SE Pre-qual Guidance & FAQ

S.E. Pre-qualification Guidance

When you have satisfied the requirements for the software engineering pre-qualification process (as listed in the Software Engineering PhD Qualification Process), you should schedule your pre-qualification interviews. You should complete the SE Pre-qualification Exam Form to take with you to the interviews. It should be signed by the interviewing professor at the time of the interview. When you have completed all three interviews, you should submit this form to SE Graduate Area Advisor. The SE faculty will review your entire case and report to you a result of the pre-qualification process.



When should I start the pre-qualification process?
It is recommended that students initiate the pre-qualification process as soon as they satisfy the pre-qualification prerequisites (as listed in the Software Engineering PhD Qualification Process).

Who are the core SE faculty?
Dewayne Perry, Vijay Garg, Christine Julien, Sarfraz Khurshid, Herb Krasner, and Miryung Kim.

Can my advisor be one of the faculty who interview me?

How do I schedule the interviews?
You should contact three SE faculty members and arrange individual meeting times with them. In general, email is likely the best mechanism for contact. Give the faculty members each a week to respond to your email before following up.

What will I be asked?
The content of an oral interview is at the discretion of the interviewer. However, the material should (a) be limited to general software engineering knowledge; (b) be dependent on coursework or other interactions you have had with the interviewer; and (c) otherwise be disclosed by the interviewer prior to the date of the interview. For example, it would not be out of the ordinary for a faculty member interviewer to select a couple of research papers from a specific area of software engineering that you will be expected to study in advance to discuss in the interview. It is highly recommended that you clarify the expected content of the interview well in advance of the scheduled interview time.

How long will each interview last?
Each individual interview will not be longer than one hour, but can be shorter at the interviewer’s discretion.

What are the GPA requirements?
There are no additional GPA requirements for the SE pre-qualification process. Your performance on your coursework will be part of the SE faculty review of your pre-qualification application after the completion of your interviews.

Do I have to have taken a course with the faculty I choose as my interviewers?

How and when will I be informed whether I have passed the prequal exam?
The SE faculty will meet once a semester near the end of the semester to discuss and evaluate all pre-qualification applications. You will be notified by the Software Engineering Track Advisor of the results of this evaluation before the start of the subsequent semester.

What happens if I do not pass the pre-qualification process?
Students who do not successfully pass the pre-qualification on their first try are allowed a second opportunity. It is strongly recommended that you discuss retaking the prequalifier with your supervisor.