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Result of the Candidacy Examination

Section 7.6 of the Graduate School Handbook

Decision. The decision about the outcome of the candidacy examination is reached in the absence of the student. After discussion, the satisfactory/unsatisfactory decision is reached by means of a vote. Each examiner indicates judgment by posting their decision on the Report on Candidacy Examination that should be submitted to the Graduate School, within 24 hours of the examination’s completion.

Satisfactory. The student is considered to have completed the candidacy examination successfully only when the decision of the candidacy examination committee is unanimously affirmative.

Unsatisfactory. If the examination is judged unsatisfactory, the candidacy examination committee must decide whether the student will be permitted to take a second candidacy examination and must record that decision on the Report on Candidacy Examination.

Second Candidacy Examination. The nature of the second candidacy examination is determined by the candidacy examination committee. Normally the second exam will include both a written and an oral portion. In cases where the student’s performance on the first written exam was of such a high caliber that the exam committee does not request any rewrites, then only the oral portion needs to be repeated. The advisor should indicate on the Report on Candidacy Examination from the first attempt that a new written exam will not be required for the second attempt. If any portion of the first written exam was not satisfactory, the exam committee must administer a second written exam. A second oral exam will always be required. The candidacy examination committee for a second exam must be the same as the committee for the first attempt, unless a substitution is approved by the Graduate School. The second candidacy examination must be completed no later than one autumn or spring semester or summer term before graduation. All other rules pertaining to candidacy exams must be followed.

Graduate Faculty Representative. A Graduate Faculty Representative (GFR) will be assigned to serve on the second oral examination. For second examinations, a typed copy of the written examination, including questions, the student’s responses, together with a statement of the program’s examination format, policies, and procedures, must be presented to the GFR no less than one week before the oral portion of the exam.

Failure. A student who fails the candidacy examination twice is not allowed an additional examination. After two unsatisfactory attempts at the candidacy examination (including the second candidacy examination), a student is not permitted to be a PhD or DMA candidate in the same or in any other graduate program in the affiliated college(s) at this university. A notation of dismissal will be posted to the student’s academic record and further registration will not be allowed. Such students can seek admission to the master’s degree program by utilizing the transfer of graduate program procedure and securing a support letter from the Graduate Studies Committee Chair of the proposed master’s program.

Review. On written appeal by the student or a member of their candidacy examination committee, the Graduate School Grievance Committee will review that student’s candidacy examination to ensure its conformity to Graduate School rules and to determine if it was conducted fairly and without prejudice to the student. The Graduate Council has established review procedures (Appendix D).