A Ph.D. student in good standing must complete a qualifying exam during the summer semester following his/her first full academic year. The qualifying exam consists of satisfactory completion of a research proposition course in which students will be guided through development of a National Science Foundation-formatted research proposal and a final defense of the proposal in front of a committee composed of University graduate faculty.
Upon satisfactory completion of the graduate coursework, or within 6 hours of completion, a Ph.D. student must stand for a comprehensive examination. The student must present to his/her defense committee the results to date and planned research efforts through the completion of the Ph.D. program. This oral comprehensive examination will be comprised of a presentation by the student and a resulting question and answer session; it will provide a measure of the student’s research skills and research progress. The comprehensive examination must be passed at least six months prior to graduation. Successful completion of the comprehensive exam will result in the Ph.D. student’s being admitted to Ph.D. candidacy.