Initial Candidacy Exam Preparation

During a committee meeting or via email with your committee, inquire about the availability of your committee during the approximate time you would like to do your candidacy (start this process at least 2 to 4 months before you want to start).  That timing does not mean come up with a single day and time.  It means figure out what weeks and/or months your  committee is available during your targeted candidacy dates.  Keep in mind the committee must meet twice (at the very beginning of the exam and exactly 8 weeks later).  The committee must also be available to receive and review your exam exactly 4 weeks after the first meeting (they have 1 week to review it and then return it to you with comments).

Once you have the months or weeks defined, contact the Grad Chair in Biological Sciences.  Give the approximate months/weeks that you are targeting for the exam, and also send a short paragraph that describes your thesis research.  The Grad Chair will then ask the Graduate Studies Committee if anyone can as as Chair and External during the targeted months.  Once the chair is in place, the meetings will be booked for the candidacy.

You should come to the first meeting with some possible ideas for your candidacy exam but the final topic will be determined during the first meeting when the entire committee discusses possible topics.  The committee will most likely ask you to clearly define the topic in a written paragraph that should be emailed to the entire committee within a few days of the firt meeting.  You have four weeks from the first meeting to write the proposal