All students are required to have an oral exam. Exceptions to use other formats (written, conference call) must be approved by the student's three-member Graduate Advisory Committee, and only if warranted by special circumstances.
The format of the exam will follow the format used for thesis student exams on campus, as much as is possible. The student can expect that a portion of the exam will cover general biology.
A three-person exam committee will comprise the student's academic advisor and two other biology graduate faculty, preferably with whom graduate courses have been taken. The student and advisor work together to select committee members.
Students must schedule an exam no later than the twelfth week of either the Fall or Spring semesters. The exam must also be completed no later than the second semester of the program of study.
Scheduling of exams during summer months is discouraged, but allowable, provided the committee members (exam members) are willing and able to assemble in the summer.
For students who cannot travel to campus, a distance learning facility or Skype conference arrangement is acceptable. The student and advisor will work out details about the student's location and environment (e.g., have a paper and sharpie, have a whiteboard, or have some other medium for drawing a diagram or figure).