Environmental Engineering

Department of Environmental Engineering

Ph. D. Qualifying Exam

Environmental Engineering Ph. D. Qualifying Examination Procedures

  1. The purpose of this Qualifying Examination (QE) is to evaluate Ph.D. students after they have completed the first 12 credit hours and prior to completing the first 30 credit hours of doctoral level course work in the Ph.D. program, while maintaining a good standing status. All students pursuing the Ph.D. degree must take this QE. A student who passes the QE will subsequently be referred to as a Ph.D. candidate.
  2. Any Ph.D. student who is eligible to take this QE must notify his/her Advisor. The student will select the four Ph.D. level core courses for taking the QE by consulting his/her Advisor. Subsequently, the Advisor will notify the Ph.D. Coordinator regarding the selected courses for the QE. The department will permit the student to initiate the QE procedure. The Ph.D. Coordinator will work with the Department Chair to form a QE Committee, which comprises of at least four faculty members, including the student’s Advisor.
  3. The department will notify the student to obtain all necessary forms. The academic Administrative Associate will print out an Unofficial Transcript and an initial Ph.D. Degree Plan and provide this to the student.
  4. The QE Committee will develop the qualifying examination, either as an in-class or a take-home examination.
  5. The student will submit the solutions to the academic Administrative Associate by the prescribed deadline. The academic Administrative Associate will forward the qualifying examination questions and solutions to QE committee for grading and review.
  6. Within two weeks after submission of the solutions, the Ph.D. Coordinator will call for a meeting of the QE Committee and the student to discuss the examination solutions and understanding of fundamental concepts.
  7. Within two weeks after the meeting, the Ph.D. Coordinator will inform the student whether he/she has passed the examination based on the recommendations of the QE Committee.
  8. Appropriate documentation should be filed with the department whether the student passes or fails the qualifying examination. Possible examination outcomes are that the student:
    a. passes unconditionally;
    b. passes conditionally - In this case, the committee will outline the weaknesses and the conditions the student could (or must) fulfill before reconsideration. The student may request a change from conditional pass to pass, once the conditions have been fulfilled and endorsed by the Graduate Advisor. The Graduate Advisor may then allow the student to submit the final "Qualifying Examination Report" to the Ph.D. Coordinator and the Department Chair;
    c. fails, with or without option to retake the qualifying exam
  9. If the Ph.D. student fails with option to retake, he/she may be allowed to take the qualifying examination once more while pursuing his/her Ph.D. candidacy.