PhD Program General Exam 2

At an appropriate point in a student's graduate studies, (normally within 12 months of passing General Exam 1), student must complete the General Exam 2. This is the dissertation proposal defense, in which students defend the choice of a dissertation topic and answer a series of questions on fundamental issues related to the topic. Students must have passed General Exam 1, selected the dissertation topic, formed a supervisory committee and completed a literature survey prior to the dissertation proposal defense.

In General Exam 2, students should be prepared to demonstrate the ability to perform research on a topic approved by the supervisory committee by presenting a comprehensive literature survey combined with a critical analysis of the state-of-the-art in the particular field selected. While this exam will be centered around a particular research area, it will not necessarily be limited to that subject. If unsuccessful in the exam, the student may, at the discretion of the department, either remain in the doctoral program and retake the exam at a later date or withdraw from the program. No more than two attempts are permitted.