Graduate Catalog
2019-2020
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Graduate School Policies
Preliminary Examination (Doctoral)

The Preliminary Examination is a requirement for all doctoral students. This examination must be taken at least 6 months before the Final Examination. The Preliminary Examination may be oral or written, or both. Schedule the exam at this site: https://ess.graduateschool.vt.edu. The examination date requested should coincide with the date when the decision about the student's performance is made. If the Preliminary Examination consists of a written section followed by an oral examination, the examination date requested should be the date of the oral. The results should be reported to the Graduate School within 1-2 days of the decision about the examination. 

If an Advisory Committee member cannot participate, the committee member should recommend to the Chair of the Advisory Committee, when possible, the name of a scholar eligible for advisory committee membership to serve as a proxy during the examination. After consultation with the student, the Chair of the Advisory Committee makes such a proxy appointment in writing. Regardless of the size of the size of the Committee, only one official proxy will be approved.

Individual departments may choose to administer the Preliminary Examination as a written departmental examination for a group of doctoral students. In this case the examination is typically administered by a committee with all members certifying the results to the department. After the results are certified to the department, the members of each student's Advisory Committee, including any proxies, must record approval/disapproval in the Electronic Signature System.