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Ph.D. Candidacy Examination

Objectives and scope

The objectives of the Candidacy Exam are to assess whether a student has the necessary background and skills to successfully pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, and to provide an opportunity for the student to obtain guidance and feedback from multiple faculty on their short-term research objectives and direction. The exam is composed of an oral component to take place at the end of the first year and a written component due two weeks prior to the oral exam.

The Candidacy Exam should be treated as a white paper for the Ph.D. thesis research. The exam will be centered on the development of the student's initial research efforts, and the deliverables of the exam must contain the following:

  1. Brief introduction of the broad motivation and objectives of the research task described during the exam, including a short summary of critical literature relevant to the field.
  2. Description of the approach taken and relevant technique(s).
  3. Summary of recent research efforts by the student.
  4. Description of the research plan and direction for the next 6 months to a year.

Presentation of preliminary results on your project is desirable but not required in the Ph. D. Candidacy Exam. Examples of research efforts include, but are not limited to, experiments, technique development, data interpretation, and mastery of a research-related technique.

Updated on 07/22/14

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