The Qualifying Examination is ideally taken within 6 semesters of starting the program, but up to 8 semesters is within norms. If the Qual is not a Thesis Proposal, then a satisfactory Thesis Proposal should be presented by the end of 10 semesters. In some cases it may be necessary to delay this strict deadline depending on the format of the exam (please see the Qual Format section for more details). Significant delays, however, will be brought to the attention of the research advisor and to the faculty at large at the EE and CS Student Review meetings. The exam is meant to demonstrate readiness to do research; it is not intended as a defense of an all-but-completed dissertation. An inability to successfully pass or take the Qualifying Exam may result in probationary status, and eventual ineligibility to complete the Ph.D. program.