Candidacy Process

1 . What is Candidacy?^

Advancement to candidacy is a critical point in the doctoral program. When a student is advanced to candidacy, it means s/he is a candidate for the Ph.D., which signifies the Doctoral Faculty's confidence in the student's ability to successfully complete the program, including the dissertation. Candidacy is designed to reaffirm the appropriateness of the program relative to the needs and abilities of the student.

2 . How do I Achieve Candidacy?^

Submission of the candidacy paper based on an approved topic must be made before enrolling in 23 or more credits in the Doctoral Program and after successful completion of the core courses: Leadership Theory (DPLS 700), Organizational Theory (DPLS 701), Policy and Global Systems (DPLS 703), and Principles of Research (DPLS 720).

The student must be advanced to candidacy before enrolling in more than 28 credits or the student can expect to be blocked from taking classes until candidacy is completed. The following is the general steps one can expect in the candidacy process:

  1. The student first reaches general agreement with the pre-candidacy advisor that the student has met the general requirements above.
  2. The student submits to their advisor the Request to Begin Candidacy Process form along with a short statement, aka the "Candidacy Paper Synopsis."
  3. The student will receive a Candidacy Topic Approval memo/letter with the Candidacy Paper Synopsis showing changes made by the advisor attached.
  4. Upon receipt of the Candidacy Topic Approval, the student has up to 60 days to write and submit the paper.
  5. The student can submit the paper up to three times. After each submission, the student can expect to receive feedback within 15 working days excluding faculty down-time. Note: It is the responsibility of the student to contact the advisor and to follow-up weekly thereafter.
  6. If the paper fails to pass review, the student will receive revision requirements from their pre-candidacy advisor.
  7. The student has up to 60 days to revise and resubmit the paper after the first and second review.
  8. If the paper fails to pass on the second review, a third reader will be appointed by the DPLS faculty prior to the final third review.
  9. The student's advisor notifies the Program Coordinator that the paper has been accepted, and the student submits a final copy, with all changes and edits, to the Program Coordinator.
  10. The final version is submitted to the journal specified on the "Candidacy Paper Synopsis" and a copy of the submission letter and response is turned in to the DPLS office. NOTE: While the paper does not have to be accepted for publication, the process of receiving feedback from a journal helps to prepare for the experience of working with the dissertation committee in the dissertation writing phase.
  11. A Candidacy Approval Letter will finalize the Candidacy Process.

3 . What is the Candidacy Paper?^

The process for advancing to candidacy involves researching, writing, and submitting an original, high quality theoretical/conceptual paper no more than 20 pages long (including references, but not including the title page or abstract.) The candidacy paper must pass the review of at least two program faculty members. At this point, the candidacy paper is then submitted to an academic journal for publication. The candidacy paper rubric may be found here.

DPLS has found that providing samples of candidacy papers tends to limit students. No need to worry though - your advisor will discuss the mechanics of the paper with you.

4 . Where May I Find Sample Candidacy Papers?^

The DPLS program has found that providing samples of candidacy papers tends to limit students. No need to worry though - your advisor will discuss the mechanics of the paper with you.

5 . I Have Achieved Candidacy. Now What?^

For more information about the dissertation process, click here.

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