PhD Candidacy Examinations
NOTE: This is NOT the procedure for ATSC Phd students.
Please see the procedure at
- The candidacy examination is normally held within the first
18 months of a student entering graduate studies at UBC. For
students advanced to the PhD program from a masters program
this time may be extended.
- The Examination Committee will comprise the supervisor, at least 2 people
from the Supervisory Committee, at least one person not on the Supervisory
Committee, and a Chair of the Examination. The Chair is any one of the EOAS
Graduate Examiners identified for this role and cannot be a member of the
- The Examination Committee must be set at least three weeks
prior to the exam. The candidate has the right to request
the examination not be held until at least three months after
the Committee has been identified. This option is intended
to allow the candidate time to prepare for the examination
but need not be exercised.
- It is the candidate's responsibility to contact members of
the Examination Committee to ascertain the breadth of material
to be examined (e.g. defined by textbooks or reading list
or course work).
- The candidacy examination comprises:
- Preparation of a written thesis proposal (< 30 pages)
which must be distributed to the Examination Committee
2 full weeks prior to the examination date. The purpose
is to focus the oral examination of the candidate.
- An oral presentation of the PhD research plan (preferably
20 minutes and not to exceed 30 minutes).
- Open questioning of the candidate by the Examination
Committee to ascertain the readiness of the candidate
to carry out the proposed research.
- The results of the candidacy examination will fall into one
of four categories:
- a clear pass
- pass with conditions
- failure with the option to retake the examination once,
within 6 months.
- failure and dismissal.
- The Graduate Examiner will submit a brief written Report on
the Examination to the Graduate Coordinator with copies to the
members of the Examination Committee.