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Advancement (Year 3)

Research Assessment:

Students must find a faculty advisor and successfully complete a research project with that faculty member. The research project should be done over at least two quarters of independent study with that faculty member. The goal of this research assessment is to introduce the student to the practice of scientific publication.

Based on the project, the student must produce a research paper of publishable quality. This research paper must be reviewed by three faculty members in a peer-review process, revised by the student, and approved by the three faculty members.

The research assessment is graded Ph.D. PASS, M.S. PASS or FAIL. In case of M.S. PASS or FAIL, the student can re-submit the paper at most one more time within the maximum period of six months. A second M.S. PASS or FAIL results in disqualification from the doctoral program.

Advancement to Candidacy Examination 

Each Ph.D. student must pass the oral advancement to candidacy exam, which assesses the student’s ability to conduct, present, and orally defend research work at the doctoral level. The research project and paper are the basis for the student’s oral advancement to candidacy exam. The oral candidacy exam consists of the research presentation by the student, followed by questions from the candidacy committee.

The student must complete the course requirements, and pass the research assessment prior to advancing to candidacy. The candidacy committee will consist of five faculty members, the majority of whom must be members of the student’s program, and is conducted in accordance with UCI Senate regulations.