Candidacy and Dissertation

Admission to Candidacy

Upon passing the comprehensive examination and verification that all course and other requirements have been satisfied, admission to candidacy status allows a candidate to formally begin the dissertation.

Research Proposal and Oral Defense of the Proposal

These must be completed prior to proceeding with the dissertation.


The dissertation is a written thesis that adds substantively to the theory and/or practice in the student's area of specialization.

Oral Defense of the Dissertation

This is a public presentation of the results of the dissertation that members of the Dissertation Committee are given a final the opportunity to ask questions before approving or disapproving the dissertation.

Time Limitations

Requirements, including the dissertation, must be completed by the end of eight (8) calendar years beginning with the date the student first registers as a student for the doctoral program.