Possibly Paranoid but Been There Before writes...
I have a dilemma. I got into the MFA Dramatic Writing program at NYU.
There, the final, dissertation play is presented as a reading before an external examiner drawn from the professional theatre community and not formally affiliated with NYU. This professional may specify corrections to the script that MUST be made before the dissertation passes.
I'm not a neophyte playwright: I have regular one-act productions in big cities in three countries; a full-length commission to be produced next year; two monetary awards; a fully-funded one-week residency a few years back; and a permanent lectureship from which I will be on leave whilst studying for the MFA, which I need for my department's profile.
If this examiner hates my play and I can't make the corrections on time, I will fail the dissertation.
Is this examination policy so risky that I should turn down my offer?
It sounds really strange to me, PPBBTB. Changes that you HAVE to make? My sense is this: perhaps it's like the creative dissertation in fiction or poetry etc.. Your advisor will not let you defend it until it's up to snuff. That doesn't mean that your changes will be his or her changes, they'll be your own. The advisor or this examiner in this case will simply say whether the work is the best it can be.
This is all speculation on my part. If I were you: I'd contact two current students and ask if this is really the case. Ask if this is a problem for current or past students. If it's a serious problem for others, then I'd consider saying no to the program. My guess though: this is overblown. The examiner is there for guidance. And, it sounds like you've had a lot of success already. My sense is that the chances are low that this will be a problem for you.