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Ph.D. Qualifying Exam Information

The PhD Qualifying Exam must be taken after a PhD student completes 24 units of
graduate course work, and as is typical for Viterbi students, in years 3 or 4 of the program.

Students form a committee of 5 tenure or tenure track faculty, have them sign a Qual Committee Form and file a Request to take PhD Qualifying Exam at least three weeks before the exam is scheduled.  The form is then processed by the EE department (EEB 102) and GAPP. After successfully passing the Quals, mandatory registrations in EE 794a and b is required (in consecutive semesters) and continued registration in 794c, d, and z, in subsequent semesters until the dissertation is defended.  

In addition, before the Qual exam is to take place, please prepare the following.

At least 1 week before the date of the oral qualifying exam, the Ph.D.
student must provide to all members of the committee, electronically
or in hard copy:
1. A thesis proposal document
2. Pointers to, or copies of, relevant publications
3. A current CV, including a listing of relevant graduate coursework and grades
 
At least one month before the exam, complete the Appointment of Qualifying Exam form. This form also serves to inform the university that you will be taking your Qual exam shortly thereafter. After the faculty and EE chair have signed this form, take it to Jennifer Gerson in OHE 106 to get the Dean's signature.

After the Committee form is processed, a Report on PhD Qualifying Exam will be placed in your file by the EEB staff, for the day of your exam. Faculty or their designees should come retrieve the file, and the form before the exam.

Please see the USC Catalog for more information.

See The USC Graduate School for Qualifying Exam Forms.