Advancing to Candidacy

Advancement to doctoral candidacy is the next milestone for the PhD degree following successful completion of the Qualifying Examination. Students should apply for advancement as soon as possible after passing the QE.

To be eligible for advancement to candidacy you must:

  1. have passed the Qualifying Examination;

  2. have no Incomplete grades;

  3. have a minimum 3.0 grade-point-average in all upper division and graduate work taken while in graduate standing;

  4. have no more than one-third of the total units undertaken for the degree be graded on an S/U basis;

  5. have fulfilled any additional program requirements; and, 

  6. have secured an appropriately configured dissertation committee.

Procedure to Advance to Candidacy

To apply for candidacy, doctoral students submit the online Advancement to Candidacy Committee eForm to the Graduate Degrees Office through CalCentral. The advancement application form should be filed no later than the end of the semester after the semester in which you passed the Qualifying Examination. A mandatory $90 Advancement to Candidacy Fee will be assessed to your CalCentral student account; revenue from this fee is used to support graduate student professional development.

Upon advancement to candidacy doctoral students will see their candidacy status and candidacy end term information displayed in the “Degree Progress” card in their CalCentral My Academics dashboard.

Once students advance to candidacy, they come under the jurisdiction of the Graduate Council, rather than that of the individual departments, Schools, or Graduate Groups, and are governed by a variety of policies intended to ensure their completion of the doctoral degree. The Graduate Council states that “the department must monitor the progress of students, but the completion of the dissertation is the responsibility of the student working with the dissertation committee, which is appointed on behalf of the Administrative Committee of the Graduate Council.”

Doctoral Dissertations Involving Human Subjects or Animal Research

Approval of a human subjects protocol must be procured from the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects before any dissertation research is conducted. Completion of required courses in the protection of human subjects from the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (“CITI modules”) must take place before research is conducted.