Preliminary Exam FAQ

Q: When may I take the preliminary exam?
A: The preliminary examination may be taken no earlier than the semester in which the candidate completes the twenty-fourth hour of coursework required in the second stage of the PhD program.

Q: How do I notify the department that I plan to take the preliminary exam.
A: Each semester an email is sent to all graduate students asking who is planning to take the preliminary exam during the upcoming semester. You may respond to that email or send an email to at any time.

Q: How do I set up my doctoral committee?
A: At least two weeks prior to the date of your exam, please email the names of your committee members to The names will be submitted to the Graduate College for approval.

Q: May someone from off-campus be appointed to my committee?
A: Yes, but you must provide a brief description of the qualifications and justification for each non-Graduate College Faculty member being nominated to serve as a voting member of the committee. You must also provide a copy of the person's cv (electronically is preferred) as well.

Q: Are there any forms I need to worry about?
A: The Thesis Office will send letters of appointment to your committee. They will also send a Certificate of Result of Preliminary Examination for the Doctoral Committee. You will need to pick up this form from Staci Tankersley in 306 Talbot Lab the day before your exam. Your committee will need to indicate the results of the exam on the form and each member will need to sign it. The form must be returned to Staci as soon as possible after the exam.

Q: How do I reserve a room for my exam?
A: You may reserve the department conference rooms in Talbot Lab (319N, 319M, and 206N). For classrooms or other rooms on campus, please contact Laura Gerhold.

Q: Am I supposed to provide refreshments for the committee?
A: Most students do. The most common treats are coffee, donuts, cookies, pastries, etc.

Graduate Contacts

Ioannis Chasiotis   
Director of Graduate Studies

Jenna Russell

Jenna Russell
Graduate Programs Coordinator

Dung Quach Wisdom

Dung Quach Wisdom
Graduate Programs Advisor

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