Qualifying Exam

This note augments the description of the qualifying examination in the ​Policies of the Committee on Higher Degrees.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the necessary room reservation is arranged and exam paperwork prepared by contacting quals_defenses@seas.harvard.edu as soon as the exam date has been set, at least two weeks in advance.  The student is also responsible for ensuring any audio-visual equipment is set up. The student may satisfactorily complete the examination outright [a “Pass”], or the examination committee may stipulate further requirements such as further course work, or re-presenting only a portion of the material or a small amount of additional material [a “Pass with conditions”].   Students who do not pass the qualifying oral examination on first attempt may be given another chance with specific guidelines for improvement on their weakness(es) [an “Inconclusive” result], or they may receive a conclusive “Fail”.  The result of any second examination must be conclusive, either Pass (possibly with conditions), or Fail.