The qualifying exam should be completed by the end of the fall semester of the 3rd year or at the very latest by the end of the summer after the 3rd year. Before embarking on the qualifying exam, the student will complete first- and second-year research and clear all previous incomplete grades. All required graduate courses should be completed either before or during the semester when the qualifying exam takes place. The qualifying exam should be evaluated by the committee of 3 people who are serving as an Advisory Committee for a student PLUS 2 additional members, which can be from the same program or other Departmental/External faculty from the student's field of specialization and other supporting fields. Comments on the written part of the qualifying exam will be released to the student in writing.
In consultation with the student's Advisory Committee, a student will choose one of the following options for the Qualifying Exam- 1) Four question-based essays, covering core areas within a concentration; 2) NRSA proposal; or, 3) Review paper suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. In each case, there will also be an oral component to the qualifying exam.