Step 7: Achieving Doctoral Candidacy Status


  • To complete the dissertation process-related pieces of achieving doctoral candidacy status in the program so that you can enroll in Dissertation hours.


  • Review the DPCES Program Handbook on p.35 for all the requirements to achieve doctoral candidacy status. Pass all requirements in addition to the two dissertation-related pieces below.
  • Successfully defend your dissertation proposal to your committee
  • Pass all parts of the DPCES Doctoral Comprehensive Examination.


Due Dates:

  • Avoid allowing too much time to expire between accomplishing the different tasks required to achieve doctoral candidacy; you can lose momentum when you're not taking regular, didactic coursework each semester.

John's Experience:

John takes the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination during the third year residency. Because he's been studying for the exam the past three months, he is prepared and passes without any problems. What a relief! John is really glad he's jumped that hurdle and feels energized to begin writing his full dissertation.

Pitfalls to Avoid:

  • Don't be unprepared to take and pass all parts of the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination; develop a study plan that encompasses a period of months rather than weeks.