Students are all required to take either a written comprehensive examination or an oral examination.

Within 24 months prior to the date of graduation, a comprehensive (written and/or oral) examination is (are) required to cover the student’s approved program of study, as specified by the appropriate departments. The comprehensive examination in the minor field(s) (written and/or oral) may be waived subject to the approval of the minor department(s) provided all grades in the minor department are at least a B or pass.

If an oral examination is required, the examining committee, approved by the Office of Graduate Studies on recommendation of the major department, will consist of at least three members representing the major department and the minor department (if applicable).


Examining Committee

If the degree is being earned under Option I without a final oral examination, the thesis must be approved in writing by a Graduate Faculty member in addition to the major adviser. Note: For an oral examination to be waived, the student must have completed a written examination within the 24 month time requirement. All professors on the examining committee must either be on the Graduate Faculty, or be non-Graduate Faculty approved to perform specified Graduate Faculty duties.

If a member of the examining committee other than the chair leaves the employ of the University, or retires, a replacement should be appointed. In certain circumstances where a special and needed continuing expertise is involved and the faculty member is willing to continue serving, the departing faculty member may continue as a member or co-chair of the committee, with approval of the department Graduate Committee and the UNL Dean of Graduate Studies.

In the event that members of an oral examining committee are not unanimous regarding passing a Candidate, the student is to be approved for the degree if only one examiner dissents. The dissenting member of the committee will be expected to file a letter of explanation in the Office of Graduate Studies.

If a student fails to pass the final oral or written examination for an advanced degree, the committee must file a report on the failure in the Office of Graduate Studies and indicate what the student must do before taking another examination. Another examination may not be held during the same semester or the same summer session in which the student failed.