Choice of Core Primary Literature for Qualifying Exam (starting Fall 2022)

The qualifying exam is NOT intended to represent the development of an entire thesis proposal, but rather a small-scope topic that addresses the specific goals of our qualifying exam (listed above) and has the potential to lead to the ultimate full thesis proposal. The requirement is that the student can demonstrate the expected competencies required to advance to the Post-Qual student stage of our PhD training program.  As such, the student should work with their primary mentor to pick a set of five (5) primary-literature papers as a core basis of evaluation for the qualifying exam. These five papers, along with 1-2 relevant review papers, will be settled by the middle of a student’s first semester in the PhD program, with October 31st or March 15th deadlines to submit them as part of the PhD Qualifying Pre-Registration Form.  These core papers will form the basis for subsequent assignments in the Research Fundamentals courses in the Fall and Spring semesters, which are designed to help the student develop their written qualifying-exam document and oral presentation. Expanding from the core 5 papers, the student will find an additional 5-10 primary papers independently from their research advisor. Together with the core 5 papers, these papers will form the small set of literature that the student will critically analyze and synthesize to identify the scientific gaps they wish to pursue.

Relevant Forms: 

Relevant Resources:

Qualifying Exam Timelines