PhD Qualifying Examinations (QE)

QE1 Comprehensive Written Examination

The comprehensive written examination is a CLOSED book four-hour paper consisting of all open-ended questions. The coverage for the paper is standard undergraduate Physics.

QE1 Policy

In Department of Physics, Ph.D. qualifying comprehensive written exam (QE1) takes place in the first semester into the Ph.D. program (normally on Monday right after the recess week). If a new Ph.D. student fails QE1, he/she will need to pass an oral test conducted by a committee formed by our department Head. This oral test is scheduled four weeks after QE1. If the student fails the oral test again, he/she will have to exit the Ph.D. program, by either leaving NUS or choosing to downgrade to our M.Sc. program.


QE2 Coursework Requirements

The candidate must have minimum Cumulated Average Point (CAP) of 3.50 the semester before his QE. The candidate must have read at least 3 graduate modules, one of which is the seminar module, by the end of the semester completing his/her QE.

(Note: to pass QE, the candidate must maintain CAP≥3.50 the semester of his/her QE.)


QE3 Oral Presentation

An oral presentation to the members thesis advisory committee and public, followed with answering questions. Click here for some important notes on QE3.


QE Timeframe

The whole QE (QE1, QE2, and QE3) should be completed within two years (i.e. four regular semesters) from the start of candidature.


English Language

To pass QE, the candidate must have grade C or better in English course at intermediate level (for those from non-English speaking countries).


Sample Papers

  • Home
  • Student
  • Postgraduates