Within one year after the successful completion of the Qualifying Examination, the student is required to write an abstract of his or her proposed research and a petition listing a recommended dissertation committee (the composition of the committee is described under Qualifying Examination). The abstract and dissertation committee membership petition must be submitted to the Manufacturing Council for approval at least two weeks prior to a regularly scheduled Council meeting. The Council will forward the dissertation committee petition to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education in the College of Engineering for final approval. If the committee is revised at any time, the new member(s) should also be approved first by petitioning the Manufacturing Council, followed by final approval by the Associate Dean for Graduate Education in the College of Engineering.
Upon approval of the petition, the student is required to take a Preliminary Examination to test his/her knowledge of the primary and supporting fields. The structure of the Preliminary Exam should be such as to test the student's breadth in and beyond engineering, as well as depth in his or her primary field. The student must write a dissertation proposal and defend the proposal at an oral examination given by the dissertation committee. This examination consists of an oral presentation by the student of his/her dissertation proposal followed by an oral examination administered by the dissertation committee The student must give the written dissertation proposal to the dissertation committee at least one week prior to the oral examination.
All students (full- or part-time) must be in good academic standing, i.e., they must possess a cumulative GPA of 6.0/9.0 (B+) or better, to take the Preliminary Examination. A student who does not meet the above criteria will not be allowed to take the Preliminary Examination and will be asked to leave the program.