General Exam: Physical

Written Exam:

What is the format? How long does the exam take?

  • The written portion of the General Examination will be taken at home and will consist of questions on topics including quantum chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics, the student’s courses, and recent seminars and literature.
  • Questions will be submitted by the student’s advisory committee and interested PChem faculty and selected by the advisory committee(s) of the student(s) involved.

Oral Exam:

 How long should the presentation be? What should I cover?

  • The oral portion combines a defense of an original research proposal (submitted in advance by the student) with questions of a general chemical nature.
  • The objective of this approach is to examine the student’s capability for independent thinking and self-criticism, and to test the student’s breadth of general knowledge.
  • The original research proposal is expected to be on a topic that is outside the area of the candidate’s research program.

When do I give my committee a copy of my proposal? How many days in advance of the exam?

  • Prior approval of the topic by the student’s advisory committee is recommended.