Instructions for Ph.D. Students Taking the "Senate" Exam - Advancement to Candidacy

First read Advancement to Ph.D. Candidacy for an overview.

Step 1 — Notify the Graduate Program Coordinator about your intent to take the "Senate" Exam. To allow adequate time, you should do this at least 4 weeks before the time you expect to take the "Senate" Exam. You should also discuss your "Senate" Exam with your faculty advisor to know what is expected of you.

Step 2 — You will need to form a doctoral committee and get it approved:

Appointment of the Doctoral Committee for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

  • You should meet with your research advisor to discuss who should be appointed to your committee. For instructions and policies on who can serve on your committee, please read these pages at the Graduate Division website: Appointment of the Doctoral Committee and Doctoral Committee Membership Chart. In addition to the campus-wide policies, the program has policies listed on the Advancement to Ph.D. Candidacy page.
  • Once you have discussed your committee with your research advisor, send it to the BISB Graduate Program Coordinator at least 3 weeks before the time you expect to take the "Senate" Exam. You cannot take the "Senate" Exam until the Graduate Division approves your committee. You will get a copy of the approval from Graduate Division in your mailbox.
  • If you need to change the membership of your committee after it is appointed, see Reconstitution of a Doctoral or Master's Committee.

Step 3 — Once the graduate coordinator submits your committee request and you await for your committee approval, you can start scheduling your "Senate" Exam. You should reserve a room for the exam with the department that your advisor is affiliated with. Once you have the set date/time/place of your "Senate" Exam, you should notify the Graduate Affairs Office at least 2 weeks in advance. This allows time for the office to get your academic file ready for the exam. Make sure you have notified all of your committee members of the date/time/place of your "Senate" Exam.

Step 4 — Your committee MUST be approved before you take the "Senate" Exam. If one week before the exam you have not received in your mailbox your committee approval, please contact the Graduate Affairs Office.

Step 5 — Your committee is approved, you have set the date/time/place of your "Senate" Exam — you are ready to take the "Senate"! The Graduate Affairs Office will have your academic file ready and will provide the file to your faculty advisor one day before the exam. The file will contain the Report of the Qualifying Examination and Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Form (Report Form). Your committee will sign the report form after you successfully pass the Senate. Your faculty advisor will return your academic file and report form to the Graduate Affairs Office. The Graduate Affairs Office will obtain the required signature from the Chair. Once the report form is complete and signed by the Chair, the Graduate Affairs Office will notify you & you will be responsible for submitting this report form. Before the report form is submitted to Graduate Division, you will need to pay a $50.00 candidacy fee at the Cashiers Office.

Step 6 — You will receive an official notice from the Dean of Graduate Studies of your successful advancement — Congratulations you are In-Candidacy!