Preliminary Exam

The Preliminary Exam is required in order to present your research proposal to your committee. This includes a written manuscript and 15-minute committee presentation.

Assignments and Milestones


Before registering for the Prelim exam course (EPOL 591) students must complete all course requirements, pass the General and Special examinations, complete EPOL 588, and have records of readers’ results and a copy of completed exams in your Graduate Student Record. You must also receive approval to tentatively schedule your examination. You need to be registered for 591 or 599 during the term of your examination.

At least four weeks prior to your desired preliminary and final thesis exams, complete both the seminar request form and the Graduate College’s Preliminary Exam Request form (via the petition process). But do not do this until you have been tentatively approved to proceed to your preliminary exam and that a date has been tentatively confirmed by Dr. Francis. Note that your exam date is subject to change based on your final manuscript approval.

Manuscript Milestones

Chapter 1 to 3 become your preliminary exam manuscript – your research proposal. Refer to the Admin Updates with prefix of 4 (referenced above) for specific instructions.


  • Refer to the Work Submission and Review Process webpage for specific submission and review details and instructions (at this stage you will be duplicating the prior work, but do not do this too early. Follow the steps on the Work Submission page).
  • Once you have scheduled a tentative preliminary exam date with Dr. Francis, you can submit the Online EdD EPOL Prelim/ 591 Request Form, which allows you to register for the preliminary exam seminar. This tentative date is subject to change based on manuscript approval.
  • Dr. Kalantzis will approve you to proceed to examination. At that time the date will be confirmed.
  • You earn a grade for the seminar once you have passed your preliminary examination.
Presentations (Examination)

Coordinate with Dr. Francis to arrange your peer and committee oral examination dates. Refer to the Preliminary Exam Outline PDF for additional details

  • Prepare a 15-minute Oral Presentation
  • Present to your peers (15-minute presentation, 30-minute session)
  • Present to your Committee (15-minute presentation; 60-minute session)
Planning Checklist
  1. IRB Materials submitted to your advisor for signature
  2. IRB Materials submitted to the IRB office with advisor’s signature
  3. Admin Updates completed
  4. Draft of Chapters 1 to 3 in the Graduate College format with correct committee member names and proper filename convention (your name, work type, brief/descriptive title, and revision date) sent to Dr. Francis for preliminary review
  5. Tentative approval from Dr. Francis to schedule preliminary examination. Date is subject to change based on Dr. Kalantzis’ approval of your full manuscript.
  6. Draft of Chapters 1 to 3 in the Graduate College format with correct committee member names and proper filename convention (your name, work type, brief/descriptive title, and revision date) uploaded to CGScholar
  7. Registered for 591 or 599 during the term/semester when you have been approved to schedule your examination
  8. Preliminary exam committee form filled out (your committee details can be found on our Google tracker; main roster and committee details tabs)
  9. IRB approval received
Final Manuscript and Approval Checklist

Final Manuscript and Approval

  1. Dr. Kalantzis’ approval to proceed to examination
  2. PPT attached to your work in CGScholar, and receive approval
  3. Committee-version of manuscript uploaded to CGScholar at least two weeks prior to the examination – make sure no change notes, no tracked changes, no comments, etc.  Correct title page, etc. A clean version with a useful filename (your name, work type, brief description, date) ready for committee’s eyes
  4. Monday night’s peer presentations (our normal zoom link)
  5. Tuesday’s committee presentation (different zoom link; in the calendar invite)