Ph.D. Examination

Qualifying Examination

The purpose of the Qualifying Examination is to determine the “fit” between the student’s aspirations and his/her program and to assess the student’s progress and ability to grasp the knowledge necessary to become a scholar.

A student must earn a grade of B or better in the courses listed below to sit for the Qualifying Examination.

  • COUC 740
  • COUC 715
  • COUC 730
  • COUC 745

Qualifying Examination Manual

A student who fails the examination, or certain sections of the exam, may be granted the opportunity to retake it (the section(s) failed) one time. The student cannot continue taking courses until the exam has been passed. Failure on the second attempt will prevent the student from pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree; however, the student will receive a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies.


Candidacy Examination

The Candidacy Examination reflects the readiness required for the rigors of dissertation research, and is completed from the student’s residence. The exam, graded by a student's chairperson, will be submitted in the form of an APA style research paper that reflects a truncated (25 page) model of their full dissertation research.

Steps For Examination:

  1. Pass the Qualifying Exam
  2. Earn a grade of B or better in core courses, specialization courses, practicum, and internship
  3. Form a dissertation committee
  4. Register for COUN 989
  5. Complete the Candidacy Examination

Further information about the Candidacy Examination can be ascertained from your Dissertation Chair when you get to that point in the program.