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Preliminary Examinations

close up on a student

The preliminary examination for the BME and BIOI PhD degrees allows the student’s thesis committee (composed of faculty members and the student’s research advisor) to evaluate the ability of the student to a) write a thesis research proposal, b) defend the proposal with knowledge of the pertinent background literature, and c) present compelling evidence (e.g., with collected data and/or computational analysis) that the proposed research is innovative for a PhD degree and can be executed within the proposed time frame using the resources/infrastructure available to the student.

The timing of the preliminary examination is determined in close collaboration with the faculty research advisor and the proposed committee members as needed. Only students in good academic standing are permitted to take the preliminary examination. A minimum of one year has to elapse before the defense of the dissertation (i.e., final thesis defense before graduation) after passing the preliminary examination.