University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.

Preliminary and Qualifying Examinations

The doctoral program requires a preliminary examination, which will be taken no later than the end of the fifth semester. The function of the preliminary examination is to determine whether the student has a workable and appropriate research plan that, if fulfilled, will produce an acceptable thesis. This exam also determines whether the student has sufficient background to undertake the proposed research. Contact the BCB program manager when you are ready to schedule the exam.

Preliminary Examination Comprises Three Components

  • A written thesis proposal prepared in the format of a federal research grant, submitted to the committee and BCB Director at least two weeks prior to the oral examination.
  • A public, oral presentation of the research proposal (approximately 1 hour); directly followed by
  • A non-public oral examination in which committee members and the BCB Director will ask questions about the proposed research, and about background and core coursework (approximately 2 hours).

Failing the Preliminary Exam

If a student does not schedule the preliminary exam by the end of the fifth semester deadline, then it is an automatic first failed exam, unless a petition is submitted to the BCB Governing Board and the petition is approved. Students who fail their preliminary exam will be given one more opportunity to pass. The second attempt should be taken no sooner than 90 days after the failed exam but no later than six months after the date of the first exam.


Physical Address:
Brink Hall 300

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 1103
Moscow, ID 83844-1103

Phone: 208-885-6742

Fax: 208-885-5843


Web: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology