Preliminary Exams

Psychology students typically complete written preliminary examinations by the start of their fourth year in the program. Leading up to this department-wide deadline, your area and/or advisor will establish the timeline and mechanisms for completing the written examination.

GSSP maintains an overview of steps that all students must complete for preliminary examinations and when those steps must be completed. Both GSSP's and the department's steps must be completed to meet the examination requirement for your degree. Consult the Graduate Student Handbook and your area handbook for detailed guidance on exam formats, timelines, and expectations.

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  • Preliminary Written Exam Results form - complete the top portion then send it to your advisor(s) for signature and submission to the ADGS.
  • Committee submission workflow - review examination committee policies and declare or update the examination committee. 
  • Preliminary Oral Examination Results form - GSSP will email you the link to initiate this form for your committee chair after you have scheduled your oral exam with GSSP (see Scheduling, below) and been cleared by GSSP to proceed. 


  • Consider using Doodle or a similar scheduling tool to identify times in common with your committee members for the oral prelim exam. 
  • Work with your committee to determine the exam modality. If your prelim oral exam will be conducted via zoom, review and follow the Procedure for Holding A Remote Preliminary Oral Exam
  • At least two weeks before your prelim oral exam, contact your Area Support Person and tell them:
    • The date and time of your prelim oral exam
    • The names and emails of your committee members
    • The name of the faculty member who is serving as the chair of your committee
    • The modality of your defense (in-person, hybrid, or remote)
  • At least one week before your exam, Schedule your Prelim Oral Exam with GSSP.
    • Note: Scheduling can proceed after your GPAS planner is fully approved and the written prelim exam has a passing result recorded in the system. 


  • Advisors communicate written prelim exam results to you in writing, see your area handbook for details.
  • Committee chairs communicate oral exam results verbally at the end of the exam and report the results using an electronic form. You must initiate this form using the link provided in GSSP’s scheduling confirmation email. You will receive confirmation emails from GSSP when the results form has been received and processed.
Pat Frazier
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)
N571 EltH | 625-6863
Laura Luepke
Associate Director of Graduate Studies (ADGS)
S243 EltH | 626-3483
Hope Savaria
Graduate Program Support & Event Specialist
S244 EltH | TBD
Heidi Wolff
Curriculum and Graduate Services Specialist
S258 EltH | 624-5002
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