Academics

Qualifying Examination

Requirements and Timing of the Qualifying Exam

  1. Satisfactory completion of all required courses for the program.
  2. The examination for admission to Ph.D. candidacy should take place no later than the end of the second year. Students will submit a "non-thesis proposal" or a "thesis proposal", followed by an oral defense of the proposal.

Format of the Qualifying Exam

The qualifying examination should take place no later than the end of the second year. Students will submit a “non-thesis or thesis proposal”, followed by an oral defense of the proposal.

  1. Second-year students should submit a complete qualifying examination application by 5:00 PM on the first Friday of the 2nd year spring semester. The application should include the following information:
    • The title of their doctoral thesis research and the title & abstract of their master’s thesis.
    • All abstracts will be evaluated first by a faculty panel. If the abstract is unsatisfactory, the students should submit another abstract within three weeks. If the second abstract is still unsatisfactory, the student is considered to have failed his/her first qualifying examination, and will need to submit a new qualifying examination application in the following semester (i.e. before 5:00 PM on the first Friday of the 3rd year fall semester).
  2. Upon approval of your abstract, six copies of the FULL proposal should be submitted to the TIGP/MMP Office two weeks before your scheduled oral presentation to the Qualifying Examination Committee. Please note that there will be NO EXCEPTIONS to this deadline. Students who do not turn in their full proposal on time will not be permitted to take the oral part of the examination and will be given a failed grade for their first qualifying examination. The proposal should be completed independently by the student. Thesis advisors can provide assistance, but cannot directly participate in the writing process. The oral presentation is usually scheduled around the end of the second year. It consists of 40 – 45 minutes of oral presentation by the student, followed by questions from the members of the Qualifying Examination Committee.
Qualifying Examination Timetable in a glimpse:
Items Deadlines
1. Submit a qualifying examination application, including the title and abstract of your proposal Before 5:00 PM on the first Friday of every semester.
2. Evaluation of your abstract Within 3 weeks after the school starts
3. Submit a FULL proposal to the TIGP/MMP office Two weeks before your scheduled oral presentation
4. Oral presentation Before the end of the 2nd year

Qualifying Examination Committee

The Curricular Committee and the Student Affairs Committee will select five to seven intra- and extramural experts as members of the Qualifying Examination Committee and appoint one of the members as the committee chair. Thesis advisors cannot be included in the Committee.

Standards for passing the Qualifying Examination

  1. Over half (including half) of all attending committee members vote to pass.
  2. AND
  3. The students must receive an average of at least 70 (out of 100 points) on the qualifying examination.