Advancement to Candidacy

After passing the qualifying exam, students advance to candidacy, and oversight of academic progress transfers from the graduate advisor (the faculty member assigned as advisor when the student entered the program) to the PI and thesis committee chair. The student no longer meets quarterly with the graduate advisor, and instead begins regular (at least annual) meetings of the thesis committee.

Students must advance to candidacy within two weeks of passing the qualifying exam. 

After advancing to candidacy, students must hold the first meeting of the thesis committee by April 30 of the 3rd year, and subsequently, must meet with the thesis committees at least annually. 

In order to graduate, it is required that, after advancing to candidacy, students must be registered and classified as "in residence" for fully three quarters before graduating. If there is a delay filing the advancement to candidacy application, it could delay a student’s graduation.

Students may not advance to candidacy with an incomplete on the transcript.

NOTE: Non-resident tuition is waived (for a period of 3 years) for international students who have advanced to candidacy.

Steps to Advance to Candidacy
No Later than Two Weeks after Passing the Qualifying Exam:

•    Form thesis committee (see guidelines for thesis committee formation).

•    Complete the Application for Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (form available in StudentPortal)

Once the application has been reviewed by the Graduate Division, the student will receive notification of advancement to Ph.D. candidacy. The faculty serving on the thesis committee and the program office will also be notified.