Candidacy Examination

The student must be given a written candidacy/qualifying examination, which may be supplemented by an oral examination as prescribed by the program requirements. These are designed to test the student’s breadth and depth of knowledge in the proposed field of specialization, as well as the student’s ability to explore problems on the boundaries of knowledge. Satisfactory performance in the examination is an indication that the student is prepared to perform independent work toward the doctoral degree. The candidacy/qualifying examination must be taken no later than the last semester of course work or the following semester. Copies of the examination are filed with the academic unit and made available on request to any graduate faculty member for a period of two years from the date of examination. The results of the candidacy examination are reported to the College of Graduate Studies on the Candidacy Exam Report form that must be signed by members of the Candidacy Committee. If the student fails the candidacy/qualifying examination, only one retake of the Exam is permitted. The format of the examination and the structure of the candidacy committee may differ among doctoral programs, and in some programs, the candidacy committee will differ from the dissertation committee. Within one week following the completion and determination of the results of the candidacy/qualifying examination, including those of any oral portion, the candidacy committee must sign the ballot indicating that the candidacy examination has been completed. In case of failure of the first candidacy/qualifying examination, the candidacy committee may approve a second examination with no more than one dissenting vote. A second examination can be taken no sooner than three months following the initial failure. As with the first examination, the signed Candidacy Exam Report Form must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies within one week of the determination of the results of the examination.