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Qualifying Exam

Students will be required to complete a research-based written report and oral qualifying exam before the end of their second year. Both the written report and oral presentation will focus on novel research completed by the student advised by a participating faculty member as part of the PHYA 296: Second-Year Independent Research requirement.  The written report will be submitted in advance of the oral exam and is expected to be in the style of a published peer-reviewed journal article. The oral presentation will be approximately 30 minutes in length and will focus primarily on the context, methods, results, and implications of the research study. The oral presentation will be followed by questions on the specific research project and astronomical fundamentals covered in the required Core courses. 

The qualifying exam will be administered by a committee of two faculty members who have taught one or more Core A or Core B courses in the previous two (2) years. The Research Advisor will not be eligible to serve as one of the two committee members, but may serve in an ex-officio capacity.  Feedback will also be provided on written and oral presentation quality in preparation for the Candidacy Examination.