Qualifying Exam

lab experiment with a caterpillar

All CMDB students must complete a Qualifying Exam during the second year. The exam consists of a written research proposal on a topic of the student’s choosing and an oral defense of the proposal in front of a faculty panel.

Typically students finish the qualifier process early in the spring semester.

The Qualifying Exam tests the student’s ability to identify relevant questions for research and to explain and defend appropriate experimental techniques to address these questions. The testing of a student’s ability to communicate ideas both orally and in writing is essential preparation for a successful graduate career.