PhD Examination

PhD Preliminary Examination

After the student has completed his/her formal study to the satisfaction of the advisory committee and has an approved Plan of Study, he/she becomes eligible to take the preliminary examination. The examining committee will report the results of these examinations, written and/or oral, to the CE Graduate Office with an appropriate recommendation for the student's admission to PhD candidacy, continued preparatory study, or discontinuation. The formal request of the appointment of the preliminary examining committee and the scheduling of the examination must be made with a Form 8 online via the myPurdue Academic Tab at least three weeks before the requested exam date. Note that the Prelim Thesis Title does not need to be final.  No examining committee shall have fewer than four members.  The Lyles School of Civil Engineering also requires that PhD preliminary exam rubrics be completed by each committee member and submitted to the CE Graduate Office.  The preliminary exam paperwork will not be approved by the CE Graduate Chair unless all rubrics have been received.

If the student does not pass the preliminary examination, at least one semester must elapse before re-examination is permitted. Should the student fail the preliminary examination a second time, the student may not be given a third examination, except upon the recommendation of the examining committee and with special approval of the Graduate School. After admission to candidacy, the candidate must devote at least two semesters to research before holding the final examination.

PhD Final Examination

The special research carried on as part of the doctoral work is expected to make a clearly articulated contribution to the candidate's chosen field of knowledge - a contribution of sufficient importance to merit publication. The candidate must, therefore, prepare a dissertation showing the results of his/her research. The schedule that should be adhered to with regard to the submission of the thesis and final examination follows:

  1. In consultation with the advisor, a student should develop a plan to prepare a dissertation 6-12 months in advance of the actual graduation date.
  2. The dissertation must be prepared according Graduate School Thesis Office guidelines.
  3. Each member of the examining committee must receive a copy of the dissertation at least three weeks before the date of the final oral examination.
  4. The final examining committee for the PhD candidate shall consist of a minimum of four members. The formal request for the appointment of the examining committee must be made online via the myPurdue Academic Tab at least three weeks preceding the final examination date. This formal request must specify the time and place of the examination. The final examination or dissertation defense must take place in a room with public access.
  5. Upon submitting the Graduate School Form 8, the candidate shall provide the CE Graduate Programs Office an electronic copy of his/her dissertation abstract. The electronic copy should be e-mailed to cegrad@purdue.edu. The defense date will be announced by the CE Graduate Programs Office when the dissertation abstract is submitted to the CE Graduate Office.
  6. The student should initiate a Form 9 online once a final dissertation title has been decided.
  7. Only the Area Format Check Advisor can approve the format check. Final draft must be to format check advisor at least three business days before exit interview with CE Grad Chair.
  8. The final examination must be taken and passed and the report filed in the CE Graduate Office before the end of the session in which the degree is expected. If the corrections cannot be completed before the end of the session, the degree will be awarded the following semester and the student can register for "degree only."
  9. The School of Civil Engineering also requires that PhD defense exam rubrics be completed by each committee member and submitted to the CE Graduate Office. The final exam paperwork will not be approved by the CE Graduate Chair unless all rubrics have been received.
  10. All students are required to schedule an exit interview with the Civil Engineering Graduate Committee Chair.
  11. All students are required to submit a copy of their dissertation to the CE Graduate Programs Office 24 hours before their exit interview meeting with Chair of the Graduate Committee.
  12. The student must submit an electronic copy of his/her dissertation to the Graduate School by the appropriate semester deadline. No more that two semesters can pass between the semester the defense is held and the deposit semester.