University of California, Riverside

Department of Chemistry



Exam Criteria


tableOrientation Exam

Orientation Exams aid the Graduate Advisor in placing the student in the appropriate course program.  A satisfactory performance in each of the examinations or course work is required before a student can Advance to Candidacy for the M.S. or Ph.D. program degree.

 

 

Second Year Research Exam (SYRE)

Students seeking Advancement to Candidacy for the Ph.D. degree undergo an SYRE by the end of the student’s fourth academic quarter of residency. The SYRE consists of a written proposal on the subject of the student's Ph.D. research and oral presentation of that proposal.

    • Procedures for the Second Year Research Evaluation
    • Requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees
    • FAQs

      Q. When should I take the exam?
      A.At the beginning of your 2nd year (usually Fall quarter). You will be told which month to schedule your exam for, and you should start scheduling 6 weeks in advance of your desired date.

      Q. How do I know who is on my committee?
      A. You will receive an email listing your committee members and instructions.

      Q. What tasks do I need to complete before the exam?
      A. A checklist of key tasks is provided in the Procedures for the Second Year Research Evaluation document linked above.

      Q. How should I structure my proposal?
      A. See the guidelines in the Procedures for the Second Year Research Evaluation document for key aspects to address.

Oral Qualifying Exam

This examination consists in (1) developing and defending an original research proposal and (2) testing the extent of the candidates’ development and their breadth of knowledge in chemistry and related fields.

  • Procedures for the Oral and Written Qualifying Exam
  • Requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees
  • FAQs

    Q. When should I take the exam?
    A. At the end of your 2nd year (usually Spring quarter).

    Q. How do I know who is on my Qualifying committee?
    A. You will receive an email listing your committee members and instructions. You are responsible (with assistance from your dissertation advisor) for securing a UCR faculty member outside of the Chemistry department to serve on the committee. This outside member cannot hold a cooperating faculty member appointment in the Chemistry Department.

    Q. How early should I start preparing for the Qualifying Exam?
    A. You should start several months in advance, especially for obtaining approval of your original research topic, identification of the outside committee member, and scheduling the exam. See the checklist in the Procedures for the Oral & Written Qualifying Examinations document for details, and pay close attention to the deadlines.

    Q. How do I schedule the exam?
    A. Coordinate a date and time with the Qualifying Exam committee members then contact the Department Chair’s Assistant to reserve a conference room.

    Q. What paperwork is required?
    A. Once you schedule the exam and at least THREE WEEKS PRIOR to the exam, give the date, time, location, outside member, and your home address to the Student Affairs Officer who will prepare the paperwork and send a reminder to the committee. This lead time is necessary to obtain Graduate Division approval. Without this approval, your exam cannot occur.

    Q. How do I choose an outside proposal topic?
    A. Inspiration for outside topics can often be found by browsing recent issues of high-profile journals (Science, Nature, J. Am. Chem. Soc., etc). The outside topic proposal area should be within your same subdiscipline (e.g. analytical, inorganic, organic, or physical chemistry), but it should be clearly distinct from the research you currently do (or have done previously at any institution) or what somebody in your research group might do. You must obtain approval for your outside topic idea from your Qualifying Exam Committee Chair (not your research advisor) before proceeding further.

Final Exam (Dissertation Defence)

The Final Oral Examination of a doctoral candidate is conducted by the student’s Dissertation Committee.

The format of the final oral will include a formal seminar presentation of the dissertation research by the candidate. This presentation should generally be one hour long and should be carefully prepared. The candidate is expected to give satisfactory responses to questions by the Dissertation Committee. The Dissertation Seminar will be open to other students and faculty and those persons may ask questions at the discretion of the Dissertation Committee.

After the formal seminar presentation, the Dissertation Committee will meet in closed session. The candidate may be requested to meet with the Committee in this session to answer additional questions and to discuss modifications of the dissertation. The Committee will notify the candidate concerning the results of the examination immediately after deliberations are concluded.

  • Instructions for the Chairperson
  • Requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees
  • FAQs

    Q. When should I take the exam?
    A. Normative time to degree is 15 quarters.

    Q. What is the format for the dissertation?
    A. Visit Graduate Division’s Dissertation and Thesis Format and Submission Information

    Q. How do I schedule the exam?
    A. Coordinate a date and time with the committee members then contact the Department Chair’s Assistant to reserve a conference room.

    Q. What paperwork is required?
    A. Once you schedule the exam and at least ONE WEEK PRIOR to the exam give the date, time, location, dissertation title, and your home address to the Student Affairs Officer who will prepare the paperwork and send a reminder to the committee. You must also provide an abstract which will be sent to faculty and students.

Appeals Procedures

As of March 19, 2013 the Graduate Council approved new appeal procedures. The purpose of this procedure is to afford UCR graduate students an opportunity to resolve complaints involving academic or administrative decisions that interfere with the graduate student’s academic progress, such as adverse outcomes on qualifying exams, dismissal from graduate standing, placement on probationary status, denial of readmission to the same program (if the student was previously in good standing), disputes over joint authorship of research in accordance with joint authorship policies of campus departments or units, revocation of campus fellowships, and other administrative or academic decisions that terminate or otherwise impede progress toward academic or professional degree goals.  The Departmental Appeal Procedures apply to all departments.  Once those have been exhausted the University Appeal Procedures should be followed. To petition the Graduate Appeal Form should be completed.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Chemistry
Chemical Sciences
501 Big Springs Road

Tel: (951) 827-3789 (Chair's Assistant)
Fax: (951) 827-2435 (confidential)
E-mail: jingsong.zhang@ucr.edu

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