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Timeline for PhD Exams

Page history last edited by D. Campbell 11 years, 2 months ago

Timeline for Ph.D. Exam Semester

End of week five:      Begin first written take-home exam (the three written exams, collectively, constitute the “qualifying examination”)

End of week six:        Submit first written take-home exam; begin second written exam

End of week seven:  Submit second written take-home exam; begin third written exam

End of week eight:    Submit third written take-home exam

Weeks ten or eleven:        Submit dissertation prospectus and schedule the preliminary exam (also known as the “oral examination”).  The “Preliminary Exam Scheduling Form” must be submitted at least ten working days prior to the date of the exam.


Weeks thirteen through fifteen:  Take the preliminary examination; this is an oral defense of the written qualifying exams and the dissertation prospectus


The WSU Graduate School requires that at least three weeks elapse between the submission of the prospectus and the date of the preliminary exam.  Doctoral students should take responsibility for scheduling their preliminary exams; and they should do this on or before the date that they submit their prospectus.

There is no specific Graduate School directive regarding the time between finishing the qualifying exams and submitting the prospectus, but the English Department recommends that this period be no longer than three weeks – and preferably less.  In any case, the whole sequence of exams (written exams, prospectus, and oral defense) should occur within one semester.

Doctoral students preparing for their exams should submit bibliographies to their committee members midway through the semester prior to that in which they plan to take the exams.  Thus, if a student plans to take her exams during the fall semester, she should turn in her bibliographies by March 15; or if she plans to take the exams during the spring, she should turn in bibliographies by October 15.  Copies should go to each committee member, and an additional copy should be submitted to the Academic Coordinator (Tanya Gonzalez)  for the student’s permanent file.  The bibliography for the Special Area examination should be accompanied by a 4-5 page rationale for the specific topic and readings.


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