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Examinations

General Scheduling Guidelines

  1. Student meets with the dissertation advisor to ensure that all the requirements for the examination have been met, and to arrange possible dates and place of the examination.
  2. Student contacts each member of the committee and arranges a convenient date and time for the examination.
  3. Student contacts Graduate Programs Coordinator with date, time, place, and list of committee members
  4. Student prepares summary of his or her records and appropriate materials for the examination.
  5. The dissertation advisor submits the examination results to the Graduate Programs Coordinator in writing immediately following the examination. In the case of the comprehensive examination, the dissertation advisor also returns the completed Graduate School report form.

Assessment of English Competency

(see Assessment of English Competency and Ph.D. Candidacy exams form)

  1. Objective:

    To determine if the student can demonstrate a satisfactory level of competence in the use of the English language, including reading, writing, and speaking.

  2. Scheduling:

    This assessment should be scheduled in conjunction with the candidacy examination, and should be completed by the third semester – and preferably early during the second semester.

  3. Procedure of the examination:
    1. A candidate will prepare a written summary of a journal article selected by the student's advisor. The summary will be submitted to the examining committee one week before the oral examination date.
    2. The oral assessment will occur at the beginning of the candidacy examination.
    3. The student makes a 15-minute oral presentation of the written summary during the examination period. Each member of the committee will be asked to evaluate the candidate's writing and speaking competency.
    4. The outcome of the assessment will be reported to the Graduate Programs Coordinator for transmission to the Graduate School.
    5. Alternatively, a student in agreement with his/her advisor may elect to forego the assessment and pursue a remedial work plan.
  4. Evaluation of English competency performance:
    1. Satisfactory
    2. Unsatisfactory (see items e and f, following)
  5. Reporting results:

    The dissertation advisor submits the assessment results to the Graduate Programs Coordinator in writing immediately following the examination.

  6. Improvement of English competency:
    1. Students with English deficiencies will schedule remedial undergraduate courses as soon as possible after the candidacy examination. Advanced (400 and 500-level) courses may be taken when convenient, but must be completed before the comprehensive examination is scheduled.
    2. The choice of appropriate remedial and advanced courses will be made by the student's dissertation advisor and advisory committee.
  7. The assessment of English competency must be satisfactorily completed before the comprehensive examination is scheduled.

Candidacy Examination

(see Assessment of English Competency and Ph.D. Candidacy exams form)

  1. Objective: To determine if the student is qualified in terms of basic intellect, attitude, and previous training to successfully pursue a Ph.D. program.
  2. Scheduling:
    1. The candidacy examination may be taken after at least 18 credits have been earned beyond the baccalaureate. This means that most Ph.D. students entering the program with an M.S. degree may schedule their candidacy examination very early on. It would not be unreasonable to schedule the candidacy exam early in the second semester.
    2. The candidacy examination should be completed as soon as feasible, but must be taken within three semesters (summer sessions do not count) of entry into the doctoral program.
  3. Procedure of the examination:
    1. An oral examination will be administered by the prospective thesis committee. The thesis advisor will be responsible for choosing the individual committee members for the exam. One member of the Graduate Program Committee will also attend each candidacy exam to monitor procedure and content. At least four faculty members must be present, including the advisor and Graduate Program Committee member. The target time for the examination (including Assessment of English Competency) is 2-2.5 hours, with time allocated approximately equally among participating faculty. No more than one hour of questions should relate to the journal article used in the Assessment of English Competency. Additional topics for questions should be relevant to the student’s program. At the end of the questioning period, each committee member will be asked to rate the candidate's performance.
    2. At the discretion of the committee or request of the student, a written examination may be given in addition to an oral examination.
    3. Candidates must be registered for the semester (excluding summer session) in which the candidacy examination is taken. Candidates should also prepare a packet consisting of undergraduate and graduate transcripts, GRE scores, abstracts of M.S. thesis and any publications, and goal statement from the admissions application. This packet should be distributed to the examining committee members one week before the exam date. Additional questions concerning the examination should be directed to the thesis advisor or the Chair of the Graduate Programs Committee.
  4. Evaluation of candidacy exam performance:
    1. Pass without reservation.
    2. Fail, with an opportunity to retake the examination at a later date. No more than one retake, at a date no later than one month following the first examination, will be allowed.
    3. Fail without reservation.
  5. Reporting results:

    The Graduate Programs Committee chair submits the Candidacy examination results to the Graduate Programs Coordinator in writing immediately following the examination.