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The preliminary exams represent the next-to-last point of reference in the doctoral student's progress toward the Ph.D. degree. The student who successfully completes the prelims will have only the dissertation remaining for the accomplishment of the Ph.D. These exams, then, are the final opportunity of the faculty as a whole to evaluate the student's progress. Exams are typically taken at the end of the sixth semester, but can be retaken in December as well. Dates for exams can be found here. Students must register for preliminary examinations during the full semester prior to the semester in which they actually take the exams. Click here to learn about registering for prelims.
Graduate Students preparing for Preliminary Examinations may wish to make use of the Graduate Research Center (GRC) and its various services. Please click here for more information.