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The Qualifying Examination (QE) must be completed within the first three regular academic semesters (i.e. not including summer and winter sessions) after admission to the Ph.D. program. In the event that the student does not successfully complete this requirement, the student has the option to pursue a Masters degree (if one has not already been obtained) or to leave the program. Specifics of the QE format and schedule follow:
The QE is administered in two parts:
Failure of either portion of the QE
constitutes failure of the exam. In the event that a student fails the
QE on the first attempt, another attempt may be made in the next
academic semester. No further attempts, however, may be made in the
event of a second failure.
QE content will be focused on a limited set of primary source materials (texts, notes) identified to the student by the Graduate Studies Committee within the semester immediately prior to that in which the student will take the QE.
The Comprehensive Examination is comprised of two parts:
Both parts of the examination must be passed satisfactorily in order to pass the entire examination.
1. Written Examination
Satisfactory completion of the MSE Qualifying Examination written component satisfies the written component requirement for the Comprehensive Examination.
2. Oral Examination
When the written portions of the Comprehensive Examination (in the major and in the minor fields) have been completed satisfactorily and when the student is ready to take the Oral Examination, the Department will officially acknowledge successful completion of the written Comprehensive Examination requirements.
The student will work with the MSE academic programs office to notify the Graduate College and request a date for the Oral Examination. The oral portion of the examination must be taken within 6 months of departmental acknowledgement as required by the Graduate College. The Oral Examination shall be taken no later than 3 months before completion of the dissertation and Final Examination. It should be taken as soon as the student has met all the requirements of the written portions covering the minor field.
The Oral Examination will include a brief presentation reporting on progress on the dissertation topic. The presentation will be followed by a question period covering general MSE topics and concepts. The Oral Examination is not intended as an opportunity for questioning regarding student dissertation work.
The members of the Oral Examination Committee will be chosen by the candidate.