oregon state school of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineeringThe purpose of the ME Ph.D. qualifying exam is to accurately assess a student's research skills (loosely defined as the ability to independently analyze, interpret, and communicate fundamental scientific, mathematical, and engineering concepts) for the purpose of determining the student's aptitude for the Ph.D. program. The exam also includes a diagnostic function to highlight weaknesses in the student's background that can be addressed through additional coursework or independent study. 

The format of the ME qualifying exam varies by research area.

Exam Scheduling

Scheduling of the qualifying examination and agreement on the research paper topic will often be handled at your program meeting. The allowable time frame for taking the exam depends upon your academic background:

  • If you entered the program with an MS degree: Any time prior to the end of your third academic term
  • If you entered the program with a BS degree: Any time prior to the end of your sixth academic term

If you fail to meet this deadline, you will not be allowed to continue in the Ph.D. program.

If you fail the qualifying exam, you may re-take it once within 60 days.

If you fail the qualifying examination a second time, you  will not be allowed to continue in the Ph.D. program and may be re-directed toward an MS or MEng degree, if appropriate.

Additional Qualifying Exam Information