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Qualifying exams

Half-way through your project, you have to take the qualifying exam. The purpose of this is to make you summarize and organize your work so far, to make you (and your supervisor) stop and reflect on the original formulation of the PhD project and where it is now headed, and to practice presenting your work in a way that people unfamiliar with your project can understand. Furthermore, the qualifying exam is an excellent opportunity for you to get feedback from an external examiner.

  • You have to prepare a Progress Report of at most 30 pages about your work so far. The report must contain a plan for your remaining time as a PhD student (approx. one page detailing both scientific plans, and plans for teaching, taking courses, going abroad, etc.).
  •  You have to defend the report in the presence of your supervisor, an external examiner, and one scientific staff member of the local PhD committee. Your defence is public and it consists of a half-hour prepared presentation from you, followed by discussions of your presentation and your project. The defence can maximally last two hours, including your presentation - usually the discussions last 30-60 minutes.
  • The exam is pass or fail.
  • It is recommended to finish most your 30 ECTS before the qualifying exam.
  • If you are employed based on a Bachelor's degree (i.e. you are doing your Master's in parallel with your PhD), you formally get your Master's degree after passing the qualifying exam. You will not receive a grade, unless you do not finish your PhD (so the exam is still pass or fail, but a secret grade will be saved in case of not completing the full PhD). Furthermore, in this case the external examiner must be a member of the Danish Censorkorps.
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