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Doctoral Candidacy


To describe expectations during the candidacy period of doctoral study, including committee appointment and post-comprehensive enrollment

Applies to: 

All Lawrence/Edwards Campus Graduate students

Policy Statement: 

Dissertation Committee

Upon passing the comprehensive oral examination, the aspirant becomes a candidate for the doctorate. If it has not begun before, the traditional, close student-mentor apprenticeship relationship comes into being. The student is expected to learn by both precept and example of the mentor, and often in collaboration. The chosen field of scholarship is explored using acquired research tools. The principles and customs of academic inquiry and the codes of ethics traditional to the various disciplines and professional fields become part of the student’s thinking and working.

When the student passes the comprehensive oral examination, the Graduate Division of the appropriate school designates the candidate’s dissertation committee based on the recommendations of the candidate’s major department. The dissertation committee must consist of at least five members and may include members from other departments and divisions or, on occasion, members from outside the university. All members of the committee must be chosen from the Graduate Faculty, and the chair must, in addition, be authorized to chair doctoral dissertations. A prospective member of the committee from outside the university must have gained appointment as a Special member of the Graduate Faculty before appointment to the committee.

Post-comprehensive Enrollment

Doctoral candidates are required, after passing the comprehensive oral examination, to be continuously enrolled each fall and spring semester in one or more hours of dissertation or programmatically equivalent coursework (for example, document hours for DMA students) that both moves the student towards degree completion and reflects, as accurately as possible, the candidate’s demands on faculty time and university facilities. During this time, until all requirements for the degree are completed (including the filing of the dissertation) or until 18 post-comprehensive hours have been completed (whichever comes first), the candidate must enroll for a minimum of 6 hours a semester.

Post-comprehensive enrollment may include enrollment during the semester or summer session in which the comprehensive oral examination has been passed. If after 18 hours of post-comprehensive enrollment the degree is not completed, the candidate must continue to enroll each semester until all degree requirements have been met. The number of hours of each enrollment must be determined by the candidate’s advisor and must reflect as accurately as possible the candidate’s demands on faculty time and university facilities.


Graduate Studies
213 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Office of the Provost
Approved on: 
Friday, July 17, 2009
Effective on: 
Friday, July 17, 2009
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
doctoral candidacy, dissertation committee, post-comprehensive enrollment
Review, Approval & Change History: 

01/27/2016: Policy Revision - eliminate post-comp summer enrollment requirement, add purpose statement

01/27/2015: Minor technical edit to Review, Approval & Change History.

10/20/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing)

02/12/2013: Updated by Graduate Studies.

Academic Categories: 
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