Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies


Advancing to candidacy is a major step for a Doctoral student, which should be planned carefully in consultation with the dissertation supervisor. Once a student is advanced to candidacy, they are expected to devote their time to research and writing, and complete the dissertation within two years.



Advancing to Candidacy


Forming the Dissertation Committee

All doctoral students, in consultation with the committee supervisor(s), must secure the agreement of a minimum of four people to serve on their dissertation or treatise committee.

  • The supervisor and at least two other committee members must be members of the MELC Graduate Studies Committee (GSC).
  • At least one committee member must be from outside your GSC.

Retired faculty who have been nominated or granted emeritus status and who were members of the GSC upon retirement may request continued membership on the GSC with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies. If approved, the continued membership will be reviewed annually. Such faculty may serve on student committees as a GSC member or as a co-supervisor, but may not serve as a sole supervisor. In the event that a GSC member of a dissertation committee terminates employment with the university, except as discussed above, an additional current GSC member must be added to the committee. A former faculty member may remain on the dissertation committee but will assume status as an outside committee member.


Submitting CVs for Non-GSC Committee Members

Students are responsible for providing a curriculum vitae for any committee member who is not a member of the Graduate Studies Committee.  The CV should be delivered by the student to the doctoral degree evaluators in the Graduate School. 


Applying for Candidacy

After your committee is formed, visit All My Addresses to update your name, address and phone number, if necessary, then complete the online Degree Candidacy Application form. Students must have registered and paid tuition during the semester in which the candidacy application is submitted.

You will be required to include a brief (60 lines or less) description of your dissertation or treatise proposal approved by your committee supervisor. This should be prepared in advance; the application will time out after 30 minutes of inactivity and you will lose any changes not yet submitted or saved. 

Changes to committee membership require special approval, so students should be certain the membership is complete and correct before initiating the application.



Certifying Academic Credentials

The program of work for the Doctor of Philosophy includes the courses taken toward fulfillment of the degree requirements, as established by the Graduate Studies Committee and the Graduate School.

The program of work must:

  • Have a minimum of 30 semester hours of advanced coursework, including a minimum of 6 hours of dissertation;
  • Include only courses taken within the past six years;
  • Include coursework that is sufficient in academic breadth/depth.


Completing Registration Requirements

Once the Dean of Graduate Studies approves your application and you have been admitted to candidacy, you are required to continuously register for dissertation courses.

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