Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Graduate School Policies
Scheduling Examinations

Scheduling Examinations:

Examinations required by Graduate Policies and Procedures (Preliminary and Final Examinations), are scheduled through the Graduate School.

Requests to schedule examinations must include the time, date, building and room number, title of dissertation or thesis, and the names and signatures of the Examining Committee. These requests are due in the Graduate School at least two weeks before the examination date requested. Notification of the approval of the examination scheduling will be sent electronically to the student and all members of the Examining Committee. The examination should not be conducted if the Advisor has not received notification that the examination has been scheduled. The examination result should be entered in the Electronic Signature System within 2 days after the examination, with each committee member signifying whether the exam performance was Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.

Preliminary examinations and non-thesis final examinations can be scheduled through the last day of exams for the term. Final examinations for master's thesis and doctoral students must be scheduled early enough in the term to meet the final ETD submission date.

Before filing the request for scheduling an examination, the student's record should be reviewed by the department to make sure that the Plan of Study has been filed and approved and that there are no problems. The Graduate Program Director's signature on the form is the departmental verification that the Plan of Study has been examined and that it is appropriate for the student to schedule the examination.

For Preliminary Examinations, which commonly are comprehensive examinations of the doctoral coursework, typically students complete the formal coursework on the Plan of Study prior to taking the exam. If a student has coursework remaining to be taken, the department should determine whether or not it is appropriate for the student to take the examination before all the graded coursework on the Plan of Study is completed. Students may take the Preliminary Examination despite having some grade problems on the Plan of Study (e.g., Incompletes, grades <C- that require retaking a course) but the student's Advisory Committee should address whether this will put the student at a disadvantage on the exam. If the  decision is to schedule the exam in a case like this, a note addressing the committee's decision to move forward with the exam should accompanying the exam request. By the end of the degree, all grades on the Plan of Study must be a C- or higher and the Plan of Study and overall GPA must be 3.0 or higher.

For scheduling of the Final Examination, Thesis Master's and Ph.D. students must have the thesis/dissertation ready for defense (as judged by Advisory Committee members having read the document and signed the examination scheduling request) and the student must be able to complete all other degree requirements within the semester when the examination is held:  all coursework on the Plan of Study will need to be completed with grades of C- or higher and both the Plan of Study GPA and the overall GPA must be a 3.0 or higher by the end of the semester. Because some of the problem situations with deficient grades or credits require retaking courses or adding credits, the Plan of Study should be examined at the beginning of the semester in which a student plans to take the Final Examination.

For Non-thesis Master's students, scheduling of the Final Examination requires that the student will be able to complete any Project and Report or Independent Study requirements, complete all coursework on the Plan of Study with grades of C- or higher and attain a Plan of Study and overall GPA of 3.0 or higher by the end of the semester.

Students wishing to schedule the Final Examination, who have not been enrolled at Virginia Tech for more than a year, need to file for Readmission and allow enough time for any problems to be resolved so they can be Readmitted prior to the 2 week period needed for Exam scheduling. The minimum enrollment is 3 cr.

For enrollment requirements when taking a Final Examination, see below.

Required examinations are administered during regular academic semesters or sessions, i.e., between the first day of classes for a given semester or session and ending with the last official day for examinations. Permission to schedule an examination in the time between sessions may be granted if an explanation of special circumstances requiring that scheduling is made to the Dean's office of the Graduate School by the student's Advisor. Scheduling of examinations between semesters/terms does not alter ETD submission or approval deadlines.