Examination

Placement Examinations

The placement examination is required for all students admitted into the program. The purpose of this examination is to evaluate the background of the student regarding his or her knowledge of basic concepts in biological sciences, chemical/physical sciences, and mathematics/ statistics. Therefore, the examination will include three parts, with about 30-50 multiple choice questions in biological sciences, 30-50 in chemistry/physics, and 15-25 in mathematics. The schedule for the examination must be approved by the Program Director and the Dean of the College.

This examination will be administered at the beginning of the first semester of Student’s admission into the program, especially during the first two weeks of the Fall or Spring Semester. The results of this examination will help identify specific remedial courses that the students will be required to take before registering for doctoral courses. Remedial courses will include, but not limited to: BIO 313-Introduction to Microbiology, BIO 506 – Human Environment and Natural Resources, BIO 511 -Biostatistics, BIO 515 – Molecular Biology, BIO 523 – Ecology, BIO-530-Advanced Microbiology, CHEM 320 – Analytical Chemistry, CHEM 500 – Basic Concepts in Chemistry, CHEM 531/532 – Biochemistry, MATH 271/272 – Elementary Statistics, MATH 355 – Probability and Statistics, ITHM -523-Statistics and Data Analysis and/or PHY 201 – Basic Physics.

Comprehensive Examination 

The comprehensive examination is required for all students.  No student may be given a qualifying examination unless his or her official GPA at the time of the examination is 3.0 or better. The student will be administered this examination which will help the committee evaluate the student’s academic and research understanding within the field of environmental science.

The comprehensive examination shall be given no later than the end of the first semester after completion of formal course work and no earlier than a date at which the student is within approximately 6 credit hours of completion of the formal course work on the degree program.

The examination shall be both written and oral.  The written part of the examination will cover each area of study included in the student’s program.    The examination will be supervised by the Program Director in consultation with the Chair and Members of the Student’s Advisory Committee. Each of the student’s Advisory Committee members will be responsible for administering a written examination in the member’s particular area of specialization.  Each written examination must be completed and reported as satisfactory to the Program Director with copy to the chair of the Advisory Committee; before the oral portion of the examination may be held.  In case any written examination is reported unsatisfactory, the entire Advisory Committee must agree (1) to proceed with the oral portion of the qualifying examination, or (2) to adopt another course of action regarding the unsatisfactory written examination.

Through the comprehensive examination, the Student’s Advisory Committee should satisfy itself that the student has demonstrated the following qualifications:

  1. The student has a mastery of the subject matter of all fields in the program.
  2. The student has an adequate knowledge of the literature in these fields and has powers of bibliographical criticism.

The chair of the Student’s Advisory Committee is responsible for making the results of all written examinations available to the members of the Advisory Committee at or before the oral examination