INDS Ph.D.-specific Information

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UAF Photo by Todd Paris

Interdisciplinary Ph. D. Comprehensive Exam

  • The Ph.D. comprehensive exam should be conducted right after the student completed the coursework listed on the Graduate Study Plan.
  • The comprehensive exam consists of a written exam followed by an oral exam.
  • The oral exam requires an outside examiner appointed by the Graduate Dean.

The Ph.D. Thesis Defense

The Ph.D. thesis defense is to be conducted on the UAF campus. An Outside Examiner should be requested at least two weeks before the exam. The outside examiner is appointed by the Graduate School. Submit the Request for Outside Examiner Form to the Graduate School Office, 202 Eielson Building.

The thesis defense consists of two parts: a presentation of the thesis open to the public and an oral defense by the candidate answering probing questions from each committee members in a closed session.

The public presentation usually lasts for 45 minutes followed by a 10-minute questions from the audience.

The oral thesis defense is conducted by the candidate's advisory committee. Each committee member takes turn asking questions related to the thesis to probe the in-depth understanding surrounding the thesis research and the candidate's ability to defend her/his research. This usually lasts for one to two hours.

The outside examiner, representing the Graduate Dean, can ask any questions at anytime during the thesis defense. The responsibility of the outside examiner is to make sure that the thesis defense is conducted rigorously and fairly.

Cooperative Programs

In some cases, cooperative programs using specific courses from other universities may be developed before you have been admitted to graduate study at UAF.

Part of the application process must include an approved Graduate Study Plan (GSP) that includes the cooperative program.

You must complete a minimum of 12 semester credits in residence at UAF, in addition to thesis and research.

The following guidelines are for collaborative Ph.D. graduate studies across all UA academic units:

  1. There shall be at least four faculty members on the graduate advisory committee for each UAF Ph.D. student. At least two committee members shall be UAF faculty. One of the UAF committee members must be on a tenure-track appointment in a Ph.D. granting department. The committee shall be chaired or co-chaired by a UAF faculty.
  2. The graduate advisory committee and its chair and/or co-chairs must be approved by the program director and the graduate dean.
  3. UAF rules and regulations on graduate studies shall apply to all UAF graduate students, including those concurrently enrolled at UAA and UAS.
  4. The graduate advisory committee must meet at least once a year to update the Graduate Study Plan and to review the student's progress toward the degree. The annual progress report must be signed by all committee members and submitted to the UAF graduate dean.
  5. A comprehensive exam committee composed of the student's advisory committee and an additional member, if appointed by the graduate dean, will administer the Ph.D. comprehensive exam for each student.
  6. The Ph.D. thesis defense is to be conducted on the UAF campus.
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