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Advance to Candidacy

Qualified students will be required to constitute a Dissertation Committee prior to their advancement to candidacy, which is expected by the end of the third year. The Dissertation Committee will consist of five faculty members: the student’s Dissertation Advisor, two faculty members from the Astronomy program, 1 faculty member from the Physics department from outside the student’s research area, and one external tenured faculty member from another department. Candidates will be required to submit a written research proposal and make an oral presentation to the Dissertation Committee. The Committee may follow the oral presentation with additional questions to assess the candidate's preparation for dissertation research.

The proposal and presentation should address the following elements:

  • The scientific context of the proposed research;
  • Evidence of research preparation (related research up to this point);
  • A research plan, including methodologies and required resources; and
  • A dissertation timeline, including submission of publications, completion of dissertation, dissertation defense, and other relevant research activities (e.g., proposals, relevant training, instrument development/installation, conferences/talks, etc.)

In adherence with Graduate Division requirements, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 will be required for Advancement to Candidacy.