As a Ph.D. student, one of the things I have to do is pass quals, which are a series of exams that are intended to determine whether or not I'm ready to do Ph.D.-level research in my area. Today I finished the paperwork to establish an Advisory Committee, which is the group of people who will administer my area qualifier exam, the last such exam I'll have to take. I'm very excited about this! My committee is Amal Ahmed, Dan Friedman, and Daniel Leivant.
At IU, quals are a series of three exams. (Actually, that's no longer true, since the whole system was overhauled this year, but during this liminal period, it's still possible to qualify under the old system, so for better or for worse, that's what I'm doing.) Unlike the first two exams, which are written tests and not tailored to the individual, this one will be an oral exam and particular to my area. To that end, I'll need to work with my committee to make a list of the things I should be studying, then do a lot of reading and preparing. The actual exam will take place in six months or so. (I also still have to pass one of the two written exams, and that's only offered in August, so over the summer I'll need to get busy preparing for that one as well.)
So, um, I suppose it's not so much that I've jumped through the hoop yet, as that I've established that the hoop exists and gotten a rough idea of its size and shape. Still, it's nice to have gotten to that point.