Passing the qualifying exam is the final step before advancing to candidacy. The qualifying exam consists in an essay of roughly 25 pages, together with an oral exam, on a topic that you plan to further pursue in the dissertation. The qualifying exam will test whether you are ready to write a dissertation on the chosen topic.
To schedule the qualifying exam in a term, you must be enrolled concurrently in the dissertation prospectus course, P804. Successfully passing both the oral and written components of the qualifying exam is necessary and sufficient for passing the dissertation prospectus course.
The dissertation prospectus course and qualifying exam should be taken no later than the second semester of the third year of fulltime study. This may be postponed only with the approval of the qualifying exam committee chair and the Director of Graduate Studies.