The qualifying examination is given to determine whether a student has acquired sufficient mastery of the field of concentration to warrant admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The exam should be taken as soon as a student has completed the major portion of the course requirements. It should be taken not later than four years after the student first registered in the Graduate School-New Brunswick and not later than two terms before taking the final dissertation examination.
The comprehensive examination, conducted by a committee of at least four members (the chairperson must be a member) or associate members of the program's graduate faculty, may be written or oral or both. Once a student has fulfilled the language requirements, if applicable, and other relevant program requirements, and has passed the qualifying examination, he or she is admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The student's program will certify the results of his or her language examination on the application for admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The student must obtain this application from the office of the graduate school and submit it to the chairperson of the committee at the time of the examination. It should be properly signed by the four members of the candidate's committee and the graduate director and then returned to the Office of the Graduate School. Once a student has passed the examination, he or she must remain registered-for courses or research-or lose his or her status as a candidate. An exception to this rule may be granted to recipients of the master of philosophy degree (see the section concerning that degree later in this chapter).