Note: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Graduate Division will be accepting digital signatures for Advancement to Candidacy forms for Spring Quarter, and the Cashier's Office will be waiving the Advancement to Candidacy fee until further notice. After completing your paperwork and passing your Oral Exam, you may email your form to Garrett Yoshitomi (

The Advancement to Candidacy Examination (i.e., “Orals”) is a comprehensive exam in chemistry. Students advance to candidacy for the doctoral degree upon successfully demonstrating a high level of scholarship in full-time study at the Ph.D. level, and upon completing all preparatory work and demonstrating readiness to proceed to the dissertation phase. University policy requires students to advance to candidacy at least one quarter before they can earn the degree. Students may not advance to candidacy prior to the satisfaction of the Second-Year Examination.

Please note: Students who plan to earn a master’s along the way toward their Ph.D. must advance separately for the master’s and Ph.D. in order to earn both degrees. Advancement to candidacy for a Ph.D. does not automatically grant the student a master’s degree.

Candidacy Committee

Students are admitted to candidacy if they pass by unanimous vote an oral examination administered by a Candidacy Committee. Advancement committee membership requires 5 members: 1 chair, 3 general members and 1 outside member. For students whose committee chair or advisor may have a financial interest in their work, an Oversight member is also required.

Doctoral Committee

During the advancement phase, students also select their 3 member doctoral committee. Doctoral committees consist of 1 chair (usually your advisor) and at least 2 general members. General members can come from non-Chemistry departments; however, a majority of the committee must be from Chemistry. For instance, 2 committee members from Chemistry and 1 outside member is fine -- 2 Chemistry and 2 outside is not. Faculty with joint appointments in Chemistry count as internal committee members.

Advancement Filing Deadlines

Please see the Graduate Division's website for advancement to candidacy paperwork deadlines for the current academic year:

Advancement Paperwork: Ph.D. Form I

To Do - Before Exam

  1. Read form instructions carefully
  2. Complete Student section
  3. Candidacy Commitee section
    1. Enter date of exam
    2. List committe members and academic units (Chair goes first), including Outside Member and Oversight Member (if applicable)
    3. Include an astersk (*) next to the committee members who will also serve on your doctoral committee
    4. Add your advisor, with "(Chair)" afterwards, to the section at the top of page 2
    5. If necessary, add any additional doctoral committee members, who are not on your advancement committee, to this section
  4. Department section
    1. If applicable, check "The dissertation research will involve human subjects, animals, or other regulated entities" box
    2. If applicable, check "The project has received the relevant regulatory approvals" box
    3. Advisor and student must sign and date
    4. Garrett will obtain the Department Chair signature later
  5. Complete Statement on Conflict of Interest Form (page 3)
    1. Read form
    2. Mark whether a conflict of interest has or has not been identified
    3. Advisor and student must sign and date
    4. Garrett will obtain the Department Chair signature later
  6. Remember to bring your paperwork to the exam!

To Do - After Exam

  1. Complete Candidacy Committee section
    1. Committee members sign and indicate advancement recommendation ("Yes/No")
  2. Take form to Cashier's Office (Aldrich Hall 228), and pay the $90 Advancement to Candidacy Fee
    1. Cashier's Office will stamp the first page of the form as proof of payment
  3. Turn in to Garrett Yoshitomi (NS2 1103)


Contact Garrett Yoshitomi (