mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii

Qualifying Exam

Maintained by LG

The Qualifying Exam has recently been revised (9/23/2014). The procedure outlined on this page supplants earlier documents. IfA members may review the rationale for the new format and the series of recommendations developed after the new Qual Exam was given for the first time in 2006.

1. Qual committee members will be appointed from the faculty at large by the graduate chair. The goal will be to assemble a representative group of 4 people who can work together and who have had significant contact with students. A student representative will be present during the initial discussions, but will not participate in the exams or learn the results.

2. The qual exam will continue to be an oral exam, with a written component given only in the event that a student fails to obtain a PhD-level passing grade ("P*") on the oral exam. Students who obtain a P* on the oral exam need not take the written exam.

3. A student who does not obtain a P* on the oral exam will take the written exam roughly one month later. The exam committee will be responsible for creating and grading the questions on the written exam. A grade of P* on the written exam is required for remaining in the PhD Program.