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Preliminary Exam

All students in the Bioengineering Ph.D. program are required to pass a preliminary examination before advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. Students are encouraged to take the examination in the spring semester of their first year of study, but are required to take it within the first two years of graduate study unless they successfully petition the graduate group chair. The preliminary examination will be offered and administered by the Bioengineering Graduate Program during the spring break each spring semester. A student wanting to take the exam must sign up for it with the Bioengineering Graduate Program no later than four weeks before the scheduled date of the exam.

The preliminary examination may be offered also in the fall semester under special circumstances only and subject to Bioengineering faculty approval.

The preliminary examination will cover undergraduate core material in the following areas:

  1. Thermodynamics and Kinetics
  2. Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology
  3. Spectroscopy and Optics

The examination will consist of open-ended questions (with a minimum of three questions in each of the three focus areas) to be posed and graded by a committee of Bioengineering faculty members familiar with the field (Preliminary Examination Committee). The format will be a 4-hour examination. The examination will be followed by a Bioengineering group faculty meeting to evaluate the performance of the candidate.