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Preliminary Exams

The written preliminary exams test undergraduate to beginning graduate level understanding of the fundamental concepts in the field. Requirements, timeline and exam schedules are specific to each graduate group.

Applied Math: offers the exam twice each year at the beginning and end of the Spring semester. By the end of the first Spring, students must pass three closed-book exams: Differential Equations, Advanced Calculus and Linear Algebra. PhD students must obtain score of 3 out of 3 (PhD pass) and MS students must obtain a score of 2 out of 3 (MS pass).  Applied Math Test Preparation

Chemistry & Chemical Biology: offers the exam twice each year at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters. By the start of the fourth semester, students must pass at least one of three exams: Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry.  CCB Test Preparation

Physics: this exam is administered twice each year, at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters. The exam consists of three papers – Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics and Electromagnetism. The exam may be taken once each time it is offered but must be passed by the start of the fourth semester.  Physics Test Preparation

Quantitative & Systems Biology: does not require a preliminary exam.