Qualifying (Comprehensive) Examination
Each student must pass the Comprehensive Examination within two years of enrolling in the program. This examination will cover the topics covered in the core courses ATM~5515, ATM~5640, and ATM~5680. It will be given (when requested) in the fall semester of each year. Each student who intends to sit for the Qualifying Examination must declare that intention by the end of the second week of classes in the term the exam is to be taken. Each examination will be administered by a committee of four faculty members who will decide whether or not each student passes; a student will pass if at least three committee members vote pass. Passing the Comprehensive Examination elevates the student to the status of Doctoral Candidate. After the examination has been taken and graded, the student and the student's Advisory Committee will meet to orally review the exam. Students who do not pass the Qualifying Examination will be allowed a second attempt. Students who do not pass the exam on the second attempt are dropped from the program and may apply to a suitable M.S. program (e.g., within their home department).
Preliminary Examination (Research Proposal Defense)
This is a written and oral description and defense of the research plan made by the student to his/her Advisory Committee. The proposal should be made within one year of achieving Doctoral Candidacy. The student's advisory committee must unanimously agree that the research plan is acceptable. The Chairperson will be notified of the outcome of the Dissertation Proposal. The oral proposal is open to the University community.
Doctoral Dissertation and Final Oral Examination
The research conducted by the student will be presented to the Advisory Committee as a written dissertation. An oral presentation of that dissertation will be made following the completion of the written work. The dissertation is acceptable if the advisor and at least three of the remaining four members of the Advisory Committee concur on its acceptance. The oral defense is open to the University community.