When the dissertation is complete, it must be defended in an oral dissertation exam, at which the student will be expected to give a short public exposition of the results of the thesis, and to satisfactorily answer questions about the thesis and related areas.
The Final Dissertation Exam Committee is appointed by the Graduate Group Chair after consultation with the student, and consists of three or more faculty members, at least one of whom is a full member of the AMCS graduate group, and at least one of whom is from the area of specialization of the thesis. It will normally include the Thesis committee appointed at the time of the student's Ph.D. Oral Exam. All AMCS faculty are to be invited to attend the Final Disseration Exam, however only those appointed by the Graduate Group Chair are voting members of the Exam Committee.
This exam must be successfully completed no later than six years after entering the graduate program. It should occur no later than the end of the third academic year after admission to Ph.D. candidacy. In exceptional situations, the Graduate Group Chair may, after consultation with the Graduate Advising Committee, provide an extension.