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Student Virtual and Teleconference Participation in Hearings

The GSE employs a hearing process for student milestones as a means of providing a venue for formative and summative assessment of students’ progress. As a result, these meetings are of vital importance to students’ progress. The fundamental structure of these hearings involves students’ presenting research and hearing from informed faculty about ways to improve the quality and impact of the research. Ultimately, these meetings require the full participation of faculty and students.

In recognition of the benefits and limitations of the digital age, we acknowledge the value and need of participating via digital means (e.g. Videoconference/Teleconference). We encourage full participation, which involves both students and faculty being physically present in the same room for a hearing. However, under extenuating circumstances we will honor the use of digital meeting forums such as videoconferences and teleconferences as an acceptable form for participation in hearings. This is a secondary option to the preferred in-person hearing format for students. The notes below, highlight the process of earning approval and scheduling a meeting using digital means:

STEP 1: Securing Approval

The primary decision to allow for the use of digital conferencing is that of the student’s academic advisor. As a result, the student must acquire written approval from their primary advisor to host the virtual meeting instead of the traditional in-person hearing. This written approval should include the student’s rationale for missing the in-person hearing and must be accompanied an e-mail from the advisor documenting their approval. Both documents must be submitted to the Doctoral Programs Officer, Jeremy Edwards (

STEP 2: Approval From The Area Chair

Prior to hosting the videoconference, the student must share the approval documents from their advisor with their area chair for final approval. Upon receiving and email of approval from the area chair, the student is cleared to attend their hearing in digital form. These hearings include QP Hearings and Dissertation Proposals. They do not include University Oral Exams (i.e. Dissertation Defenses), as University policy stipulates that the primary adviser, the student, and the out-of-department chairperson must be present and may not participate virtually (see

STEP 3: Hosting the Video Conference

The videoconferencing meeting is to be held according to area rules and all corresponding materials must be completed as outlined in the doctoral handbook.

Contact us

PhD students, please contact

Photo of Jeremy Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Associate Director of Degree Programs

MA POLS and MA/PP students, please contact

Wesley Horng
Wesley Horng
Associate Director of Admissions & Academic Affairs

EDS, ICE/IEPA, Individually Designed, LDT, MA/JD, MA/MBA students, please contact

Photo of Caroline Stasulat
Caroline Stasulat
Associate Director of Degree Programs
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