It is expected that the examination will be taken after the student has completed at least 30 credits of course work, including the core requirements of the program, and excluding seminar.
The Qualifying Examination Committee will consist of four members of the Environmental Sciences graduate faculty, appointed by the Option Coordinator in consultation with the student and his/her advisor.
The Committee will meet to prepare a minimum of two comprehensive questions to be answered in writing by the student. The questions may relate to any area in the field of Environmental Sciences, and will be framed in such a way as to test the student's ability to understand a problem and to design an approach to investigating its solution. The student will have four weeks to research the problem and to submit written responses to the questions.
The oral portion of the qualifying examination will take place at least one week, but no more than three weeks after the answers are received. The questions that are asked will focus on, but not be limited to, the responses submitted to the written questions. At the beginning of the exam, the student will provide a completed degree application form, including an unofficial transcript, and will then be asked to leave the room for several minutes.
The decision of the Committee will be based upon the student's combined performance on the written and oral portions of the qualifying examination.