On Tuesday I underwent the second of three steps to becoming a Ph.D candidate in my department. The first step, the written comprehensive exam I passed in May. This second step was an oral presentation in front of my Examination Committee, made up of four professors in my department, on my topic of research. I framed my presentation to be about five key points I learned during my Master’s research on airports in megaregions, and a discussion on what can be done in regards to my future dissertation. I presented, with intermittent questions from my committee, for just over 80 minutes. At the end of another question period and asking me to leave the room, I was allowed back in. They then informed me I had passed.
This exercise was good to frame my thoughts on my research so far, and to gather their feedback in a formal setting. My whole committee discussed with me their thoughts on the direction they think the dissertation will go. Over the next semester, I will frame a project proposal, and present this proposal (hopefully in May 2011) as the final step in my process to become a Ph.D candidate.