The Application for Candidacy for the Doctoral Degree must be filed with Graduate Division no later than the semester following successful completion of the Qualifying Examination. Students are advised to file for candidacy on time. Applications should be submitted to the Graduate Student Services Advisor.
Criteria for Advancement to Candidacy. To advance to candidacy, the student must fulfill each of the following requirements: 1) pass the qualifying examination; 2) have no more than two courses graded Incomplete; 3) have a minimum 3.0 grade point average in all upper division and graduate work taken in graduate standing; and 4) have made satisfactory progress completing course requirements.
The application requires the names of the proposed Dissertation Committee members. One member of the dissertation committee must be from outside the department, defined as an Academic Senate Representative from a UC Berkeley department or school other than the Psychology Department. The committee chair of the QE may not be the chair of the Dissertation Committee.
Dissertation Advisory Committee for Research
After completing the QE, students are required to meet with their Dissertation Advisory Committee every year, beginning with a Dissertation Proposal meeting the semester after the QE. If it is difficult to convene a meeting with all members at the same time, it is acceptable for one of the committee members to participate in the meeting remotely (via phone or video conference) or to be absent. However, the student should arrange a separate meeting with this committee member, preferably in advance of the group meeting.
Typically, the Dissertation Advisory Committee corresponds to the faculty members listed on the Advancement to Candidacy form previously approved by Graduate Division. The Chair of this Committee is typically the student’s primary advisor (but note that this Chair may not have also served as the Chair of the QE). If a change to the committee membership is sought by the student or is required by the area, the student must submit a Request for Change in Higher Degree Committee form to the Graduate Student Services Advisor.
Dissertation Proposal. All students will be required to submit a Dissertation Proposal to their Dissertation Advisory Committee at least one week before their first meeting. The format of this proposal is to be specified at the level of the area, but generally is expected to take the format of a grant proposal of 5-10 pages in length. (Note: Social-Personality students should refer to their area-specific documentation regarding the dissertation proposal and the dissertation.)
At the end of the proposal meeting, the student is notified of approval or of sections of the proposal that need revision. The student and committee formally agree what steps are to be taken and set a schedule for the revisions to be completed. The outcome of the meeting is to be recorded on the department’s Report on the Dissertation Proposal Meeting form, and immediately submitted to the Graduate Student Services Advisor. Upon completion of the revisions, the dissertation committee chair will coordinate with the student and committee to review the revisions and either approve the proposal or specify further required revisions. The revision process may require meetings of the student with the committee or may take place outside a formal meeting, as determined by the dissertation committee chair.
Annual Review of Doctoral Candidates. The Graduate Council of the Academic Senate requires an Academic Progress Report to be completed each year for all doctoral students after they advance to candidacy until they complete their program. The report is designed to assist doctoral students and their dissertation chair to stay on track with advising and other supportive activities to help facilitate the completion of doctoral work in a timely manner. Each student who has advanced to doctoral candidacy must meet with at least two members of their dissertation committee, and in conjunction with their Committee chair complete an Academic Progress Report online through GLOW, the graduate student information system.
Dissertation. Students should refer to Graduate Division's Dissertation Filing Guidelines.
Doctoral degrees are conferred twice a year, in December and May. (Please note that the annual commencement ceremony for the Department is in May). The filing deadline for each semester is the last business day of that semester. Specific deadline dates for each semester are available on Graduate Division's website: Filing and Form Submission Deadlines.
The Department requires two digital copies of the dissertation in Portable Document Format (PDF): one copy to the dissertation committee chair and one copy to the Graduate Student Services Advisor. The Final Report form indicating that all Ph.D. requirements have been met will not be forwarded to the Graduate Division until the dissertation has been filed and the Department has received the two digital copies of the dissertation. A separate copy of the dissertation abstract is also required. It is to be submitted to the Graduate Student Services Advisor for inclusion in a compendium of dissertation abstracts.
Reconstitution of Committee. Occasionally it is necessary to change the members of a master’s thesis committee, a QE committee, or a doctoral dissertation committee. In such instances, the student is to complete the Request for Change in Higher Degree Committee form and submit it to the Graduate Student Services Advisor for forwarding to Graduate Division.