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Doctoral Degree Policies

General Examination -- Admission to Candidacy for Doctoral Degree

A General Examination may be scheduled if: (a) the student has completed 60 credits (some of these credits may be taken the same quarter of the exam); (b) all required program examinations that do not need Graduate School approval have been completed and; (c) all members of the supervisory committee agree that the student's background of study and preparation is sufficient and have approved the student to schedule a General Examination.  At least four members of a supervisory committee (including the Chair, Graduate School Representative, and one additional Graduate Faculty member) must be present at the examination.

What if a committee member does not show up for the exam?

Video Conferencing in Doctoral Examinations

If the General Examination is satisfactory, the supervisory committee members who participate at the examination sign the warrant and return it to the student's graduate program by the last day of the quarter (last day of finals week).  If an examination is unsatisfactory, a supervisory committee may recommend that the Dean of the Graduate School permit up to a maximum of two additional reexaminations after a period of additional study.  Any members of a supervisory committee who do not agree with the majority opinion are encouraged to submit a minority report to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Graduate School Representatives may print GSR reports through their MyGradProgram Faculty View.


Registration as a graduate student is required the quarter that a General Examination is taken.  When the Graduate School approves candidacy, a student is identified and designated as a candidate for the appropriate doctoral degree and is awarded a candidate certificate. After achieving candidate status, a student ordinarily devotes his or her time primarily to the completion of research, writing of the dissertation, and preparation for the Final Examination.

A candidate certificate and the doctoral degree may not be awarded the same quarter.