What is a Candidacy Exam?

The candidacy exam is a key milestone in doctorate studies and regarded as no less important than the doctorate exam (this explains why at least five examiners participate in the exam). The exam takes place approximately one year after the commencement of studies (six months in the case of a direct doctorate track) and examines whether the student is suited to doctorate studies on the basis of their outcomes to date, their expertise in the research field, and their future plans.

Ahead of the exam, the student prepares an expanded research proposal including an introduction, outcomes secured to date, and a plan for ongoing research. Appendixes may be attached to the proposal including full versions of articles published or submitted for publication. The scope of the proposal is approximately 25 pages on average, and usually ranges between 10 and 50 pages (not including the appendixes).

The proposal must be ready before the supervisor coordinates the list of examiners, since it must be attached to the proposed list of examiners and is placed before the Graduate Studies Committee as it discusses the approval of the Examiners Committee.

During the examination, you must briefly present an abstract of your outcomes and your research plans (usually approx. 15-30 minutes) and answer questions about the research or related topics.

The research proposal should be submitted to the Graduate Studies Coordinator at the Faculty. Please submit a copy for each examiner and one additional copy signed by the supervisor.