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Ph.D. Qualifying Examination

Each student enrolled in the ECE Ph.D. program is required to pass the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination.  The purpose of the examination is to evaluate the ability of the student to conduct independent research. The examination will be administered by the student’s Ph.D. dissertation committee. The material to be examined is a specific research topic within the student’s general area of research. This topic is to be determined jointly by the student and their Ph.D. advisor(s).  A document focusing on the selected topic must be written by the student and both submitted to and approved by the Ph.D. dissertation committee prior to the examination. The examination consists of an oral presentation by the student on their selected research topic, given to their Ph.D. dissertation committee. The possible outcomes of the examination are pass or fail. A student who fails the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination in the first attempt must retake and pass the examination before the end of the semester following the semester in which their first attempt was made. Failure on the second attempt will result in the student being dismissed from the Ph.D. program. A minimum of two months must pass before the student can undergo the second examination.

Students attempting the examination must complete the Qualifying Examination Signup Form and turn it in to the Student Services Program Coordinator for the Graduate Program. 

The registration form is a fillable PDF. However, you must save the form on your computer first, then enter your information and save it again in order for the text to save.

The deadline for submitting this form for a first attempt is three weeks following the first day of classes of the student’s final semester of eligibility for the Qualifying Examination. If the examination is taken earlier than the final semester of eligibility, then the Qualifying Examination Signup Form must be completed and turned in to the Student Services Program Coordinator for the Graduate Program at least one week before the date of the examination.  Students are required to have a Ph.D. GS-2 form approved at the time the Qualifying Examination Signup Form is submitted (this establishes the Ph.D. dissertation committee). The examination must be completed at least two weeks prior to the last day of classes in the semester in which it is attempted.

Additional information about the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination may be found in the Graduate Program Handbook.

For additional information about the exam, please contact Jennifer Gooch.