Graduate School Bulletin

Fall 2023

Advancement to Candidacy

Admission to the Graduate School does not automatically qualify a doctoral student as a candidate for the doctoral degree. Formal recommendation, executed by the Graduate Program Director, of advancement to candidacy for the doctoral degree must be made to the Graduate School after a review of the student’s performance in courses, independent study, and program examinations. 

A candidate for the doctoral degree engages in research or scholarship leading to a dissertation. Advanced students may enroll in up to 3 credits per full academic semester (Fall/Spring) in courses that are directly related to the student’s dissertation or provide relevant professional development without prior approval. In addition, students who were approved to work concurrently towards a secondary degree program or advanced graduate certificate prior to advancement to candidacy can also register for courses to satisfy the approved secondary program/certificate. A student’s time limit to complete the primary degree program will not be extended due to enrollment in other courses leading to a secondary program/certificate or professional development. 

Listed below are the minimal requirements for advancement to candidacy mandated by the Graduate School. The individual programs may set additional requirements.

A student may be advanced to candidacy (G5 status) after completing all Graduate School and program requirements other than the dissertation or its equivalent, with the following restrictions:

  • Students on academic probation cannot be advanced to candidacy.

  • Students must be G4 at the time of request for advancement.

  • Students must have grades assigned for all courses in all previous semesters of graduate study.

  • Advancement to candidacy is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School upon recommendation of the Graduate Program Director.

  • Students must be advanced to candidacy for one academic year and may defend their dissertation during their second semester of advancement. An academic year is defined as the Fall and Spring semesters, in either order, that immediately precede the semester of defense. Students in the DMA program may be advanced for one semester prior to their final recital and graduation semester. Summer and winter terms do not count as semesters for purposes of advancement to candidacy.

  • Requests for advancement to candidacy must be received by the Graduate School from the program by day 5 of classes for the advancement to take effect that same semester. Advancements received by the Graduate School after the published deadline date will not take effect until the next semester or term.