Achieving candidacy for the PhD implies that a graduate student has (a) completed required coursework, (b) passed required exams to demonstrate his/her comprehensive grasp of the subject area, (c) demonstrated the ability for clear oral and written communication, and (d) shown the ability to carry on scholarly work in his/her subject area.
The requirements for candidacy in the Physics and Astronomy Department are:
The research presentation and the first attempt at the candidacy exam must be completed by early in the student’s fifth semester (no later than the end of the fifth week of the fifth semester). If needed, a second attempt at the candidacy exam must be completed by the end of the student’s fifth semester. If the student does not pass the second time, then the student will be asked to leave the doctoral program.
Research Progress and Proposal report:
The report serves three valuable purposes: (1) To demonstrate that the student is conducting research at an appropriate level; (2) to give students practice at writing about their work; and (3) to provide essential context and background so that the outside-area members and peers can understand the research plan. The report should be carefully written with properly cited references. The RRP should contain:
Again, while this does not have to be polished like a publication, it is strongly encouraged that the adviser should read this document and provide feedback to the student prior to the document being given to the committee. The RPP should be no longer than 20 double-spaced pages including figures and references (no longer than about 5 journal pages). The RPP should be given to the committee at least two weeks prior to the presentation. The document will be retained in the student’s internal departmental record.
The oral presentation should be no longer than about 30 minutes, and touch on the three main elements above. The research presentation can be public at the discretion of the adviser.