Doctoral Qualifying Examination

Doctoral candidates are required to pass a qualifying examination. This examination is offered twice an academic year: one in the Fall semester, another in the Spring semester.

Definition of Qualifier Exam

This is an exam to evaluate whether doctoral students, on completion of two semesters of courses, should continue with PhD research.

Time of Qualifier Exam

In October , i.e., after the completion of the first year for PhD students.

Format of Qualifying Exam

At the exam, students should give a 10-minute presentation on their research, followed by 50 minutes of questions and answers by the exam committee composed of three members of the EEE department, who represent three areas of the department.

The candidate will be assessed on his/her fundamental knowledge of the topics and also clarity of presentation.

Outcome of the Exam

Pass; Fail; Conditional Pass (Conditional Pass students will be given one more chance to retake the exam in the same format at the end of the Fall semester to the thesis committee of three faculty members).

Evaluation Processes

The committee will meet after the exam and discuss the final decision for the student.

Advisor Involvement in Qualifier Exam

  • Advisor should have the opportunity to provide general comments on the overall 
contents and research directions 

  • Students are encouraged to have practice talks with his/her peers and group members. 

  • Student needs at least 20 credits (2 semesters) of course work (i.e., credits from research do not count) and have taken at least 2 courses taught by EAEE faculty members that are not his direct advisor.


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