PhD qualifying process guidelines

  1. PURPOSE: The PhD qualifying process is a holistic assessment of a student’s potential for successfully completing the PhD degree. It is performed by the full U-M Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) faculty following the completion of the first year of doctoral study. The following factors are considered in the assessment:
    • Performance in coursework
    • Performance in directed research (IOE 801)
    • Other factors (e.g., professional/academic conduct) that demonstrate the student’s potential for completing original research and other degree requirements.
  2. ELIGIBILITY: To participate in the qualifying process, the student is expected to satisfy the following requirements:
    • Be officially admitted as a Pre-Candidate by the IOE Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid Committee
    • Complete at least two semesters in the IOE graduate program
    • Complete at least four didactic courses from a list of eligible PhD qualifying courses specified by the IOE faculty. Operations Research students select from the list in Appendix A; Ergonomics students select from the list in Appendix B. The advisor must indicate approval of all selected courses with a signature.
    • Achieve a GPA of at least 3.65 for all of the selected PhD qualifying courses.
    • Complete a directed research project with their PhD advisor (IOE 801).
  3. DIRECTED RESEARCH: The student registers for IOE 801 and performs directed research during Winter term. The student works with his/her advisor during the preceding Fall to develop a proposal; this proposal must be approved by the advisor and submitted to the IOE Graduate Program Office prior to the start of the Winter term. The project must be completed by the end of the Winter term, and the final report must be submitted to the Graduate Program Office. The advisor will assign a letter grade (A-E) and will write a detailed memorandum evaluating the student’s performance on the project and his/her potential for success in doctoral research.
    1. Pass: The student has met all expectations for the first year of doctoral study.
    2. Conditional pass: The student has demonstrated one or more specific weaknesses and is given guidance (e.g., taking additional courses and achieving minimum grades, finding a new advisor, etc.) to overcome the weakness(es). To continue in the program, the student must establish a written plan that complies with all conditions established by the faculty within 2 weeks of the faculty evaluation. Progress in completing this plan will be evaluated each semester by the IOE faculty and will be considered by the Preliminary Examination Committee to assure that the student is positioned to continue in the Ph.D. program.
    3. Fail: The student has not demonstrated satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. degree and is not permitted to continue in the program. If the student is eligible to receive an IOE Masters Degree, he/she may register for a maximum of one additional term to complete this degree.