Prior Pre-Candidacy Meeting Procedures

Students who entered their program prior to Aug. 27, 2018 can choose to follow the old pre-candidacy meeting procedures below or the new regulations outlined here.


The pre-candidacy meeting must be held within the first 18 months of the doctorate program (26 months for students who transfer from a master’s). It should involve the student, the supervisory committee and two additional faculty members. Students are encouraged to send a one-page summary of the proposed research project to all participating faculty members a week before the meeting. The meeting begins with a short presentation about the proposed research project, followed by questions.

The expected duration for the meeting is between 90 and 120 minutes. If the pre-candidacy meeting is held within the first year, then it can also serve as the first supervisory committee meeting. Otherwise a supervisory committee meeting is mandatory within the first year.


The meeting has several mandates:

  • Provide feedback on the research project presented by the student.
  • Assess and provide feedback on the student’s background knowledge.
  • Based on the above two mandates, define a list of approximately five topics that will form the basis for the background questions in the candidacy exam. They should be relevant to the student’s field of research, but go significantly beyond the project itself. This list should also indicate the expected level of knowledge for each topic. It may include suggestions for how to acquire this knowledge. The list, which should be written on the pre-candidacy meeting form provided by the graduate program, is due to the graduate administrator no later than one week after the pre-candidacy meeting. The list is official after approval from the graduate program director.