Skip to content Skip to navigation

Quantitative and Systems Biology Exams

Master's Degrees:

Comprehensive Exam Information

All students in the Quantitative and Systems Biology M.S. Track II (Course-Based) program are required to pass a comprehensive examination with both a written and oral component administered by a faculty committee with at least three members. This examination will test the student's understanding of the main concepts in the field at the graduate level. 

Applicable Graduate Division Forms

PhD Degrees:

Qualifying Exam Information

All students in the Quantitative and Systems Biology Ph.D. program are required to pass a qualifying examination before advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. Students are expected to take and pass the qualifying examination during their second year of graduate study unless they successfully petition the graduate group chair to take it at a specific later date. Students entering the Ph.D. program with a M.S. degree may request to take their qualifying exam during their first year, provided their graduate research committee approves.

The qualifying exam may be taken only after the student’s written research proposal has been approved by the student’s committee (Section 2.3.5.). The exam will focus on the student’s research proposal, but may cover any related field of science, and will typically last three hours. The committee conducts the examination, and immediately thereafter submits the results of the examination to Graduate Studies.

Possible outcomes are:

  1. Pass (conditions may not be appended to a pass decision)
  2. Not passed, with an option to retake the examination within a specified time period, or to satisfy specific other requirements
  3. Fail

Upon recommendation of the examination committee, a student who has not passed the examination may repeat the qualifying examination after a preparation time of no more than six months. The examination must be held by the same committee except that members may be replaced, with the approval of the graduate advisor, for cause such as extended absence from the campus. Failure to pass the examination on the second attempt means that the student is subject to disqualification from further study for the doctoral degree. After a second examination, a vote of NOT PASS is unacceptable; only PASS or FAIL is recognized by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Applicable Graduate Division Forms