Each doctoral candidate is required to write Field Examinations in both their fields of study. In every field the Field Examination is based on the Core Courses in the field. It may be an entirely written exam, but in some fields the written component will be accompanied by an oral examination. In most fields, the Field Examination extends somewhat beyond the material covered in the Core Course. The exam for Field 1 is normally taken in May or August of the first year and for Field 2 by the end of the second year. (A May sitting requires that all assignments in the core course be completed.)
To continue in the doctoral program a student must receive a grade of A- or better in the Field Examinations. A student who fails to achieve an A- has the opportunity to take the exam one more time. The make-up exam must be taken at the next available sitting (August for a student whose first attempt was in May; December for a student whose first attempt was in August). Failure in the make-up examination means that the student may no longer continue in the doctoral program.