A final public examination is held under the auspices of the committee in charge of the candidate's course of study. A candidate must defend the dissertation and otherwise satisfy the committee and other faculty members in attendance that he or she is qualified to receive the degree of doctor of philosophy.
At the time of the final examination, it is the responsibility of the candidate to obtain from the Office of the Graduate School the candidacy application (on which the result of the qualifying examination was recorded) for completion by the committee at the final examination. The same committee members also must sign the title page of the dissertation, signifying their acceptance of it. Once the program director certifies that all program requirements have been completed for the degree of doctor of philosophy, the candidate must return the candidacy application to the Office of the Graduate School. The two required copies of the thesis or dissertation submitted must be of excellent quality, correct in margin and format, and on 100 percent rag or cotton content bond paper. All of the above materials must be submitted to the Office of the Graduate School no later than the announced deadlines for completion of degree requirements. The names of those failing to meet these deadlines will be removed automatically from the commencement list for that degree date.