Graduate Programs in Health and Human Performance

Preliminary Examinations


A. Written Examinations

Students are required to complete examination questions in 3 content areas: statistics, research methods and design, and in a scientific (specialization) area. The statistics and research methods and design exams will be offered each July and November. For the scientific area, students and the advisor determine the semester that the exam is to be taken (usually after all core requirements and most of the specialist area courses are completed). Each program specialization committee chooses whether to schedule scientific area exams on the July and November test dates or at an alternate date and time. A list of students who sit for the Preliminary Exams is submitted to the HHP Graduate Program Director. The list is presented to the DAC members who will choose faculty to prepare questions. Study guides are prepared by the faculty committee members who prepare the questions. Questions are graded by the committee members who prepared the questions. In the event of a grade that is not graded as a "pass";, additional faculty are consulted as graders. There are no personal identifying marks on any examination that is scored.

The written exams are to be completed on the department's computers. Preliminary Written Examination Records are kept on file in the administrative assistant's office as part of the student's file.

Students must successfully complete all three examinations within a one-year period.

B. Evaluation Criteria

Grading System for each Section of the Ph.D. Preliminary Examination: There are two possible grades that may be given for each section of the written examination.

P Pass
F Fail

If a passing grade is not received, the grader automatically consults a second faculty member to schedule an oral examination. The faculty member who graded the exam will schedule an oral exam with the student within two weeks following the written exam. A minimum of two faculty members will conduct the oral exam. Students may review the question(s) prior to the oral exam, but may not review their answer(s) or the graders' comments. After the oral exam, faculty members who conducted the oral exam determine if the overall grade for the exam is pass or fail.

To obtain an overall pass of the preliminary exams, the doctoral student must obtain a grade of "P"; on each of the three areas. Any grade of "F"; means that the exam must be retaken during the next testing session and the student will be required to answer a new set of questions.