WPE II Exam Regulations

WPE II Framework and Guidelines

The purpose of the WPE II Exam is to demonstrate the candidate’s ability to analyze, evaluate, and present an existing body of research, normally (but not necessarily) in the area in which they intend to carry out their dissertation work. The WPE II should be passed in the student’s second year.

To use the Google docs version of the WPE II approval form, send email to cisphd@seas.upenn.edu, you can share the WPE II form with your WPE II chair, the grad chair, etc. for approvals.

There are two options for fulfilling the WPE II requirement:

  • Critical review – a significant (15-25 pages) piece of scholarly expository writing based on a coherent selection of 2-4 papers from the research literature in the chosen area.
  • A master’s thesis.

For whichever above option is determined appropriate, the student must:

  • Select a faculty member, not the student’s advisor, who agrees to act as the WPE II Chair.
  • With the WPE II Chair select two other faculty members, one of whom may be the student’s advisor, who agree to be the WPE II committee.
  • Obtain approval of the WPE II Chair and Graduate Group Chair of the WPE II approval form.
  • Make a public oral presentation of approximately forty-five minutes overseen by the WPE II chair and committee.

The logistics are as follows:

  • Complete the WPE II approval form, obtaining approval of the WPE II and Grad Group Chairs.
  • The WPE II document should be delivered to the WPE II Chair and committee members.
  • The student, WPE II Chair, and committee agree on a date for the public oral presentation.
  • The WPE II public oral presentation announcement to faculty, fellow doctoral students, and postdocs, with abstract, committee members, room, time, etc., is sent by the student to cis-doctoral@cis.upenn.edu at least two weeks prior to the presentation with a reminder the day before. Click here to access the guidelines for using cis-doctoral@cis.upenn.edu
  • The WPE II is graded either pass or fail: A ‘fail’ may be retried at most once.

The scheduling of the public oral presentation of the WPE II is the responsibility of the student; it is a good idea to begin scheduling early, at least a few weeks in advance of the presentation. The School’s Space Reservation website has information re: availability, technology, & reserving CIS/Engineering conference rooms; use this site to reserve the room for your presentation.

Graduate Program:

Your CIS Contacts:

Redian Furxhiu
Graduate Coordinator for on-campus MCIT, CIS/MSE and CGGT programs
Office: 308 Levine
Phone: 215-898-1668
Email: redian@seas.upenn.edu

Staci Kaplan
Graduate Coordinator for DATS
Office: 308 Levine
Phone: 215-573-2431
Email: stacilk@seas.upenn.edu

Britton Carnevali
Graduate Coordinator for PhD program
Office: 310 Levine
Phone: 215-898-5515
Email: brittonc@cis.upenn.edu

Colleen Kennedy
Graduate Coordinator for ROBO
Office: 459 Levine
Phone: 215-573-4907
Email: robo-coord@seas.upenn.edu

Liz Wai-Ping Ng
Associate Director for Embedded Systems MSE program
Office: 313 Levine
Phone: 215-898-8543
Email: wng@cis.upenn.edu

Katherine Thompson
PICS Program Coordinator Academic Advisor for SCMP
Office: 3401 Walnut, 5th Fl.
Phone: 215-573-6037
Email: kathom@seas.upenn.edu