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Past Ph.D. qualifying exam problems (old format)

The Qualifying Exam samples on this page are for the old Qualifying Exam. Students who joined the department prior to autumn 2017 can still take the old Qualifying Exam, but students who joined the department in autumn 2017 or later must take the new Qualifying Exam.

The following PDF files provide old qualifying exam problems for reference. Please be aware that:

  1. A UW NetID is required to open the files.

  2. Materials to be covered in the upcoming qualifying exam are not limited to and may look very different from those shown in the previous exams.

  3. The qualifying exam problems are designed to test a student's understanding of a subject matter at the graduate level, although the subject matter is from undergraduate courses. (In other words, we expect our graduate students to have a more in-depth understanding of the subject matter than an undergraduate student.)

Exam problems

Autumn 2002 Spring 2003
Autumn 2003 Spring 2004
Autumn 2004 Spring 2005
Autumn 2005 Spring 2006
Autumn 2006 Spring 2007
Autumn 2007 Spring 2008
Autumn 2008 Spring 2009
Autumn 2009 Spring 2010
Autumn 2010 Spring 2011
Autumn 2011 Spring 2012
Autumn 2012 Spring 2013
  Spring 2014
Autumn 2014 Spring 2015
Autumn 2015 Spring 2016
Autumn 2016 Spring 2017