When a student applies for admission to candidacy, the Dean of the Graduate School appoints a research committee from a list of faculty members suggested by the student in consultation with the chair of the department and submitted by the dean of the college (if required). The committee is composed of a minimum of three members. The chair must possess Full with Dissertation Chair endorsement Graduate Faculty status. The second and third committee members must have Full Graduate Faculty status. This committee evaluates the student’s professional promise, plans for continued study, and progress with respect to the dissertation and later approves the dissertation and sets the final examination of the candidate for the doctoral degree. Admission to candidacy requires the following:
- unconditional admission to the Graduate School;
- submission of a Degree Plan (to be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the completion of eighteen hours of graduate coursework) or an active degree audit;
- demonstration of professional promise;
- good academic standing;
- completion of research tools;
- satisfaction of the residence requirement, if required; and
- successful completion of qualifying examination.
The qualifying examination consists of written and/or oral comprehensive examinations conducted by the candidate’s committee and administered at least one academic year before the degree is expected to be conferred, ordinarily not earlier than during the last semester of the second full year of graduate study. In no case may a student be excused from the qualifying examination. (NOTE: The student must have met research tool and any residence requirements before taking the qualifying examination.)
Candidacy is required prior to a student being enrolled in dissertation.
External Committee Members: A committee chair may request that someone from outside of the university serve on a student's research committee when her/his expertise and/or experience will enhance the quality of the student's research and study experience. The external committee member participates in research meetings but is not a voting member of the committee.