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College-Wide Option for Qualifying Exams (QE)

[Please refer to "Related Links" to your right to download the GPC's Final Report on the Qualifying Examination Process and the Executive Summary.]

The College offers the College-Wide Option for the qualifying examination, previously referred to as Option I.  This option is centrally administered in all aspects and is an integrated exam.

The College-Wide Option is 12 hours in length, is administered over a 3 day period in 4 hr. segments, and integrates the work in the student’s specialization area, the cognate area, and the foundations area.

More Details:  Administration of College-Wide Option

The doctoral committee is responsible for writing and evaluating the examination consistent with COEDU and departmental policies.  In completing these tasks, the doctoral committee should meet to discuss the content of the QE and the evaluation procedures.  If there is not a faculty member from the Foundations area on the committee, it is the responsibility of the major professor to contact the Department of Psychological and Social Foundations to invite participation in a committee meeting to design the integrated examination.

The examination questions are submitted by the major professor to the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies at least one week prior to the examination date.

The COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies forwards the student’s responses to the QE questions to the major professor.  The major professor provides a copy to each member of the student’s doctoral supervisory committee for scoring.

The entire examination should be scored either “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”  Programs are strongly encouraged to develop a rubric(s) for use by faculty in the scoring of responses to examination questions.  In the event that the doctoral committee decides that one or more subsections of the examination (e.g., one 4 hour segment) has been failed, the doctoral committee determines whether only the unsatisfactory section or the entire examination must be retaken.  Students are given only one opportunity to retake the examination with a minimum of 10 weeks between exam administrations and a maximum of one year.

The major professor transmits the results of the examination to the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies using the Verification of Doctoral Qualifying Examination Results Form found through the COEDU homepage This form must be submitted to the COEDU Graduate Studies Office whether or not the student performs satisfactorily on the examination.


The major professor notifies the student in writing of the results of the examination.

A student who performs unsatisfactorily on all or any part of the QE on two separate administrations will be dismissed from the College of Education doctoral program.

Students who must retake all or a portion of the examination must submit another Application to Take the Doctoral Qualifying Examination Form. The major professor should indicate the day or days (1, 2, or 3) of the examination that is to be retaken.

Students selecting the College-Wide Option MUST use machines and software provided by the College of Education.  The machines and software currently approved for use are PCs using Microsoft Word 2000.  It is the responsibility of students to have a working knowledge of the equipment and software.  Students who wish to familiarize themselves with the equipment and software may go to the COEDU Computer Lab (EDU 320) during operating hours.  Please call 813-974-3488 for confirmation of operating hours.

Students selecting the College-Wide Option will have no access to the internet, nor may notes, books, journals, or other aids be used.

Note:  Students are notified of changes in word processing equipment by the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies at the time of application for the examination, or students may contact the COEDU Coordinator of Graduate Studies (813-974-5264) for current word processing equipment information.

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Related Links

Program-Specific Option

Final Report of the GPC Ad Hoc Committee

Executive Summary

Admission to Candidacy

Qualifying Exams

Advanced Handbook
Table of Contents

Adv Grad Forms


Most forms are available on the COEDU website.  Go to the homepage, click on "Adv Grad forms" under "Important Information."

OR check the "Forms" web page of USF Graduate Studies

Thesis & Dissertation
(on Graduate Studies website)





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