PhD Examination Format

All PhD students will take an oral exam followed by the ten day written paper.

The oral examination will be approximately two hours in length. After successful completion of this portion, the student begins the written portion, usually beginning on the Friday after the oral examination is completed.  The topic of the paper, which is assigned by the committee, is designed to assist students with formulating concepts and methods for their dissertations. 

The goal of the faculty in making this change is to compel students to consider potential dissertation topics earlier in their graduate educations.

A student who fails a portion of the qualifying exams may take one or both portions again within a year.