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Final Exam

The Final Examination is the defense of the dissertation. The Final Exam cannot be scheduled the same quarter as the General Exam.


Minimum 90 credits (including 30+ credits from the master’s degree) are required to take the Final Exam.

A Final Examination may be scheduled if:

  • A student passed a General Examination in a previous quarter
  • A Reading Committee is officially established with the Graduate School
  • The reading committee has read an entire draft of a dissertation and voting members of a supervisory committee agree that a candidate is prepared to take their Final Examination. Copies of the draft should be distributed to the reading committee members at least two weeks before the exam.

Items to complete

  • Registration is required the quarter the Final Examination is taken.
  • Arrange day, time, and location of exam and confirm with your committee members. A room may be reserved by your faculty adviser or the Graduate Advising Office.
  • Submit online Final Exam Request at least three weeks prior to the exam date.
  • Provide the following information to the Graduate Advisers at least one week before your exam: date, time, location, name of your Committee Chair(s), a brief abstract and title of your dissertation. The Graduate Advising Office will send an announcement to CEE faculty and graduate students about one week before the exam date.
  • Electronically submit your dissertation to the Graduate School by 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time the last day of the quarter. Learn more about electronic submission instructions, required forms, formatting guidelines and deadlines.

Who must be present at the Final Exam?

At least four members of a supervisory committee (including the Chair, Graduate School Representative, and one additional Graduate Faculty member) must be present. If a member cannot be physically present at the exam, the Graduate School allows for video conferencing.

The student may pay the $250 Graduate Registration Waiver Fee which allows a two-week extension from the end of the quarter to submit the dissertation. Qualifying students who pay this fee will graduate the next quarter. Consult the Graduate School for additional information and eligibility requirements.