3.6-Ph.D. Qualifying Examinations

(3.6) Ph.D. Qualifying Examinations

The Qualifying Exam (also referred to as the candidacy exam) is intended to establish that the student has mastered the subject matter in the major and minor areas, and has acquired the background needed to successfully complete the Ph.D. dissertation. Knowledge of the minor areas may be established by meeting a GPA requirement. The student’s knowledge of the major area, and other areas needed for dissertation research as determined by the student’s advisor and committee, is established through examination or through the completion of a research assignment (RUME option). The student’s ability to complete a thesis is established by the writing and presentation of a dissertation prospectus that demonstrates a suitable dissertation subject, knowledge of relevant literature, and a clear plan for the dissertation research.

In the minor areas, the student must complete the two courses in each of two minor areas with a GPA of at least 3.5. If a student fails to meet the GPA requirement on one or both of the minor area(s), a written examination for the area(s) will be given as Part 3 of the Qualifying Exam (see below).

The Qualifying Exam consists of three parts:

PART 1: Students whose dissertation area is represented by one of the subject areas in groups A and B above, take a three-hour written examination over the major area, followed by an oral exam. Students whose dissertation area is Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education will be provided by their committee with a research assignment, based on content areas and research techniques in the field, to be completed over a four-week period. The results will be presented in written form and orally examined by the student’s committee.

PART 2: Presentation of a dissertation prospectus.

PART 3: This part is needed only when the student fails to meet the GPA requirement on one or both of the minor areas. One three-hour written examination is taken over each minor area in which the student fails to meet the GPA requirement.