In addition to the formal course work, written and oral comprehensive examinations must be taken. The written part of the comprehensive examination will be taken by the student within one year of the completion of the 5 required courses in the Chemical Physics program, but can be taken any time after four of the required courses have been completed. The exam will focus on the material covered by those courses. The Chemical Physics Program Director coordinates the writing of the exam, soliciting problems from those faculty who have recently taught the required courses.
The oral part of the comprehensive examination is taken immediately after completion of the written part (normally within 1-2 weeks) and is supervised by the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee. The oral examination will cover the same broad range of topics treated by the written comprehensive exam and is designed to allow the Graduate Advisory Committee to better evaluate the student’s general background in chemical physics. General questions pertaining to the student’s dissertation research project may also be posed.
The student performance (pass/fail) on the written and oral parts of the comprehensive examination will be evaluated by the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee. Successful completion of both the parts of the comprehensive examination will be necessary for the student’s continued good standing in the Chemical Physics program. Unsatisfactory performance on the first attempt at the comprehensive examination may be rectified by retaking both parts of the exam within six months of the first attempt. Unsatisfactory performance on the second attempt will result in dismissal from the program. Comprehensive exam results are acceptable toward fulfilling the Ph.D. degree requirements for a period of 4 years following the end of the semester in which the examination was satisfactorily completed.