Advancing to candidacy is the step you take after you’ve completed all departmental and university requirements for the Ph.D. except for the dissertation research and writing. After you advance, you are considered a Ph.D. candidate. In PP&D, most students advance by the spring of their third year, and all students must advance by the end of their fifth year.

Advancement requirements:

  • Complete all course work and writing requirements.

  • Take and pass the comprehensive exams.

  • Develop a dissertation research plan under the supervision of your advisor.

  • Write a dissertation proposal (also called a “prospectus”).

  • Choose a committee of five faculty (for the specific rules on choosing faculty members, see the graduate student handbook) and disseminate your proposal to them. Your faculty advisory committee will give you guidance on what faculty would be best for your advancement committee.

  • Complete an oral defense (sometimes called a “qualifying exam”) of your proposal with your five faculty members, obtaining their signatures of approval.

  • File forms and pay fees. See information on the Graduate Division website.