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Department Graduate Students - Examinations
Preliminary Examination for PhD Candidates
A formal preliminary examination is required for all Ph.D. students. The student is not eligible to take the exam if the current GPA is less than 3.0. The committee may administer the preliminary exam when the student is within approximately 6 credit hours of completing formal courses specified on the degree plan. The preliminary examination must be given no later than the semester following the completion of the formal course work on the degree plan and at least 15 weeks prior to the final defense of the dissertation.
Preliminary examinations will cover all areas within the scope of the student's doctoral program. They should involve a written exam from each advisory committee member followed by an oral exam administered by the committee as a whole. A majority affirmative vote by the committee is required for a student to pass the preliminary examination. Students who do not graduate within 4 years of their preliminary exam are required to retake it.
A student's committee and the Graduate School may grant permission for one re-examination to a student who failed the preliminary exam. A period of at least one semester, but no more than four semesters, must elapse before the retest may take place.
Although the final oral exam tends to focus on the thesis or dissertation, additional issues may be addressed as a follow-up to the preliminary exams (Ph.D. candidates) or as an outgrowth of the discussion of the student's research, coursework or professional activity. The final exam is to be scheduled only after the graduate committee agrees that the thesis, dissertation, or professional paper is ready for public defense. All students must schedule a final Thesis or Dissertation defense seminar in conjunction with the final oral exam (see Seminar section below).
A student must make formal degree application to the Registrar before the final oral exam can be scheduled. The degree application and fee must be submitted within the time frame indicated by the Registrar. A student must be enrolled in the University in the semester in which the final examination is taken. A student's GPA must be at least 3.00, and there must be no unabsolved grades (e.g., D, F, X or perhaps C; please see program of study section for more explanation) for any course on the program of study.
A majority affirmative vote by the graduate committee is required for a student to pass the final examination.Back to Top