Time Restrictions

The doctoral degree will be granted for no less than the equivalent of three years of full- time graduate study. The Graduate School does not currently track time to candidacy, but encourages programs to implement such candidacy exams early in their programs to allow the students optimal feedback on their aspirations and research. All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within nine consecutive academic years of the date of matriculation into the program, and students can be exited from the program if they have not completed their degree by this time. For details, please visit the Time to Degree section.

Qualifying Exam

Doctoral students are required to complete a department certification process according to the program’s established standards. The student must have at least a 3.0 grade point average in doctoral coursework and fulfill all other pre-candidacy requirements specified by the doctoral program in which the student is enrolled. Upon completion of these requirements the student will receive a formal letter from the Graduate School informing him/her of admission to candidacy.

Department Admission to Doctoral Candidacy Forms/Letters

The program coordinator is responsible for entering the student’s doctoral candidacy members into Grad Tracker and entering the student’s doctoral candidacy date.

If a committee member is not available in the faculty listing because they have not previously served as a committee member, or they are not currently UC faculty, please review the Graduate School Handbook regarding the requirements, and send credentials to Amy Robinson Wheeler for approval by the Director of the Graduate School.

Once the candidacy date and committee members (if already selected) are entered, candidacy letters can be generated online through Grad Tracker (; therefore the Department Admission to Candidacy Form is no longer needed. The system will automatically send candidacy letters on Fridays if the candidacy date is entered the same week candidacy was achieved.

If you enter a candidacy date that is more than one week from when candidacy was achieved, you can generate the candidacy letter the day after you have entered the date by doing the following:

  1. Select the student in Grad Tracker
  2. Click on the Academic Status icon
  3. Click on the Details link for Committee Info
  4. Look to see if Candidacy Letter Sent=”yes”. If “yes”, the letter was automatically sent.

Whether the candidacy letter was previously sent or not, you can always click the Resend button to send yet another. This will send the letter to student, program director, program coordinator, and chair (if committee was entered).