Overview of the comprehensive examination for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Agricultural and Environmental Plant Science.

This examination may be taken only after the Ph.D. student has demonstrated English competency, and after the student has completed a substantial amount of his/her required course work. Students are required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 basis) for graduate courses completed at this University at the time the comprehensive examination is taken.

The examination is officially scheduled and announced by the Dean of the Graduate School upon recommendation of the Ph.D. advisory committee. It will include both written and oral components and will be administered by the student's committee. A candidacy exam form should be completed in advance of the exam.

The written component, which should be completed within one week, will consist of questions prepared by each member of the Ph.D. advisory committee. To prepare for the exam, the student should meet well in advance with each committee member individually to seek broad guidance regarding potential areas of study. Committee members should then submit their specific exam questions to the chair (typically the student's advisor), who will distribute them to the student on the days of the exam. The student is to be allowed approximately one-half day to answer each committee member's questions.

The oral component will be an oral examination given by the Ph.D. advisory committee. The student will be expected to demonstrate a high degree of competence in his/her specialty, in related areas, and in the solution of research problems. A favorable vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the committee is required for passing. Based on the student's performance in the examination, the committee may recommend to the Dean of the Graduate School one of the following actions:

  • The student is passed, either with no reservations or subject to fulfillment of certain conditions.
  • The student will be re-examined at a later date.
  • The student is disapproved unconditionally for the degree.