Examination | Chemistry and Biochemistry | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Agriculture, Life and Physical Sciences


Preliminary Examination

Each student in the doctoral program must pass a preliminary examination before being advanced to candidacy. The first portion of the preliminary examination is given by cumulative exams. The second portion of the preliminary examination is the preparation and oral defense of an original research proposal. The preliminary examination process generally will begin in the second year of full time study or its equivalent beyond the baccalaureate and will be completed within a period of no more than three regular academic semesters (summers not included).

Cumulative Examinations

Ten cumulative examinations are scheduled each calendar year with four examinations in each fall and spring semester and two in the summer session. Students must begin taking cumulative examinations at the start of their third semester in residence unless a later start date is approved (in writing) by the student’s Graduate Committee. Students must declare their intention to begin taking these examinations to the Coordinator of Cumulative Examinations at least one week before taking their first examination. Thereafter, examinations must be taken consecutively; students who do not take an exam for any reason will be given a “Fail” grade for the missed exam. Generally, all cumulative examinations are taken in the major division. In the case of a cross-divisional student, the graduate committee will establish a schedule by which the examinations are to be divided between divisions. The established schedule must be followed by the student. Cumulative examinations may be written, oral, or take-home examinations. All divisions will give their written examinations simultaneously at a time and place posted at least ten days in advance. The subject of an examination may be announced in advance at the discretion of the faculty member preparing the examination. Each examination will be prepared, graded, and recorded by one member of the faculty who will determine the pass-fail line on that examination. Each division will determine the faculty member responsible for each scheduled cumulative examination. Each student must pass four (4) examinations in no more than ten (10) consecutive trials in order to continue for the doctoral degree. The student is not liable for any examinations during any time when not enrolled in school. If a cumulative examination is not available at the scheduled time for any reason, the examination will be rescheduled, using a date and time that is within seven days of the originally scheduled examination and which is convenient to the students' schedule. The faculty member responsible for grading an examination will give the results of the examination in writing to the Cumulative Examination Coordinator. The Cumulative Examination Coordinator will notify each student taking the examination whether the examination was passed or failed. Copies of this notification will be sent to the Graduate Advisor, the Research Director, and the student's file. Irrespective when they start, students in the Ph. D. program must complete the cumulative exams by the end of their third year in residence. Failure to complete the cumulative exams by the end of the third year will result in discontinuation of assistantship support until the requirement is fulfilled.

Final Examinations

A student in the doctoral program must schedule and pass a final oral examination (defense of dissertation). The student will present a seminar for credit (Chemistry 595) based on the results of the research. After questions from the general audience, the student's graduate committee will conduct an oral examination of the student. The grade for Chemistry 595 is based on the seminar presentation and is independent of the oral examination. Copies of the dissertation must be presented to members of the student's graduate committee at least one week before the seminar and examination.