REQUIREMENTS: Qualifying for the Ph.D. program requires that graduate students demonstrate both accomplishment in CBE graduate classes and potential as a researcher. To qualify for the Ph.D. program, a graduate student’s GPA in four core Chemical Engineering graduate classes and grade on the preliminary exam (see below) must sum to 6.0 or higher. For example, a student with an “AB” average in core CBE graduate classes (GPA=3.5) must receive a grade of at least 2.5 in their preliminary exam to qualify for the PhD program. If a student has taken five core classes, then the GPA is based on the four classes in which the student received the highest grades.
Written report: The written portion of the preliminary exam must be submitted to the CBE Graduate Program office by 3pm on January 31of the second year of residence in the graduate program. If January 31 falls on a weekend, it is due by 3pm on the Monday following the weekend. The scope and objectives of the written report are described in Appendix B. Four copies (five for co-advised students) of the preliminary report shall be submitted to the CBE graduate office. These copies must be comb bound or coil bound, and printed or copied double-sided. One copy (in an ACCO pressboard report cover) is to be submitted for the department files. For students entering the graduate program in January, the written report is due July 15 of the second year of residence.
Oral examination: Following submission of the written document, the student will be asked to present the oral portion of the preliminary exam during the first half of February. The student shall prepare a 30 minute oral presentation based on their written preliminary report. This oral presentation will be followed by 1 ½ hours of questions from the committee.
For students entering the graduate program in January, the written report is due July 15 of the second year of residence and the oral portion must be completed by the end of July. The comprehensive oral preliminary examination, based upon the written preliminary report, is given by a committee composed of four department faculty members: the student’s major professor, two faculty members in the same general research area, and a fourth faculty member to be assigned according to a duty roster.
If a student is co-advised by two faculty members from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, the committee will comprise the student’s co-advisors, two additional faculty members in the same general area of research, and a fifth faculty member assigned according to the duty roster. The major professor(s) will not be chairman of the examining committee. In some special instances, the committee will be augmented by personnel from outside the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. At least three faculty members of the preliminary exam committee are anticipated to become members of the student’s thesis committee.