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Graduate Studies Calendar 2018-2019 Academic Regulations K. Candidacy
K. Candidacy
K.1 Admission to Candidacy

Admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree is a judgment by the faculty members in the graduate program that the student is prepared to successfully complete the requirements of the doctoral degree program. Subject to any extension allowances, doctoral students must complete all candidacy requirements within 28 months of first registration. Those students who have transferred from a master’s program must complete all candidacy requirements within 36 months of the first registration in that master's program.

If a student needs longer than the regulation time, the Faculty of Graduate Studies may grant an extension on recommendation of the Graduate Program Director.

Each graduate program specifies its requirements for candidacy in its Candidacy Requirements document. To be admitted to candidacy, the student must successfully:

  1. Complete course requirements for their program as set out in the program’s Calendar entry. Graduate Program Directors have the authority to require additional courses or waive course requirements for students in consultation with the supervisor and supervisory committee (where applicable).
  2. Complete any other program-specific candidacy requirements such as language or seminar requirements, as set out in the program’s Calendar entry.
  3. Complete a written thesis proposal that is examined and approved by the supervisory committee (and additional examiners, if required by the program).
  4. Pass one or more Field of Study examination(s) to demonstrate knowledge in their field of study, as required by the graduate program.
K.2 Candidacy Examination Outcomes

In their Candidacy Requirements, programs will establish what constitutes a “pass” on each component related to items (2) - (4) above (i.e., grade assigned, unanimity of the committee, etc.).

If, for any component related to (4) above, the examination committee requires that a student undertake remedial work, that remedial work must be completed before the student can be admitted to candidacy. Once a student has been admitted to candidacy, they cannot be required to undertake additional course work (excluding courses mandated as post-candidacy requirements in program Calendar entries).

A student who fails any component related to (3) and (4) above will be allowed to retake the examination no sooner than two months and no later than six months from the failed examination. The second failure of a candidacy component will result in a student being required to withdraw. In the case of failed outcomes, students have the right to appeal. Students must appeal directly to the Faculty of Graduate Studies (see Appeals Against Faculty of Graduate Studies Rulings).

K.3 Program Candidacy Requirements

Each graduate program offering a doctoral degree will establish its own Candidacy Requirements document, within the framework set out in K.1 Admission to Candidacy.

Together, the thesis proposal and Field of Study examination must include at least one oral and one written component.

The Candidacy Requirements document must be approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The Candidacy Requirements document must be posted on the program’s website.

Candidacy Requirements must be the same for all students in a graduate program, except when they relate to an approved specialization within the degree program.

K.4 Oral Examination Process (for Field of Study and Thesis Proposal)

(1) It is the responsibility of the supervisor to schedule the oral examination. Under no circumstances are students permitted to make arrangements for an examination.

(2) When required, both the internal and external examiners normally must be members of the Academic Staff and:

a) have relevant research experience;

b) not be a close personal friend of the supervisor;

c) not have collaborated with the supervisor in past five years.

(3) A post-doctoral scholar whose supervisor is either on the supervisory committee (when it is part of the examination committee) or is the supervisor of the student, is not eligible to serve as a member of the examination committee.

(4) Prior to the oral examination, if an examiner suspects that academic misconduct has occurred in the thesis proposal or other written candidacy components, they must contact the Dean of Graduate Studies immediately. The examination will then be suspended until such time as the Dean (or designate) is able to determine whether academic misconduct has occurred and what penalties will be applied. Depending on the determination, the examination may proceed as scheduled, be rescheduled, or be cancelled.

(5) All examiners must be present, either in person or via teleconference, during the entire questioning process as well as the post-examination discussion and vote, unless precluded by the program. When they are part of the examination committee, the supervisor (or the co-supervisor, if applicable) normally must be present in person.

(6) The oral examination questioning will not exceed two hours. The student may be offered an opportunity to give a brief (15-minute) presentation that may be part of the two-hour examination time.