Computer Science

PhD Qualifying Exam

A pencil filling out a multiple choice test.

The Basics

  • You must have an advisor before taking this exam.
  • Approach it seriously, prepare rigorously, and pass it on the first attempt.

Sample PhD Qualifying Exams

Codification of Procedures

  • The PhD Qualifying exam is composed of a Written exam, typically administered in the 4th week of the semester, followed by an Oral exam.
  • A student may attempt the Qualifying exam twice.
  • All students must attempt the Qualifying exam by their 3rd semester.
  • Upon passing the Written exam, the Research exam can be scheduled and must be taken in the same semester of passing the Written.
  • A failed Research exam does not require retaking of the Written portion.
  • A failed Written exam must be retaken and passed upon the next offering of the exam.
  • A failed Research exam must be retaken and passed by the end of the following semester.