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The Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary holds both written and oral Candidacy Examinations for its Ph.D. students that are intended to ensure that every Ph.D. candidate has adequate background knowledge of the area of specialization in which he or she will pursue research. The written component is set individually for each student, and questions are generally set by members of the candidate's Supervisory Committee. Its scope is delimited by a reading list, prepared by the supervisor in consultation with the Supervisory Committee and other members of the department interested in the area of specialization, which is given to the candidate some months prior to the examination. In order to give examples of the scope of the candidacy examination, here are six reading lists and question papers that were set during 1991. They are all for students working in areas loosely related to artificial intelligence, and this should help to give some indication of the extent to which reading lists, and examinations, are tailored to individual students' interests. The written examination has both a closed-book and a take-home component. The former often contains more than one paper and the latter typically lasts for several days. The oral component follows within a few weeks, after the examination has been marked. It tends to focus on the student's answers to the written questions, and also on his or her research proposal.
Computer Science