All Ph.D. programs must include a quality control process
. According to the current Mines Catalog Graduate Bulletin
To demonstrate adequate preparation for the Ph.D. degree in Physics, each student must achieve a grade of 3.0 or better in each core course. Students not meeting this standard must pass oral examinations covering the relevant core courses or retake the courses with a grade of 3.0 or better within one year. This process is part of the requirement for admission to candidacy, which full time Ph.D. students must complete within two calendar years of admission, as described in the campus-wide graduate degree requirements section of this bulletin. Other degree requirements, time limits, and procedural details can be found in the Physics Department Graduate Student Advising Brochure.
The Graduate Student Advising Committee (GSAC), described above and selected by the physics faculty, administers this policy. The GSAC guides the progress of the incoming physics graduate students, organizes the necessary oral examinations, and makes recommendations of graduate students to the Physics faculty for admission to Ph.D candidacy. Each student passing the core courses identified above with a grade point average of 3.0 or better will be eligible to apply for Ph.D. Candidacy. See the form entitled Quality Control Completion available from the Forms section on this page.
Students who do not meet this standard will be required to take an oral examination in areas of weakness as determined by the GSAC, typically in those core courses were the student received a grade lower than B (3.0). Members of the physics faculty will administer the necessary oral examinations during as scheduled, generally as soon as possible after the student has completed the core sequence. The GSAC may grant students postponements in emergency circumstances. If the student fails the oral examination, the student may either (a) repeat the subject course or courses or (b) retake the oral examination at the next regularly scheduled opportunity. Students electing to repeat courses who fail to attain a grade point average of 3.0 or better in the physics graduate core with the new grade substituting for the previous may not become Ph.D. candidates. Likewise, students who fail the oral examinations twice may not become Ph.D. candidates.
Students with previous graduate training may request the GSAC to consider substitution of earlier courses for core courses within one month of initiating graduate studies at CSM. Students admitted to the physics graduate program with a M.S. degree or a foreign equivalent, will have their previous course work, thesis, and other academic materials evaluated by the GSAC which will determine which courses, if any, can be substituted for core courses. Please see Transfer Credit in the Arrival at Mines section on this page for more information on transfer credit.