oregon state school of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering In order to advance to the state of candidacy, Ph.D. IE students must satisfactorily complete a preliminary examination conducted by their graduate committee. The purpose of this examination is to determine whether a student has the kind of intelligence, motivation, and creativity necessary to successfully complete the Ph.D.

The examination includes a written portion comprising responses to questions from the student’s committee members and a subsequent oral examination during which committee members question the student on his or her written responses and other relevant academic topics.

The preliminary examination shall be scheduled at the convenience of both the student and the committee and should occur after the majority of the course work on the student’s Ph.D. program of study has been completed.

Students must make arrangements with their committee chair to schedule a five-week time period for the examination. The five-week period will be spent as follows:

  • The period starts when the student submits a short research pre-proposal to their committee. This pre-proposal should be no more than five typed pages and should include an area of interest, suggested research topic, pertinent literature review, and tentative plan for research completion. The pre-proposal must be approved by the student's advisor prior to submission to the committee.
  • After reviewing the student's pre-proposal, the committee will prepare written questions and submit them to the committee chair. These questions will be based primarily on the contents of the pre-proposal but may also address aspects of the student’s program of study unrelated to the pre-proposal.
  • These questions will be collected by the student two weeks after pre-proposal submission.
  • The student will then have two weeks to develop written responses to the committee's questions.
  • Exactly two weeks after receiving the questions, the student shall prepare bound sets of typed responses for each committee member and submit them to the MIME graduate office (Dearborn 114) by 4:30 p.m.
  • The committee will take at least one week to review the written responses to the examination and will then conduct an oral examination in accordance with Graduate School policy. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule this exam through the Graduate School. The exam is a minimum of two hours long.

The oral examination will thoroughly address the student's written responses and any other academic topics the committee deems appropriate. The result will be either a pass, a fail with permission to retake, or a fail without permission to retake. Students who pass the examination become candidates for the Ph.D. degree in Industrial Engineering. Should a student fail the examination, the committee will decide if and when a retake of the examination is possible. Students who fail the oral portion of the examination are required to repeat the written portion as well.