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Dear PhD Students,
You may be at the point where you have finished your core and concentration coursework, and are ready to take the PhD Qualifying exam this fall term.  It is one of the steps for advancement to candidacy (along with course completion and proposal approval).  You do not have to have your proposal approved to take the written Qualifying Exam.  There is also an oral component to the exam that is given by your dissertation committee and is usually done at the same time as the proposal defense.   It can be two separate meetings for the proposal defense and oral exam, but most students find it advantageous to have all of their committee members in one place at the same time and schedule both in one meeting.

The format of the written exam is changing somewhat, to everyone's advantage.  The format was approved at the September SSB Faculty meeting.  Please see the attached guidelines for the exam.  You will need to have your dissertation committee formed and approved by the COS Dean in order to take the PhD Qualifying exam.  Please contact me if you have any questions about committee makeup.  

regards,
Diane St. Germain

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Diane St. Germain
Coordinator, Graduate Academic Programs
Biology, Biosciences, Bioinformatics
George Mason University
MS 5B3, 10900 University Blvd. Manassas, VA 20110
Phone (703) 993-4263, Fax (703) 993-8976