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FNR Graduate Examination Policy

Forestry and Natural Resources > FNR Graduate Examination Policy
 

 FNR Graduate Examination Policy

 
Preliminary Examination Final Examination Examination Types Preliminary Examination (Ph.D. only)

 

  • Purpose: To evaluate the breadth and depth of a student's knowledge, to ascertain how well he or she can apply that knowledge, and to determine whether the examinee is qualified to progress to candidacy.
  • Comprehensive in nature (i.e., the focus should not be exclusively on the student's area of research)
  • Taken after the student's course work is complete or nearly complete

Final Examination (Non-Thesis M.S., M.S.F., M.S., and Ph.D.)

  • Defense of thesis, in conjunction with seminar

Preliminary Examination

Basic Requirements

  • This examination is not required for M.S. students.
  • The Examining Committee may or may not be identical to the advisory committee.
  • A Request for Appointment of Examining Committee (G.S., Form 8), signed by the major professor and the chair of the graduate program, must be received by the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the examination date to give the dean of the Graduate School adequate time to appoint and arrange for additional members, if he or she wishes.
  • The examinee must have filed an approved Plan of Study and have satisfied all or most of the formal coursework listed in their plan.
  • It also is recommended that graduate students have a research proposal that is signed by the members of the student's Advisory Committee prior to taking the Preliminary Examination.
  • Student must have an examining committee with a minimum of three members of the graduate faculty who need not be faculty with whom the student has taken coursework. All members of the committee are to be notified of the scheduled examination. Although only three members are required, if the committee has four or more members, a single member may withhold his or her signature of approval.
  • The examination can only be taken twice, but can only be taken once in a given term (a term must elapse before retaking).
  • The examination should be scheduled as soon as feasible and must be completed at least two sessions (including summer session) before the date of the Final Examination.
  • Except in cases of voluntary withdrawal from the committee by a member, the composition of the Examining Committee cannot be changed after a failed exam without the expressed, written permission of the Graduate Committee Chair.
  • See also: http://www.gradschool.purdue.edu/faculty/resources/policies.cfm

Written Component (Completed at Least Two Weeks Before Oral Examination)

  • The content of the Written Examination need not be restricted to the subject matter of the dissertation research.
  • The student may be permitted to use outside materials to answer questions (this decision is left to individual examiners).
  • The student's major advisor may not limit or constrain the subject matter content of the questions submitted by the Examining Committee or in any manner alter the instructions to the student by members of the Examining Committee.
  • The written exam must be completed within a 7 day period.
  • Completed examinations must be promptly graded and returned to the student by members of the Examining Committee.
  • The written component of the exam must be passed before proceeding to the oral component.

Oral Component (Taken Two Weeks After the Written Examination)

  • Follow-on questions from the written examination can be asked if the examiner was not completely satisfied with written answer(s).
  • The Graduate School has recommended that oral examinations not last more than two hours; if additional time is deemed necessary, the exam can be continued at a later date.
  • As is the case for the written component, the content of the oral portion need not be restricted to the subject matter of the dissertation research.
  • The examination is open to all faculty on campus, and faculty not on the student's committee can participate as non-voting, ad hoc members of the Examining Committee.

Four Possible Outcomes of the Preliminary Examination

  • Unconditional failure (Student is dismissed from graduate program )
  • Conditional failure (specified conditions must be met before retaken)
  • Conditional pass (once specific requirements met, a passing grade is assigned; no need to retake; Student becomes a Ph.D. Candidate)
  • Unconditional pass (Student becomes a Ph.D. Candidate)

Final Examination

  • Required for non-thesis M.S., M.S.F., M.S. and Ph.D. students.
  • Final Examination committee may or may not be identical to the advisory committee.
  • A Request for Appointment of Examining Committee (G.S., Form 8), signed by the major professor and the head of the graduate program, must be received by the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the final examination date to give the dean of the Graduate School adequate time to appoint and arrange for additional members if he or she wishes.
  • The examination committee determines if a student passes or fails the final exam. If the student does not pass the final exam, the examination committee determines if the student will have additional opportunities to pass the exam.
  • Student must be enrolled during the term this examination is taken.
  • Final Examinations must be held before the last week of classes in a given term.

Requirements for Non-Thesis M.S. Final Examination

  • The Examining Committee is usually identical to the Advisory Committee but must contain at least three members of the graduate faculty.
  • The candidate will present his or her research in a forum open to the public . (See note below.)
  • The Examining Committee will conduct an oral examination of the student and render a pass or fail recommendation.

Requirements for M.S.F. and M.S. Final Examinations

  • The Examining Committee must be comprised of at least three members of the graduate faculty and may or may not be identical to the advisory committee.
  • The candidate will present his or her research in a forum open to the public which must be advertised to the Purdue faculty and student body a minimum of two weeks in advance. (See note below.)
  • The Examining Committee will conduct an oral examination of the student and render a pass or fail recommendation.

Requirements for Ph.D. Final Examination

  • At least two academic sessions devoted to research and writing must elapse between the Preliminary and Final Examinations.
  • The Final Examination Committee will consist of a minimum of four members of the graduate faculty.
  • The candidate will present his or her research in a forum open to the public which must be advertised to the Purdue faculty and student body a minimum of two weeks in advance. (See note below.)
  • After research has been completed and the dissertation written and presented to the committee and public, a final oral examination must be held in which the candidate defends the thesis and demonstrates to the Examining Committee the capabilities for which the Ph.D. degree is to be awarded.
  • Based on the acceptability of the dissertation and the performance of the student during the oral examination, the Examining Committee will render a pass or fail recommendation.
  • When the Request for Appointment of Examining Committee (G.S., Form 8) has been approved by the graduate school, an approved copy of the form will be sent to the departmental graduate office with the following additional materials for the candidate: a) Report of the Final Examination (G.S. Form 11); b) Thesis Acceptance (G.S. Form 9); c) exit questionnaire; d) a Doctoral Dissertation Agreement Form with ProQuest Information and Learning and an Addendum (G.S. Form 14) to that form; and e) a survey form on Earned Doctorates Awarded in the United States.

(Note: Consideration should be given for not having the oral presentations open to the public in cases where prior agreements with the sponsor of the research preclude the release of findings to the public for an agreed upon period of time or when prior review by the sponsor is specified in the funding agreement.)