Preliminary Exam

Timeline for Taking the Preliminary Examination

Your advisor must certify to the Director of Graduate Studies in writing that the written product on which the examination is based is ready no later than 21 days prior to the scheduled examination. At that point, the paper must be distributed to the examination committee. Failure to certify will mean that you may not take the preliminary exam during that calendar year and by implication, this puts your funding at risk. Failing to have your written work ready in time will result in failing the re-examination, and removal from the doctoral program.

Process When Preliminary Examination is Failed

If you fail your preliminary examination, your committee may decide that a second opportunity to take the exam is not warranted. In these cases, the committee will decide whether or not to award a terminal masters based on your coursework and the paper submitted for the exam. An opportunity may be offered for you to retake the preliminary exam. Graduate School rules and procedures govern whether retaking the exam is an option.

The timing for retaking the preliminary examination must be consistent with the final deadline for the successful defense of your prospectus by June 30th in the third year of your graduate study. If the option to retake the preliminary exam is granted, Graduate School rules and procedures govern the modalities of examination retake. If you fail your preliminary exam a second time, you will not be able to continue in the doctoral program. The committee will determine whether or not to award a terminal masters based on your coursework and the paper submitted for the second examination.