The Graduate School requires a student to demonstrate adequate intellectual mastery of his or her field of specialization and of appropriate supporting fields by passing a general doctoral qualifying examination before being admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.
Upon completing the required coursework, in the spring semester of the second year students take the program's qualifying exam. In PBEE, the qualifying examination consists of both written and oral exams that allow the program to assess whether the student demonstrates adequate mastery of PBEE to be advanced to candidacy. Completion of the qualifying examination process in PBEE requires four main steps. First, each student is required to form a qualifying exam committee composed of PBEE faculty members. Second, students are required to write a comprehensive review in an area related to PBEE. Third, students are required to write a research proposal outlining the main questions and line of research they intend to pursue for their dissertation research. Fourth, the students are required to pass an oral examination approximately two weeks after they have submitted their research proposal that will be based upon both their general knowledge of PBEE, their review, and their research proposal. The Emory University Honor Code will be observed throughout the examination process.