Examination for Advancement to Candidacy

Graduate Program in Chemistry
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To be recommended for candidacy for the doctor's degree in chemistry, in addition to demonstrating an understanding and knowledge of the fundamentals of chemistry, a student must give satisfactory evidence of proficiency at a high level in the primary field of interest, as approved by the division. This is accomplished by an oral candidacy examination, which must be held during or before the fifth term of graduate residence (excluding summer terms).


Candidacy Committee Recommendation Form
Candidacy Procedures
Candidacy Examination Results Form
Candidacy Program Form
Candidacy Committee & Date Form

The candidacy committee shall consist of the thesis advisor(s) and two additional faculty members; at least two of the three members must be chemistry faculty.

The committee should be considered as a resource for the student for the remainder of his or her studies. At the candidacy examination, a student is asked to demonstrate scientific and professional competence and promise by discussing a research report and propositions as described below.

The research report should describe progress and accomplishments to date and plans for future research. Two original research propositions, or brief scientific theses, must accompany the report, and at least one must be well removed from the student's field of research. These propositions should reflect his or her breadth of familiarity with the literature, originality, and ability to pose and analyze suitable scientific research problems. Students should be prepared to discuss their work and their proposals through their written document and/or writing at the blackboard/whiteboard. A presentation is not required. The research report and propositions must be in the hands of the examining committee one week before the examination.

The result of the candidacy examination may be either (a) pass, (b) fail, or (c) conditional. Conditional status is granted when the committee decides that deficiencies in a student's research report, propositions, or overall progress can be remedied in a specific and relatively brief period of time. In order to change conditional to pass status, the student must correct the indicated deficiencies or in some cases schedule a new examination the following term.

You must be admitted to candidacy at least three terms before the final oral examination. A student cannot continue graduate work in chemistry (nor can financial assistance be continued) past the end of the sixth term of residence without being admitted to candidacy, except by petitioning the division for special permission. This permission, to be requested by a petition submitted to the Graduate Study Committee stating a proposed timetable for correction of deficiencies, must be submitted before registration for each subsequent term (including the summer following the sixth term of residence) until admission to candidacy is achieved.