PhD admission specialty exams are carried out by the examination commission (hereinafter referred to as the commission). The commission has to comprise three to five people with academic degrees or academic titles in given area: the chair and from two to four members. The composition of the commission is approved by order of the head of the institution.
Applicants to a PhD programme pass competitive entrance exams in accordance with the educational program of specialty, approved by the Supreme Certifying Committee, in the scope of which the topic of the dissertation was approved. An applicant with a higher professional education that does not correspond to the area of science, in the scope of which the topic of the dissertation is approved, passes an additional exam in the general scientific discipline for this branch of science.
Тhe speciality exam is scheduled two times a year – in April-June and October-December.
The schedule of the PhD admissions exam in specialty is approved by the head of the institution, a notice is sent to the Ministry. The following information about the exam is announced on the notice board and (or) on the official website of the institution:
- exam venue, date and time seven working days prior to the exam,
- list of exam questions at least a month prior to the exam,
- procedural requirements approved by the head of the institution.
The list of questions for the exam in speciality, which covers the content material of the previous levels of professional education programmes, is compiled by specialized chairs (departments), science department or commission of the institution and approved by its head.
Two days prior to the speciality exam, on the basis of the announced list of questions, exam tickets (tasks, tests) are made up. Exam tickets shall bear the signature of the chairperson of the commission and be stamped with the official seal of the institution. Exam materials (tickets, tests, assignments or topics) are reviewed and adjusted annually.
The format of the exam (written or oral) is determined by the admissions commission, based on the speciality specifics. Oral responses are audio recorded, recordings are stored for at least 24 hours from the date of publication of the final results.
Exam questions and the final result of the speciality exam are protocolled for each examinee separately. The level of knowledge in the specialty area is evaluated in a 4-point grading scale: “excellent”, “good”, “satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory.”
Of the 4-point grading scale, passing are the grades “excellent” or “good.” The protocol is signed by the chairperson and members of the commission. The protocol is stored in the examining organization, which issues a certificate of passing the exam.
The examinee shall present an identity document to the commission prior to the start of the exam.
The order of appeal of the decision of the commission:
1) the examineе can appeal against the result of the speciality exam within one hour after its announcement by filing a written complaint to the chairperson of the commission, which is due for consideration on the same day,
2) the appeal is attended by employees of the administrative apparatus of the institution (dean or representative of the educational-methodological unit) who are not members of this commission, as well as a representative of the student council or council of young scientists of the institution, whose candidacies are approved in advance by the head of the institution,
3) in the presence of the applicant, the written exam paper is reviewed and discussed, in case of an oral exam, the recording is heard. As a result of the appeal by open vote, by a simple majority of votes of the members of the commission and the persons involved, a decision is made:
- to leave the assessment unchanged,
- to increase the grade.
4) the decision is protocolled and signed by the chairperson of the commission, an employee of the administrative apparatus, a representative of the student council and the applicant. In case of disagreement with the decision made by one of these persons, a special written review is submitted, which is attached to the protocol,
5) in case the assessment is changed, an appropriate protocol is drawn up,
6) the specialty exam result may be appealed in court in the manner prescribed by law.
In case of failing the exam, the applicant can take it during the next examination sessions.
The result of specialty exam is valid throughout the PhD admissions exam session of the current academic year of the given education institution.