Ph.D. QUALIFYING EXAMINATIONS IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
The Qualifying Examination is a departmental examination to help establish a student's credentials for entering the Ph.D. program. It is in the student's best interest to take the Qualifying Examination early in graduate school to help him/her decide whether or not to invest the considerable effort required to pursue a doctoral degree from the Department of Nuclear Engineering. The Faculty revised the Qualifying Examination policy in the Fall of 2009. For those students currently registered in the department prior to Fall 2009, see the "Old Version"
2009 Ph.D. Qualifying Examination (QE) Policy (Current Policy)
* applies to all students entering the program during or after Fall 2009 *
The QE is a written exam and, in some cases, may include an oral exam.
Written exam. To pass the written exam, the student must select and pass 3 sections of available 6 sections. Unless a student has previously passed 2 sections, he/she must take all 3 sections in the same semester.
- 1. Interactions, Measurement and Theory of Radiation
- 2. Fission Engineering
- 3. Reactor Theory and Experimentation
- 4. Nuclear Materials Engineering
- 5. Theoretical Health Physics
- 6. Applied Health Physics
One of the chosen 3 sections must be "Interactions, Measurement and Theory of Radiation."
Oral exam. Those students who clearly pass the written exam are judged as qualified academically to enter the Ph.D. program. The faculty may convene an oral exam for any student whose written exam result is marginal.(See oral exam policy.)
Announcement of Intent. Examinees must announce their intentions to take the written examination no later than by the end of the semester preceding the semester when examination is planned to occur.
Examination period - 3 consecutive days, early in Fall/Spring semesters. Duration of each section is 3 hours.
Permitted number of attempts (excluding summers):
- - 2 times in 3 semesters for students with M.S. degrees in nuclear engineering,
- - 2 times in 5 semesters for students without M.S. degrees in nuclear engineering
Students are expected to pass all 3 sections on their first attempt. However, if this doesn't happen a second chance will be given the next time the exams are offered, as described below:
- - If 2 of 3 sections are passed on the 1st attempt, the remaining section must be passed on 2nd attempt.
- - If 0 or 1 section is passed on the 1st attempt, the entire examination must be repeated.
Written-exam results will be delivered within one month. Oral-exam results will be given within one month of the written-exam results.
Oral Exam Policy
The purpose of the oral examination is to examine those students whose performance on the written exam is weak such that a clear "pass" or "fail" outcome is difficult to declare. Students who clearly pass or clearly fail the written portion will not be examined orally. The oral assessment exam will be convened at the discretion of the faculty. The student may decline the oral assessment, thus opting to retake the exam at the next available opportunity (if the student is still eligible). However, failure of the oral assessment does not preclude taking the exam again if the student remains eligible.
The exams are graded following the double blind anonymous grading procedure: students will not be identifiable by name in the grading process until the final stage of the exam results review process. Arbitrary alphabetic identifiers will be used during grading and evaluation. The connection between identifiers and students will be unknown to both students and faculty.
Qualifying-Examination Topic Lists
- Theoretical Health Physics Topics
- Applied Health Physics Topics
- Reactor Theory Topics
- Fission Engineering Topics
- Interactions Topics
- Materials Topics