You will take your oral preliminary examination after you have passed the written preliminary examinations and before your prospectus defense. Under the guidance of your Major Professor and in consultation with the other members of your Advisory Committee, you will draw up a list of readings related to the area in which you will work. This list will typically contain no more than 10 items. This list has to be approved by your entire Advisory Committee before your oral preliminary examination. In the oral preliminary examination, your Advisory Committee will examine you on this list. Current Graduate School policy provides that in order to pass your written comprehensive exams you must receive a positive vote from your Major Professor and all or all but one of the other members of your committee. If you do not pass the exam, you cannot retake it for at least 30 days. If you do pass the oral exam, your prospectus defense is usually held immediately following it, on the same day.

Your oral preliminary exam must be announced by the Graduate School. This announcement must be sent in by the Graduate Coordinator at least two weeks prior to the exam. If this is not done, the Graduate School will not generate the form that is necessary for reporting that you have passed your oral and written preliminary exams. In addition, please note that the Graduate School will not accept the announcement from the Graduate Coordinator unless you have an up-to-date Advisory Committee form and a Final Program of Study Form on file. Please see the Graduate School website for more details. The forms are available on Grad Status.