Doctoral Candidacy

Candidacy in the doctoral programs is the time after a student’s completed required coursework, but before the defense of their research dissertation. Preliminary examinations or such other substantial tests as the departments may elect frequently are used as prerequisites for admission to candidacy. A student must be admitted to candidacy within five years after admission to the doctoral program. A student must be admitted to candidacy at least two full sequential semesters (spring, summer or fall) before the date on which the doctoral degree will be conferred.

A complete entry of the doctoral degree requirements may be found in our online catalog.

Admission to Candidacy

Applications for admission to candidacy for the doctorate are made by the student and submitted to the major department for further action and transmission to The Graduate School. The Application for Admission to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy form delineates all course work taken and proposed by the student in fulfillment of degree requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to submit the form promptly when all the requirements for candidacy have been fulfilled.

Students must complete all their program requirements for the degree, including the dissertation and final oral examination, within four years after admission to candidacy. Extensions of time are granted only under the most unusual circumstances. Failure to complete all requirements within the time allotted requires another application for admission to The Graduate School with the usual requisites as determined by the department or program committee.

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Candidacy Ceremony

Every Fall, the Graduate School hosts a semi-formal ceremony for our new doctoral candidates. This is an exciting milestone on the journey towards a doctoral degree, and we would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that you have already put towards your degree. It is also a time to network with other students from different disciplines and gain momentum for the challenges of independent research ahead. After successfully reaching candidacy and completing the admission form, you will be invited to attend by the Graduate School.

The Fall 2023 Candidacy ceremony will be held in the UC Ballroom on Friday, November 3rd from 12pm to 2pm.

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Registration for Candidates

For those doctoral students who have reached candidacy, 899 dissertation research is now a fixed nine-credit course. Tuition and fees will be adjusted so that students will only be billed at the rate of two credits. This applies to both in-state and out of state students. Based on the number of credits, all students registered for 899 will be considered full-time. Those doctoral students who have not reached candidacy should register for 898, to receive credits for pre-candidacy research. 898 is a variable credit course with a range from three to nine credits.

You must register for at least two (2) semesters of 899, and continue to register for 899 until degree completion. While two semesters is required, there is no maximum number of 899 courses for which a student may enroll.

If a candidate has extenuating circumstances where defense and degree completion fall between semesters, contact your advisor and academic department to resolve.

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