Oral Prelim Exam Requirements / Format
Most oral preliminary exams last around 2-3 hours. The written component of your prelim is the cumulative exams - consequently, you must have completed your cumulative exams prior to having your oral prelim. Current divisional requirements state that the oral prelim is to be performed within one year of completing your cumulative exams. Prior to the actual exam, you must prepare the following materials:
approximately 20-30 page document summarizing your current research accomplishments
full experimental procedures for your current research accomplishments (**this is a requirement is something the Carter lab requires of all my students. It should be distributed along with the written portion of the current research accomplishments**)
approximately 10 page document summarizing your independent (proposed) research project (not related to your current research)
Make sure to distribute these materials to your committee no later than 1 week prior to exam.
The actual exam is broken up into two parts:
30-45 minute "PowerPoint" seminar on your current research accomplishments - typically you get 45 minutes of questions after your seminar. Make sure to include a section to discuss what remaining research you need to perform to complete your Ph.D.
20 minute "PowerPoint" seminar on your independent (proposed) research project (not related to your current research) - typically you get 45 minutes of questions after your seminar. It is not uncommon to get interrupted during your seminar with questions. Also, be prepared with backup plans and justification for your proposed research.
Immediately after the exam, you will be informed the outcome.