Preliminary Exams

Preliminary examinations are offered at the beginning and end of the Spring semester each year. These are four closed-book written examinations in (i) differential equations, (ii) advanced calculus, (iii) complex variables and (iv) linear algebra. The examinations are given at the advanced-undergraduate/beginning-graduate level. For each of the four exams, students receive a score of 1, 2 or 3, as determined by the faculty committee in charge of the examination. All students in the program are required to take the preliminary exams in the beginning of the Spring semester in the first year of graduate studies. All students must obtain a score of at least 2 on all four exams. A student may retake from one to four of the exams, but exams must be re-taken at the end of the same Spring semester. If the student does not obtain a score of at least 2 on all four exams after two attempts, he or she will be disqualified from further study in the program. Additionally, doctoral students must earn a score of 3 on at least three of the four exams.

For details, please see Policies and Procedures.

Past Exams


Contact Us

Graduate Admissions:
Phone: 209-228-4723
Graduate Funding:
Phone: 209-228-4622
General Inquiries:
Phone: 209-228-4723
Fax: 209-228-6906
Mailing Address:
University of California, Merced
ATTN: Graduate Division
5200 N. Lake Road, SSB 310
Merced, CA 95343


University of California, Merced
The first new American research
university in the 21st century, with a
mission of research, teaching and service.
University of California, Merced
5200 N. Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
T: 209-228-4400
University of California


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