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Changes to Qualifying Exams Presented by: School of Aerospace Engineering Student Advisory Council (SAESAC) The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "Changes to Qualifying Exams Presented by: School of Aerospace Engineering Student Advisory Council (SAESAC) The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 Changes to Qualifying Exams Presented by: School of Aerospace Engineering Student Advisory Council (SAESAC) The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

2 Overview of Quals (Current) Pick 3 areas Take 2 classes in each area Take a 1-hour oral exam on each of the three areas There are 2 professors for each area – 5 out of 6 votes required to pass – 4 votes allows the 6 professors to open a discussion Usually taken during the end of a student’s 2 nd semester

3 Overview of Quals (Current) Currently, there are many (15) different areas for students to chose from. This causes there to be a lot of classes that need to be offered each year The number of classes that students are required to take (6 in total) can cause students to have to wait till their 3 rd year to take quals.

4 The Process of Changing Quals An Ad Hoc Faculty Committee on the Quality Improvement of the AE Graduate Education was formed in early One of the items this committee looked at was the qualifier exams. In April 2010, SAESAC held a Graduate Student Town Hall Meeting and conducted a Survey in order to get student feedback on the exams (as well as other graduate student issues) In November 2010, the Ad Hoc Faculty Committee presented their Progress Report on AE Graduate Education In Fall of 2011, the faculty of the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering voted to change the PhD Qualifier Exams…

5 Changes to Quals First and foremost… These changes will not take effect until Fall of This means that most students currently enrolled will not be affected by the changes.

6 Changes to Quals 1.Students will be required to take exams in 2 areas 2.Pick from the following 6 areas: 3.Each of these areas will have 2 classes – 1 common to that area – 1 of the classes to be chosen by the student from a list of 1-3 pre- approved classes 1.Controls 2.Design 3.Structures 4.Fluids 5.Propulsion 6.Aeroelasticity Example: Propulsion Kinetics & Thermodynamics of Gases AE 6765 Combustion AE 6766 Gas Dynamics AE 6050 Common course: Courses to chose from:

7 Changes to Quals (the similarities) There will still be 6 professors total (3 per discipline area) Qualifying exams will still be held during the fall and spring only The exams are oral Students are still given two attempts to pass Passing requirements the same – 5 out of 6 votes required to pass – 4 votes allows the 6 professors to open a discussion

8 What the New Quals Are Not… No written component No math exam No substitutions of professors (i.e. the 3 professors that administer qualifiers in that area will be the same for all of the students taking that qualifier) Most courses should stay the same – Each discipline (of the 6) is finalizing any changes to their courses – These changes will be submitted by the end of February so they can be taught in Fall of 2012

9 Why? Most students currently take qualifying exams too late (5 th or 6 th semester on average), and it was felt that students should be taking these exams at the end of their 1 st year or during their 2 nd year at the latest The number of different disciplines (and therefore courses) was so high that professors were often limited in what they could teach. By reducing the number of areas (and courses), professors will be able to teach new courses throughout the year

10 The list of courses is in the process of being finalized by the faculty in each of the six disciplines The courses will be finalized by the end of March 2012 and will be uploaded then After the courses are released, SAESAC will conduct a survey of graduate students preparing to take the qualifiers in order to determine what considerations need to be made for a possible “transition period” What’s Next


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