A preliminary examination must be completed following the thesis and before the student can start on his or her dissertation. The student should have completed the majority of his/her courses before scheduling the exam. The exam will be tailored to the student’s career goals and includes two options:
- Option 1: An exam that assesses the student’s mastery of human factors and ability to utilize that knowledge to solve problems. It will include a written component and an oral defense.
- Option 2: The completion of a paper demonstrating mastery of human factors psychology. This paper may be a theoretical paper related to the student’s dissertation, a technical report documenting the use of human factors to solve an applied problem or other type of paper depending on the approval of the department’s Graduate Studies Committee. An oral defense of the paper is required.
The department’s Graduate Studies Committee will decide which option is best for the student, taking into account the student’s preference, interests and career goals.