Qualifying Examination


PhD students who enter the program with a General Credit transfer from a primary Master’s degree take the Qualifying Exam, consistent with university policy.

Required examinations, including the Qualifying Exam, not be scheduled during University holidays, including Fall, Winter, and Spring Break. Note that most faculty are on a 9-month schedule so it is challenging to schedule an exam over the summer months.

Qualifying Examination

The Qualifying Examination determines the student’s potential for completing doctoral study. Successful completion of the examination signifies the student’s potential and the faculty’s commitment to provide scholarly resources needed to complete continuing course work and the dissertation.

Students who do not take the Qualifying Exam and those who do not successfully pass the Qualifying Exam are not considered to be in good academic standing and may not continue in the doctoral program.


The Graduate Group has developed a Qualifying Exam Toolkit to help assist students in preparing for the examination.

Samples of published qualifying exams.