Qualifying Exams - Doctoral Students


Students are expected to successfully complete their qualifying examinations prior to advancing to candidacy and within a sufficient time period to ensure completion within the established time to degree period of the program.


Qualifications for taking your qualifying exams are the following.

  • Attainment of full graduate standing
  • Satisfaction of your research tools requirements
  • Completion of not less than two years of graduate study or achievement of 48 earned units, which may include transfer credit


Type of Exams 

Refer to your department and the requirements for your degree program to determine the type of qualifying exams you must complete.


Scheduling Exams 

Qualifying exams are scheduled by your department.  Your advisor or dean approves a committee to administer the examination whose results are reported to the Registrar's Office using the Qualifying Exam - Evaluation Report for Doctoral Students form.

Exam results are posted to your transcript in the Non-Course Milestones section.


Failing an Exam 

If you fail your qualifying exam, you may, upon the approval of your advisor or dean, retake the exam as indicated below.

  • The second examination cannot be scheduled less than three months from the date of the first examination and must be scheduled no later than one year from the date of the first examination.
  • No further attempts are permitted if you fail the same qualifying examination twice.

If you are unable to pass your required qualifying examinations within the time to degree established for your degree program, you may be subject to dismissal from your program.



Contact your department or the Registrar's Office


Return to the registrar's website



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