MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

General Guide for Using WebEx

Familiarize yourself with WebEx:

GSBS website info

Short video on WebEx

Create an account by accessing your institutional site:



Use either Chrome or Firefox, sign in and follow the on-screen prompts. Allow WebEx to use your webcam and mic when prompted. You may be asked to install a small WebEx application.

Customize your profile – upload your photo.

Practice by attending a meeting with someone who knows about WebEx. The following GSBS staff will be happy to practice with you – just write to one of them to set up a time to practice:

Elisabeth Lindheim

Amanda Williamson

Carolyn Agurcia-Parker

Karen Weinberg

Tips for Holding a Candidacy Exam via WebEx

If you are working remotely, make sure that you have a stable high-speed internet connection.

Mute your mics and video until you need to speak to lessen the distraction for other participants.

Prior to the exam, the student should make a list of the participants' contact information (names, email addresses and phone numbers) including the student and share it with all members of the committee. Keep it handy on the day of the exam in case participants do not join the meeting (a reminder may be needed).

All participants, but especially the student and Examining Committee Chair, should feel comfortable using WebEx. Practice with each other (or one of the GSBS staff members listed above) before the meeting.

Ideally, all participants should have a brief online meeting before the actual exam to ensure that connections can be made, speakers can be heard, and the PowerPoint can be shared.

Individuals who do not have access to a computer may choose to attend by calling the toll-free number and entering the code associated with the meeting invitation (this info will be included in the meeting calendar invitation). The slides should be sent to them beforehand so that they can follow along during the meeting. 

Meeting Format

Once the date and time are set for the exam, the student’s Exam Committee Chair (or another committee member who may be more familiar with WebEx) will schedule the meeting from the WebEx website and invite participants. The Chair (or experienced committee member) will “host” the exam.  It is also possible for the student to do the work of scheduling the meeting (which makes the student the host) and later change the role of the Chair to host. To do so, just right click on the name of the Chair in the list of participants, choose "Change Role" and change to "Host".  Roles may be switched during the meeting.   

To maximize safety, no participants in the meeting should be in the same room.

At the start of the meeting, the host should remind the participants that when they are not speaking, they need to mute their mics and videos to lessen distractions (this is important!).

When it is time for the student to present, WebEx allows the student to easily share the slide presentation. Important: To be heard clearly, the student must present the slides while sitting in front of the computer, not while standing next to a live slide presentation that is some distance from the computer. It is best to share all slides with attendees through the WebEx app.

At a candidacy exam, it is very common for the committee to ask the student to write or draw something on the board to answer a question. The best and easiest way to do this would be to set up the computer in a conference room with a whiteboard behind the student. Alternatively, the student could use a large drawing pad and hold it up to the camera. It is also possible to draw with the mouse on a blank slide using the annotate function that appears in PowerPoint when sharing.

At the end of the private portion of the exam when the student would normally be asked to leave the room, the student will exit the meeting. When the committee is ready for the student to rejoin the meeting, the Examining Committee chair will text the student. 

Results Forms

Please follow the steps below:

Before the exam, the student will type the preliminary required information into the fillable-PDF results and evaluation forms and send the forms to the Chair.

After the exam, the Chair will complete then email the result and evaluation forms to and copy all members of the Examining Committee and the student. In the email, each committee member will be asked to confirm their agreement with the candiacy exam result by sending a reply-all email stating "OK" or "I approve".

Questions? Contact Dr. Bill Mattox