University of Texas at Austin

Preliminary Exams

Last updated: Jan 29, 2024

At the end of the first full academic year, each doctoral student is required to demonstrate a graduate level proficiency in CSEM Areas A, B and C by passing a written preliminary examination in each area. These exams cover the subject material of the first-year courses taken by the student.

A student failing any of the preliminary exams will be required by the examining committee to do one of the following:

  • take a make-up exam before the start of the Fall semester
  • repeat that particular exam the following year
  • leave the program

Exams are typically held from 9:00am – 12:00pm. The Graduate Coordinator will communicate the time and location of the exams at the beginning of the Spring semester.

Students may use the study packets below, consisting of exams from previous years, to help prepare for the prelim exams:

Back to PhD program overview.

Exam dates for the 2023–24 academic year:

  • May 15, 2024 - Area C
  • May 17, 2024 - Area B
  • May 20, 2024 - Area A