PhD Final Oral Examination

The examination should be conducted in accordance with FGSR protocols. These regulations can be found in detail in section 8.3.1 of the Grad Program Manual.

The name of the external examiner, his/her CV, and the completed Approve External Reader or Examiner for Final Doctoral Oral Examination form should be provided to the Department of Medicine 8 weeks in advance of the examination. Once approved by the department, this will be circulated to the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry for review.

The details of the examination must be provided to the FGSR on the Notice of Examining Committee & Examination Date form. Please inform the Graduate Program Advisor once the date, time, location, and committee members of the examination have been established (at least 6 weeks in advance of the examination).

Prior to circulating the thesis to the external examiner, the Preliminary Acceptance of Thesis form should be submitted to the Department of Medicine. This form can be obtained from the Graduate Program Advisor.

After the examination, the supervisor must report the results on the Thesis Approval/Program Completion form that is provided by the Graduate Program Advisor. The result must also be approved by the Graduate Coordinator or Department Chair.

Details of the conduct of the PhD Final Oral Examination as well as possible outcomes can be found in section 8.3.4 of the Grad Program Manual.

Examination Committee

The PhD Final Oral Examination Committee consists of the supervisory committee with at least two other members. In total, a minimum of 5 examining members is required. The Examination Committee will be comprised of at least three U of A faculty examiners and two arm's length examiners, including one external examiner/reader that is not from the University of Alberta. An external examiner may attend the final oral exam or participate via teleconference.

The Examination Chair is extra to the Examination Committee.

For further information on the structure of the Examining Committee please review section 8.2 of the Grad Program Manual.


It may be possible to receive funding for an external examiner. In order to request such funds, complete the Request for Funds for External Examiner Travel form provided by FGSR and submit to the Department of Medicine for processing.

In addition, the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry offers the Walter Mackenzie Visiting Speaker Fund. The purpose of this fund is to fund excellent speakers with broad appeal to the University of Alberta, whose visit generally includes interactions with trainees, potentially including a PhD oral exam, as well as other visits with University of Alberta Faculty and a research seminar open to the academic community. Applications must be received by the first Monday of every month. Applications for visitors attending in the same month as the evaluation cycle will not be considered. The Request for Funds for External Examiner Travel must be submitted with the application.