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Program-Specific Option for Qualifying Exams (QE)

This option allows each program to develop qualifying examination procedures that meet the need for variation in the nature and substance of the exam based on differences in each discipline. 

Please check with your program or department to determine whether or not your program has received approval to offer this option, and also the procedures that apply.  Programs wishing to propose a Program Option for the QE should refer to "Related Links" to your right to download the COEDU GPC Ad Hoc Committee on Qualifying Examination Process Final Report, April 9, 2006, which was approved by GPC and College Council April, 2006; the Executive Summary; and the Template for Proposal for Program-Specific QE Guidelines and Procedures. 

  1. The Program Option is administered by the department /program.  [Note:  If the Program-Specific QE conforms to the College-Wide Option in terms of being three 4-hour sessions at the same days/times as the College-Wide Option, requiring use of COEDU Computer Lab machines and software, and no access to the internet, notes, books, journals or other aids, students may take the exam under the conditions described for the College-Wide Option, if approved in advance by the COEDU Graduate Studies Office.]

  2. Programs have the opportunity to propose their own QE procedures provided they submit a clear rationale and description of the process as outlined on the Template and in the 2006 Report.

  3. Each program faculty that wishes to propose, with the endorsement of the department chair, a set of guidelines and procedures for the administration of the doctoral QE that is specific to their program should submit a proposal that follows the elements of the Template to the Dean’s Office.  The proposal will be reviewed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to ensure that all aspects of the template have been thoroughly addressed and reflect the position of the entire program faculty.

  4. Once the proposal has been reviewed by the Associate Dean, the program is free to implement the Program-Specific QE as early as the semester following the submission of the proposal.

  5. Students can be given one opportunity to retake the QE with a minimum of 10 weeks between exam administrations and a maximum of one year.

  6. All students who are ready to take the QE must apply to the COEDU Graduate Studies Office and be cleared by that office prior to beginning the exam. This should be done using the Application to Take the Qualifying Exam form found online.

  7. The student’s major professor must notify the student and the COEDU Graduate Studies Office in writing of the results of the Qualifying Exam. The COEDU Graduate Studies Office should be notified using the Verification of Qualifying Exams Results form found online. Original signatures are required.


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Related Links

College-Wide Option

Final Report of the GPC Ad Hoc Committee

Executive Summary

Admission to Candidacy

Template for Proposal for Program-Specific QE
Guidelines and Procedures

Advanced Handbook
Table of Contents

General Degree Info.

Program Descriptions
& Requirements


Adv Grad Forms



Financial Assistance



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

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

Thesis & Dissertation
(on Graduate Studies we





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