Oral Qualifying Examination For Advancement To Candidacy

All graduate students in the Ph.D. program are required to take an oral examination, called the Oral Qualifying Examination, for advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. Degree.

Students typically complete this examination between their seventh and twelfth quarter in residence and demonstrate that they have a sufficient understanding of their Ph.D. thesis problem. Any student who has not passed their oral exam by the end of the fourth year may be subject to academic probation or dismissal from the program.

The examining committee consists of the student’s faculty advisor, at least two other faculty members from Mathematics, and at least one faculty member from another discipline. The student, the student’s faculty advisor, and the Graduate Vice chair select the committee. The chair of the committee must be someone other than the student’s faculty advisor. The Graduate Division must approve the committee.

The committee decides on the topics for the examination, which should be broad enough to encompass a substantial body of knowledge in the area of the student’s interest. The written list of topics to be included in the examination, along with a short bibliography, is prepared by the student. A copy is given to each committee member, and a copy is put into the student’s permanent records. If the student fails the examination, a re-examination can be given within the next three months. Usually, the membership of the examining committee remains fixed.