Graduate Board Oral Exam

The final requirement for the PhD is the Graduate Board Oral, which consists of a thesis defense before a faculty committee comprised of five members: two members must be from the Department of Mathematics, two members of the Hopkins faculty from other departments, and the fifth member can be from either inside or outside the Johns Hopkins community. An alternate from both inside and outside must also be listed, in case of last-minute defaults. Selection of the members of the GBO examining committee is the joint responsibility of the graduate program director and the thesis adviser.

The schedules the exam. Because of guidelines established by the Graduate Board, the process should be started at least three months in advance of the intended date of the GBO exam. A copy of the final dissertation draft should be given to each member of the committee two weeks before the date of the GBO exam.

Once the GBO exam has been passed, and suggested changes to the dissertation have been made, the department chair will certify to the Graduate Board that the student has completed all of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in mathematics. A copy of the student’s dissertation must be submitted to the Commercial Binding Office in the Milton S. Eisenhower Library.

At this point, the student is unofficially a PhD. The Graduate Board then certifies completion of the requirements, and the university confers degrees in May, August, and December of each year. In order for the degree to be conferred, the student must be in good financial standing with the university, not owing money for rent, registration, loans, parking fines, tuition, etc. Normally, the registrar will notify students of any problems before graduation, but with most systems, this is subject to error; students would be well advised to check with the registrar that there is no delinquency and respond quickly to any notice.