The Qualifying Paper (QP) is a preliminary exam, administered in line with Graduate Division policy. Students must submit a Qualifying Paper Proposal as part of the requirements for the QP. Thus, an approved QP Proposal is considered the second degree milestone, following the First Year Comprehensive Exam. Students must submit a 2-4 page Qualifying Paper Proposal for faculty adviser approval by October 15th, of the second year in the PhD program, or third year in the Combined MSW/PhD Program.
In the first year of the PhD program (or second year of the Combined MSW/PhD program), students may begin drafting their QP Proposal. You are encouraged to discuss your QP with your Faculty Advisor in spring so that you have shared expectations for the topic, scope, and format of the proposal, and many opportunities for feedback, well before you intend to receive your advisor's approval. Students may benefit from developing a bibliography of relevant works during the spring semester and studying that bibliography during the summer months between Year 1 and Year 2 of the doctoral program.
Students, with their Faculty Advisors, may consider whether an expansion of their mentoring team is needed in order to complete the QP (co-supervision or outside consultation on problem, theory, or methods) and how persons with such expertise or skills may be engaged.
You may submit the QP Proposal early and receive approval to begin work on your QP shortly thereafter. Please note that many advisors are unavailable during the summer term, so please plan accordingly. Students will be notified within four weeks whether the QP proposals are approved by the Doctoral Chair. The four-week review period for QP proposals submitted over the summer begins on the first day of the fall semester in August.