UW Graduate School

Instructions for Virtual Doctoral Examinations

Departments may hold General and Final Examinations virtually.  These are minimum Graduate School requirements regarding virtual doctoral examinations. Individual departments may have stricter requirements and participants should contact the departments prior to organizing virtual examinations.

Graduate School Requirements

As stated in Graduate School Memorandum 13, General and Final Examinations must have four committee members present — the Chair, GSR and at least one additional Graduate Faculty member. If any member(s) and/or the student needs to participate at an exam but cannot be physically present, the Graduate School allows for virtual examinations if the following requirements are met:

  • The minimum number of required committee members must attend the examination in person or virtually.  If communication is broken during the examination and cannot be retrieved, thereby not fulfilling the minimum number of exam participants, the examination must be terminated and rescheduled to a later time/date.
  • In the case of a hybrid exam (i.e., some members participating by virtually and some members physically present), no committee member may be physically present with the student unless the GSR is also physically present.

If the above stated requirements are not met, the examination may be invalid and the Graduate School may require another examination.


For additional suggestions on video conferencing, please visit the Graduate School’s General Guidance page.

For information on videoconferencing services, contact Learning & Scholarly Technologies and Classroom Support Services.

Revised: January 2022