A PhD student must satisfy all Graduate School requirements to become a candidate. Acceptance to PhD candidacy is contingent upon the completion of all core courses while maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.25 and successful completion of a written and an oral test in the student's area of concentration.
Academic advisor coordinates the activities related to the candidacy examinations. The examination committee consists of least three faculty members. It includes the student's academic advisor and at least one additional member from each of the two campuses, chosen by the student's advisor and in consultation with the student. Questions for the written and oral examinations are prepared by the members of the examination committee.
First a written examination is conducted that tests the student in at least two major topics within the chosen area of concentration. Student must score 70 percent or higher on each major topic being tested. A second chance is given for each topic in which the student scores less than 70 percent. Students who cannot pass the written examination after a maximum of two attempts on each major topic are not admitted to candidacy.
After successful completion of the written examination, an oral examination is conducted in the student's area of concentration. Students who fail the oral examination are given a second chance to pass it. Students who cannot pass the oral examination after a maximum of two attempts are not admitted to candidacy.