Master’s, Specialist, and Professional Doctorate Candidates (DPT)
A graduate student wishing to pursue a degree must petition for candidacy to the selected degree program; the Petition for Candidacy includes a Program of Study. The student may apply for degree candidacy at the end of the enrollment period in which the total number of graduate hours accumulated toward the current degree reaches 9 or more. Normally, application must be made no later than the end of the enrollment period in which the accumulated total of graduate hours reaches 18 hours for a master’s candidate, 24 hours for a specialist’s candidate, or 60 hours for a DPT candidate. Petition for degree candidacy cannot be filed until the student has removed any conditions assigned at the time of admission to graduate study.
A minimum of nine graduate hours must be completed after the student is admitted to candidacy. Failure to petition for candidacy at the proper time may result in a delay in conferral of the degree. Specific dates are listed in the academic calendar published in the university’s schedule of classes. The student must submit to the Graduate School a typewritten original of the Petition for Candidacy form, including an approved program of study and proposed thesis title where applicable. The forms must be signed by the student’s advisor and department chair. The form is available online on the Graduate School web site.
 PhD Candidates
The PhD student will prepare a dissertation research proposal following the procedures outlined in the Thesis and Dissertation Preparation Guide and the departmental graduate handbook. Following successful defense of the dissertation proposal and completion of other departmental requirements for candidacy, the student submits a Petition for Candidacy to the Graduate Office. This includes a formal declaration of the student’s Program of Study and will be used later by the Graduate School as a validation that degree requirements have been met. The petition must include the positive recommendations of the candidate’s major research professor and the department chair. The Petition indicates the proposed title of the dissertation. More specific information regarding the PhD candidate’s Petition for Candidacy and Program of Study can be found in the PhD Handbook for the program in which they are enrolled.