Pre-Candidacy Progress/Qualifying Exam
(Form 1 – Pre-Candidacy Progress)
The purpose of the exam is to determine mastery of track-specific core Nutrition knowledge and to identify any deficiencies to drive the development of the student’s remaining curriculum.
PhD students who completed an oral qualifying exam as an MS student in one of the three departmental MS programs within the past 5 years may have the exam waived upon the student’s submission of their UHM Graduate Division Form I from their MS, as evidence of completion and exam equivalency with the PhD exam. Students from other master’s programs or those entering with a Bachelor’s degree will be required to complete the oral qualifying exam.
The exam should be completed within one to two years of admission into the Nutritional Sciences PhD program. The oral qualifying exam will be administered by an oral qualifying exam committee composed of three faculty members, one to represent each subject matter under examination (track-specific) selected by the student together with their advisor, and approved by the Nutritional Sciences PhD Graduate Chair. The exam content is track-specific, outlined below:
- Human Nutrition Track- three faculty members to represent subject areas that include Basic Nutrition, Nutritional Biochemistry, and Research Methods.
- Food Science Track- three faculty members to represent subject areas that include Food Chemistry/Microbiology, General Food Science, and Research Methods
- Animal Sciences Track- three faculty members to represent subject areas that include General Animal Sciences, Nutrition and Physiology, and Research Methods
- All students will also be asked to provide a brief overview (e.g., problem statement and research questions) of their dissertation research ideas.
Performance on the Qualifying Examination is based on the Nutritional Sciences PhD Program Qualifying Examination Rubric below (Table 1). The student’s advisor is responsible for ensuring that the Nutritional Sciences PhD Program Qualifying Examination Rubric Form is distributed to and collected from committee members at the time of the exam. If the committee agrees that the performance met or exceeded their expectations, then the student will have passed the Qualifying Examination. If the committee agrees that the exam performance was not strong (i.e., did not meet or marginally met expectations), then the student will not have passed the Qualifying Exam. The student’s advisor collects the completed Nutritional Sciences PhD Program Qualifying Examination Rubric Forms from each member of the Advisory committee and tabulates the scores (per instructions on bottom of the Form). Completed Nutritional Sciences PhD Program Qualifying Examination Rubric Forms must be submitted to the Intercollege Nutrition PhD Program Graduate Chair no more than 2 days after the examination.
The exam is repeatable once after successful petition to the Graduate Chair. Students failing the qualifying exam twice must withdraw from the program.