Candidacy Information

To: Students Applying for Candidacy

The following information is provided to assist you as you prepare for admission to candidacy and write your thesis or dissertation. Most of the information in this document is equally applicable to doctoral and masters students. Differences or exceptions will be indicated by the applicable degree abbreviation. It would be prudent for you to read an entire section to be certain you are familiar with the rules and regulations that apply. Note that "dissertation" always refers to doctoral students, "thesis" or "capstone" to masters students. There are four different masters-level degrees awarded by the graduate school: (1) the Master of Science (MS) degree, (2) the Master of Arts (MA) degree, (3) the Master of Medical Science (MMS) degree and (4) the Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree.

Review the following sections in the dropdown menu below:


  • I. Qualifying Examination
  • II. Application for Admission to Candidacy
  • III. Supervisory Committee
  • IV. Dissertation/Thesis
  • V. Final Oral Examination (Defense of the Dissertation/Thesis/Capstone)
  • VI. Submission and Publication of Dissertation or Thesis*
  • VII. Thesis Option/Use of Publication in Lieu of Thesis
  • VIII. Faculty Endorsement
  • IX. Instruction Sheet for Preparation of Thesis/Dissertation Research Proposal

As you approach completion of degree requirements and arrange for your postdoctoral position, please be aware:

  • Beginning a post-doctoral position before completing all degree requirements, even if the hiring agency will permit it, could be costly. Graduate school academic policies require you to be registered each term including the term the degree is awarded. Non-residents of Texas who pay tuition at the resident rate because of having a graduate assistantship or pre-doctoral fellowship, lose the qualification to pay resident tuition when they cease to be employed by UTMB with one of those titles.
  • International students should apply for optional practical training three months before they anticipate completing all degree requirements, including submission of the final, approved copy of the dissertation. Depending on the type of visa you have, you should check with Frances Garcia in the International Affairs Office or with James Bowen in the Office of the Enrollment Services.

If you have any questions and/or concerns regarding the above, please contact Tammie Taylor.