Doctoral Candidacy Examination

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.

The candidacy examination is a requirement  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 should 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.

When a student has successfully completed the candidacy examination, the Graduate Program Chair or Supervisor is responsible for submitting a Candidacy Exam result form, signed by all members of the supervisory committee to

In the Health Sciences program, an additional grade entry form is required. Please contact Graduate Administration for a copy of the necessary forms. Following processing of received forms, our office will confirm the results and update the student record to permit continued registration.

Requests for candidacy period extensions should be submitted to Generally, extensions are not permitted, but exceptional circumstances may arise. The Graduate Office should be notified done well in advance of the two year deadline if possible.

Health Sciences Candidacy Process

NRES PhD Progression chart

Psychology PhD Examination Process