In thesis programs, the attainment of candidacy marks the completion of all requirements for the degree other than those related to research leading to the writing, submission, and defense of the thesis.

Candidacy Petitions

Each thesis student must petition for candidacy.  Petitions for candidacy are available online.

Students may take the final oral examination in defense of their thesis only after the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies approves their candidacy. 

Time Boundaries and Deadlines for Petitioning for Candidacy

Ph.D. students must be approved for candidacy before the beginning of the ninth semester of their residency at Rice. Master's students must be approved for candidacy before the beginning of the fifth semester of their residency at Rice. Additionally, if a student plans to defend and submit a thesis for the next degree conferral, students must file their petitions for approval of Ph.D. and M.A./M.S. candidacy in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies before November 1 for mid-year conferral and before March 1 for May conferral.

A student's individualized time boundaries are available in Esther.  Students who are approaching or who have passed their deadline to candidacy must submit an extension of candidacy request to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  Beginning July 1, 2012, the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies will impose the $125 reinstatement fee on students who are allowed to continue but who have exceeded their time boundaries without prior approval. 

Additional information on time boundaries is available here

When candidacy is approved, a thesis committee consisting of at least three tenured or tenure-track faculty or research fellows is appointed. This committee is responsible for reviewing the thesis and for examining the candidate on the subject matter contained therein. Almost all other actions necessary for final completion of the remaining degree requirements is the sole responsibility of the candidate. Some of these responsibilities are listed below in the order in which they need to be undertaken. Resources for thesis defense and thesis submission are located on this website .

The Candidates Responsibilities

Consult with members of the Thesis Committee about the nature and progress of research as the project develops.

The writing of the thesis should be a serious concern. Correct grammar and spelling, as well as logical organization and a clear, literate prose style are expected.  Guidelines for thesis format are available on the GPS website.  

Remember, a defense must be announced two weeks in advance for a doctoral defense and one week prior for a master's defense


Last updated April 24, 2012
GPS Thesis Submission Homepage