Doctoral Candidacy Examination

Effective Sept 2015: students will not be eligible for consideration for scheduling of defences unless their administrative paperwork is up to date

Within two years of registration as a Doctoral candidate and at least six months before the final oral examination, a student must pass a candidacy examination. The purpose of this examination is to test the student's understanding of material considered essential to completion of the degree, and to test the student's competence to conduct the research which will culminate in the dissertation. The candidacy examination may be written or oral, or both, at the discretion of the Program. Individual Programs or supervisory committees may also require other examinations in addition to the candidacy examination. Examples of such examinations would be those to test competence in languages other than English, in statistics, in computing, or in other research skills. In some Programs there may be, in addition to the candidacy examinations, comprehensive examinations to be completed before the candidacy examinations to test knowledge in the field.

The candidacy examination is a requirement of the Office of Graduate Programs, and cannot be waived by any Program. However, the form, content, and administration of such examinations are determined by the individual Programs. While there may be wide variety in the content of candidacy examinations, the manner in which the examinations are constructed, conducted, and evaluated must be consistent within Programs.

Programs are responsible for providing students with a written statement of procedures, requirements, and regulations governing candidacy examinations. This information must be provided to Doctoral students at their initial registration, and must be on file with the Office of Graduate Programs.

When a student has successfully completed the candidacy examination, the College Dean, Graduate Program Chair or Graduate Advisor is responsible for sending confirmation of the fact, signed by all members of the supervisory committee, to the Dean of Graduate Programs.