Qualifying, Prelim, & Final Exams

Qualifying Examination

A qualifying examination is required of all students in the SEE and IE PhD programs. This examination serves as a screening device for selecting qualified doctoral candidates. In addition, the examination permits early identification of deficiencies of otherwise qualified candidates so that remedial action can be taken. Admission to PhD candidacy is based on the faculty's evaluation of the student's research potential, scholastic competence as evidenced by grades, and satisfactory performance on the PhD Qualifying examination. The examination will be offered at the beginning of the fall semester with retakes at the beginning of the spring semester.

Registering for the Qualifying Exam

Students seeking PhD candidacy must register their intention to take the qualifying exam with the Department during the last two weeks of May. To be permitted to take the exam all students must satisfy the following minimum requirements in the Qualifying Exam Document.

Results of the Qualifying Examination

The decision to pass or fail a student will be made by the graduate faculty of the Department following the Qualifying Exam and will be made on the basis of the score in the written Qualifying Exam, grades in formal courses, and the recommendation of the Thesis Advisor. A student who fails the Qualifying Exam may repeat the examination in the subsequent semester. A student who fails the examination twice will not be allowed to continue in the PhD program.

Preliminary Examination

The Preliminary Examination is intended to prove the student is making satisfactory progress toward the PhD and may be taken any time after successful completion of the Qualifying Examination. Prior to scheduling, the student must select a Thesis Committee in consultation with his/her advisor and submit a Request for Appointment of Doctoral Examination Committee at least 3 weeks prior to the exam and submit the Dissertaion Proposal, date, time, and location at least 1 week prior to the exam to the Graduate Programs Office. The Preliminary Examination will consist of a written Thesis Proposal and an oral presentation before the Thesis Committee. Passage of the Preliminary Examination will be determined based upon the vote of the Thesis Committee. A student who fails the Preliminary Examination must wait a minimum of six months before retaking the examination.

Final Examination

The Final Examination may be taken no earlier than six months after successful passing of the preliminary examination. Prior to scheduling, the student must select a Thesis Committee in consultation with his/her advisor and submit a Request for Appointment of Doctoral Examination Committee, abstract, vita, date, time, location, and dissertation title at least 3 weeks prior to the exam to the Graduate Programs Office. The student must submit their dissertation to their committee at least 2 weeks prior to te exam.