Changes to Qualifying Exams - Aerospace Engineering Handbook

Changes to Qualifying Exams
Presented by:
School of Aerospace Engineering
Student Advisory Council (SAESAC)
The Daniel Guggenheim
School of Aerospace Engineering
Overview of Quals (Current)
• Pick 3 areas
• Take 2 classes in each area
• Take a 1-hour oral exam on each of the three
• There are 2 professors for each area
– 5 out of 6 votes required to pass
– 4 votes allows the 6 professors to open a discussion
• Usually taken during the end of a student’s 2nd
Overview of Quals (Current)
• Currently, there are many
(15) different areas for
students to chose from.
• This causes there to be a lot
of classes that need to be
offered each year
• The number of classes that
students are required to take
(6 in total) can cause students
to have to wait till their 3rd
year to take quals.
The Process of Changing Quals
• An Ad Hoc Faculty Committee on the Quality Improvement
of the AE Graduate Education was formed in early 2010.
One of the items this committee looked at was the qualifier
• In April 2010, SAESAC held a Graduate Student Town Hall
Meeting and conducted a Survey in order to get student
feedback on the exams (as well as other graduate student
• In November 2010, the Ad Hoc Faculty Committee
presented their Progress Report on AE Graduate Education
• In Fall of 2011, the faculty of the Daniel Guggenheim School
of Aerospace Engineering voted to change the PhD
Qualifier Exams…
Changes to Quals
First and foremost…
These changes will not take effect until Fall of
2013. This means that most students currently
enrolled will not be affected by the changes.
Changes to Quals
1. Students will be required to take exams in 2 areas
2. Pick from the following 6 areas:
3. Each of these areas will have 2 classes
1 common to that area
1 of the classes to be chosen by the student from a list of 1-3 preapproved classes
Example: Propulsion
Common course:
Kinetics & Thermodynamics of Gases
AE 6765
Courses to chose from:
AE 6766
Gas Dynamics
AE 6050
Changes to Quals (the similarities)
• There will still be 6 professors total (3 per
discipline area)
• Qualifying exams will still be held during the fall
and spring only
• The exams are oral
• Students are still given two attempts to pass
• Passing requirements the same
– 5 out of 6 votes required to pass
– 4 votes allows the 6 professors to open a discussion
What the New Quals Are Not…
• No written component
• No math exam
• No substitutions of professors (i.e. the 3
professors that administer qualifiers in that area
will be the same for all of the students taking that
• Most courses should stay the same
– Each discipline (of the 6) is finalizing any changes to
their courses
– These changes will be submitted by the end of
February so they can be taught in Fall of 2012
• Most students currently take qualifying exams
too late (5th or 6th semester on average), and it
was felt that students should be taking these
exams at the end of their 1st year or during their
2nd year at the latest
• The number of different disciplines (and
therefore courses) was so high that professors
were often limited in what they could teach. By
reducing the number of areas (and courses),
professors will be able to teach new courses
throughout the year
What’s Next
• The list of courses is in the process of being
finalized by the faculty in each of the six
• The courses will be finalized by the end of March
2012 and will be uploaded then
• After the courses are released, SAESAC will
conduct a survey of graduate students preparing
to take the qualifiers in order to determine what
considerations need to be made for a possible
“transition period”

similar documents