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The purpose of the comprehensive exam is to:
- Assess the student's general knowledge of the degree area
- Assess the student's specialized knowledge of the chosen research area
The comprehensive examination provides an early assessment of the student's potential to satisfactorily complete the requirements for the doctoral degree. As such, it requires that fundamental principles be mastered and integrated so that they can be applied to solving problems relevant to robotics.
After three regular semesters (Fall or Spring) from entering the Ph.D. program the student must take the comprehensive examination at the next scheduled offering, usually during the fourth regular (i.e. fall or spring) semester. If the comprehensive examination is failed, the student may have one additional opportunity at the next scheduled offering. The examination will be offered at least once every year.
The comprehensive exam is a written and oral examination and is administered by a faculty committee, selected by the thesis advisor in consultation with the student, and approved by the Robotics Program Committee. The committee consists of:
- Three faculty members consistent with the student's graduate coursework and research area.
- The thesis advisor as a non-voting observer.