External committee members

Occasionally, there is not sufficient expertise among the faculty to examine your work with a very narrow or specific research focus. In these instances, the college may consider a request for an expert outside the University of Minnesota to serve as a member of your examining committee. If interested, discuss the possibility of including an external committee member on your examining committee with your advisor or Director of Graduate Studies (DGS).

The college or graduate  program provides you with the ID number for approved external committee members. This ID number is entered when you complete the committee assignment form.

Update an advisor

Updates to an advisor should be submitted at least one month prior to any examination to allow time for processing and changes to the record.

  • To request an update to your advisor (or co-advisor) of record, contact your graduate program staff.

    • You will be sent a confirmation email upon approval.

    • After receiving confirmation of your advisor change, please be sure to update any examination committees on record using the appropriate link from step 4 in the instructions above.