- What paperwork is required for the preliminary examination?
- When should I turn in the paperwork to initiate a preliminary exam?
- How do I schedule dates for my preliminary examinations and oral examination?;
- By when should I have completed preliminary exams?
- May I take preliminary exams in summer?
- What requirements must be met before I take preliminary examinations?
- What is the next step to complete once preliminary exams are over?
- How would I go about getting an A.M.. degree en route to the Ph.D.?
- Where can I find more information about preliminary exams?
- What should be the make-up of the committee?
The committee approval form must be completed and submitted by 7 weeks prior to the proposed date of the first written exam, and a prelim readiness form and a prelim exam space request form must be submitted by 4 weeks prior.
The paperwork for preliminary exams should be turned in after the student has completed coursework and language requirements, and a minimum of 7 weeks prior to the proposed exam date. The committee approval form must be approved by the department and the Graduate School a minimum of one month prior to the oral examination date and sometimes additional steps are needed before approval. It is wise to complete the forms as soon as you have completed all coursework and language requirements so that the timeline does not become a barrier in scheduling your prelims.
To schedule preliminary examinations, first consult with your advisor. Either the advisor or student will need to contact the faculty on the committee and coordinate a date and time for the oral exam. Once the dates and times have been determined, please turn in Request for Preliminary Space form to the DGSA to request space for a preliminary examination.
Prelims should normally be completed by the end of a student's third year. If this deadline is not met, the student should complete a request for extension from the Graduate School. The preliminary examination must be done during a semester rather than between semesters.
Only schedule preliminary exams in summer if you must enroll for other reasons, such as receiving fellowship funding.
All course work must be completed and language requirements met in order to be able to proceed with preliminary exams.
After the preliminary exam, the student writes a proposal and has a proposal defense. The student then completes a CDC form, which is an abbreviated version of the proposal and includes the proposed committee. If the CDC approves of the dissertation committee, the student submits a committee approval form to the DGSA to be signed by the DGS and forwarded to the Graduate School for final approval.
Apply to graduate for the A.M. for the desired semester. Consult with the DGSA about whether a second committee approval form will be needed (also to be approved one month prior to the exam). The DGSA will provide you with an exam card for the A.M. on the day of your preliminary exam or proposal defense (whichever you use as the qualifying event).
More information about preliminary exams can be found at the Graduate School website.
You must have between 4 and 6 committee members. There should ideally be 3 members of the GPR on your committee. There must be a majority of Duke faculty on your committee. At least one member must represent a minor area of study.