Milestones: Advancing to Candidacy
Master’s students advance to candidacy once they have complete the majority of their coursework and have formed their capstone project (M.Eng) or thesis (M.S.) committee. In order to advance, students must also have a 3.0 GPA and be in good academic standing. The process for advancing involves filling out one of these forms at least one quarter prior to the quarter you intend to graduate:
If you need help to form your committee, you should consult with your thesis or capstone project advisor to determine what other faculty would be appropriate additional readers. These committee members do not need to be a part of our graduate program faculty and can actually be from outside of the university. Generally, your major professor should serve as the chair of the committee.
Students should select their qualifying exam committee in consultation with their major professor as the major professor may not serve on the qualifying examination committee. This committee should also include one faculty member from outside of our graduate program (tip: this can be different from our department faculty. Graduate program faculty can be found here). After determining the committee membership and selecting a chair of the committee, the student should work with the faculty to determine a mutually agreeable time and date for the exam, allowing for the exam to last up to four hours. Once a time and date have been agreed upon, the student should email Debbie Snyder (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve a room for the examination, and begin the process of completing the Qualifying Examination Application. This form should be completed at least four weeks prior to the examination date. Prior to the examination, students should meet with their committee members and, if possible, practice their presentation for their lab group members.
Once the exam has been passed, the student should advance to candidacy as soon as possible by completing the Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Plan B as the time to degree clock begins after the qualifying examination is completed. Like the Master’s thesis committee and the qualifying examination committee, students may select a faculty member from outside of the university to serve on the dissertation committee. Additionally, in most cases, the major professor will serve as the dissertation committee chair.