Examination Committee Membership

See Chapter IV, heading Doctor of Philosophy, subheading Program Regulations

The student’s Advisor is responsible for establishing the Examination Committee. It is important that the student does not directly contact the External Examiner. Once the student has an initial draft of the thesis ready for evaluation by their Advisory Committee, the advisor should begin establishing the Examination Committee.

1. They should forward a list of three potential External Examiners to the Graduate Secretary who will verify that the examiners are not currently on record with graduate studies (i.e., are not already taking part in the University of Guelph committees).

2. Provided that the Graduate Secretary and Advisor cannot identify any conflicts of interest, the Advisor will informally contact externals, verifying with them their availability, and that they are not planning to be serve on any other University of Guelph committees before the Final Oral Examination.

3. The Advisor will then identify the remaining committee members, verifying that each does not have any joint projects with the External Examiner.

4. The full list of proposed Examination Committee members should then be forwarded to the Department Chair (CC’ing the Graduate Program Assistant), for formal approval.

5. Once the External Examiner has been formally approved, the Advisor will obtain the examiners address, phone number, email address, availability for the defense over several weeks, and whether they are planning to attend the Final Oral Examination in person or by video conference.

**All members of the Examination Committee must receive a copy of the final draft of the PhD Thesis (i.e., which include the corrections requested by the Advisory Committee) at least one month (four weeks) before the date of the PhD Thesis Public Lecture & Examination.

Look for "Area-specific examination committee creation" below CONTENTS for area-specific guidance if it exists. 

Area-specific Examination Committee Membership NACS PHD

The Final Oral Examination Committee will consist of five members:

- A member of the regular graduate faculty who is not a member of the advisory committee appointed to act as chair by the department chair on behalf of the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies)

- The external examiner

- A member of the regular graduate faculty, who is not a member of the advisory committee

- Normally, the candidate's Advisor is one of the two members that joint he Examination Committee. 

External PhD Examiner

- The Department Chair appoints an External Examiner from outside the university for each PhD Thesis, on behalf of the Dean of Graduate Studies, and in consultation with the Advisor. The External Examiner must be a recognized expert in the subject of the thesis.

- The External Examiner must not have been involved in joint projects with the Advisor, student, or other committee members in the last 5 years, must not have served as an Advisor of the student's Advisor, must not have been a student or a member of the graduate faculty at the university in the last 5 years, and must not have served as an External Examiner at the university within the last 3 years. The External Examiner must also have had no direct connection with the student or the student's research project. The Board of Graduate Studies takes assurance of the independence of the External Examiner as a very serious matter.

- The External Examiner is required to submit a written appraisal of the PhD Thesis to the Chair of the Department at least seven days before the Final Oral Examination. The External Examiner is expected to attend the oral examination (in person or by video/phone conference) and assist in evaluating all aspects of the candidate’s performance.