- The PhD Qualifying Examination (QE) is an important and integral part of the overall assessment of every PhD candidate.
- Every PhD student has to pass the QE which is arranged and
conducted by the respective Schools typically at around 18th month, but
not exceeding 24th month from the commencement of the student’s PhD
candidature. The timing of the Qualifying Examination may be initiated
by the supervisor or by the School. Note: The student needs to achieve a
cGPA of 3.5 and above before he/she can proceed to sit for the QE.
- Under the guidance of the student’s supervisor, he/she should
submit a succinct QE report to members of the QE panel at least one
month before the date of the QE presentation. The QE panel can direct
the student to amend the report to the satisfaction of the
- Members of the QE panel for PhD students should be holding a PhD
qualification or its equivalent doctoral research degrees. Nominations
of QE Panel are to be approved by the School Associate Chair (Graduate
- The Qualifying Examination panel should consist of at least 3
independent members who are appointed by the Associate Chair (Graduate
Studies). The Chairman, whose role is that of the representative of the
Associate Chair (Graduate Studies), should be a senior faculty staff
who is an Associate Professor or above. The other internal members of
the QE panel can be tenured or tenure-track faculty staff. NTU’s
lecturers and senior lecturers cannot serve as members of the QE panel.
- The other two independent members of QE panel may be members of
the Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) provided there is no conflict of
interest and that these TAC members do not have joint publications with
the PhD candidate. The supervisor and co-supervisor cannot be members
of the QE panel. In the case of IPP funded students, the Industry TAC
member may participate in the QE without being a voting member.
- The role of the QE panel is to establish that the student has a
realistic programme of study and research (with intermediate
objectives) on a topic that offers sufficient scope for research
training and which is likely to prove an intellectually rewarding
investigation that can be expected to produce sufficient results for
submission of an acceptable thesis in the time designated for the
- It is not a requirement for the PhD student to publish any journal paper prior to the Qualifying Examination.
See the QE flow chart below.