dha College of Design
Design, Housing, and Apparel


Exam Information



Master's Students


There are no preliminary written or oral examinations for the Master’s Plan A or Plan B degree in the Design Graduate Program.  Plan A students present their final thesis to their committee; Plan B students present their final project to their committee.




Master of Fine Arts, Graphic Design Track:  Final Oral Examination


The final oral examination covers the major field and the minor or related fields, and may include any work fundamental to these fields.  Students should make the project available to the examining committee for its review well in advance of the final examination.  The final oral examination is conducted as a closed examination, attended by only the student and the examining committee.  All committee members must be present; the absence of any member results in an invalid examination.




PhD Students


Preliminary Written Exam:


The Preliminary Written Examination is a comprehensive examination in which students demonstrate the ability to integrate ideas and produce original thought, and to demonstrate the potential to contribute to scholarship in their field of study.  Although coursework on the degree program is approved and reviewed by the committee as they develop the questions for the exam, students are not retested on course content.  Students are expected to integrate and build on knowledge acquired from coursework.  The committee will notify the student of the results of the exam, as well as the Graduate Program Coordinator, who will enter the results online to the Graduate School.


Preliminary Written Examination General Information


Preliminary Written Examination Scheduling Request Form


Prelimary Written Exam sample questions:


Apparel Studies


Graphic Design


Housing Studies


Interior Design



Preliminary Oral and Final Oral Exams:


Please contact Kathy Guiney, kguiney@umn.edu, to schedule a room for the exam (please also copy Liz Goebel on the request). Include the type of exam, your track, the date, times, room preferences, and any special equipment needs.  For the final defense, please also include your thesis/dissertation title.  You are responsible for notifying your committee of the time and place of the exam.



IMPORTANT: You must also schedule your oral exam with GSSP at least one week prior to the exam date (see link below).  If you do not schedule through GSSP, you will not have the forms you need for your committee to sign at the completion of the exam.


Schedule Preliminary Oral Examination

Schedule Final Oral Examination  (also see degree completion)

Dissertation Support Group, through Student Counseling Services


Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

[directions and maps]

Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

[directions and maps]