Diagnostic Examination

The doctoral student is required to complete the diagnostic examination requirement during the first year beyond the M.S. degree (or equivalent number of credits, for students admitted directly to the Ph.D. program) with a grade of Pass. The diagnostic examination is scheduled with the student’s Research Advisor and Committee. Prior to scheduling the diagnostic examination, a student must have a completed Research Advisor and Committee Selection form on file in the ECE department.

The diagnostic examination is administered by the student’s Research Advisor and at least one member of the Committee. Full participation of the Committee is recommended. At the discretion of the research   advisor, additional faculty outside of the student’s committee may also participate in the diagnostic examination. The diagnostic examination is intended to be an opportunity to evaluate the student’s level of academic preparation and identify any shortcomings in the student’s background upon entrance to the PhD program. The format and duration of the diagnostic examination is at the discretion of the student’s Research Advisor and Committee. The examination may be written or oral and may include questions to test the general background of the student as well as questions specific to the student’s intended area of research.

The Research Advisor and Committee determine the outcome of the diagnostic examination (Pass, repeat, or Fail) and any required remediation intended to address shortcomings identified in the student’s background. A grade of Fail will result in dismissal from the graduate program. A grade of Repeat requires the student to reschedule and retake the diagnostic examination. A grade of Pass is expected to also include a summary of any prescribed remediation including, but not limited to, coursework, reading assignments, and/or independent study. Irrespective of outcome of the examination, a diagnostic examination completion form, signed by the student’s Research Advisor and committee, must be filed with the ECE department upon completion of the examination.

Upon successful completion of the Diagnostic Examination, each doctoral student must submit a program of study to the ECE Department Graduate Secretary for approval by the student’s research advisor, the ECE Department Graduate Program Committee and the ECE Department Head. The program of study should be completed in consultation with the student’s research advisor and should include specific course work designed to address any shortcomings identified in the student’s background during the Diagnostic Examination.

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