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A doctoral student is elevated to candidacy when he or she has completed all requirements for the doctoral degree except the research for, writing of, and defense of the doctoral dissertation. Students must

  • complete all required course work, pass the preliminary examination, and satisfy any residency, language, or proficiency requirements;
  • not have any "I," "NR," or "MG" grades on her or his transcript;
  • have an approved research/dissertation
  • proposal filed with and accepted by the Graduate School.
Upon receipt of the approved proposal, the Graduate School will review the graduate studentís academic record. The graduate student will be elevated to candidacy as of the date the proposal was received by the Graduate School, provided that the following are also completed, correct, and/or recorded on the graduate studentís record:

  • Composition of the Doctoral Advisory
  • Committee is in compliance with University guidelines;
  • All courses are completed with final grades (No "I," "NR," "MG" grades);
  • Preliminary Examinations are passed and current;
  • Language examinations, if required, are passed;
  • Student is in good academic standing;
  • Time limit has not been exceeded;
  • Enrollment requirement has been met;
  • Student is currently enrolled.

Important Note: If any of the above is not completed, correct, and/or recorded, the date of the graduate studentís elevation to candidacy will be the date those problems are resolved. The date of elevation has a direct bearing on which of the studentís dissertation research credits will be counted toward the minimum six dissertation credits required after being elevated to candidacy.

Dissertation/Research Credits

Doctoral students must complete a minimum of six credits of research after elevation to candidacy and before graduation. As these credits reflect continuing work on a single project, a grade is assigned only for the last semester before graduation (A, B, C, F, or P/F). All other semesters of such work are transcripted as "R" (for "Registered").

Normally these credits will be called "Dissertation" credits, and the course number will range from 990 to 999. Some science areas differentiate between lab research credits and written research credits for dissertation work. Departments/programs that differentiate must identify in their handbook the appropriate course number(s) required after candidacy, and these courses will count toward the required six credit minimum of dissertation research.

The date on which a graduate student is elevated to candidacy is significant in determining if a graduate student has fulfilled the six credits of Dissertation Research required post-candidacy. The Graduate School allows students a grace period* for elevation until mid-semester. Therefore, if a student is elevated by mid-semester, then that semesterís Dissertation Research will count towards the six-credit minimum. If, however, he or she is elevated after the mid-semester date, then that semesterís Dissertation Research will not count towards the six-credit minimum.

*Note: Doctoral students need six credits after candidacy and are afforded an automatic grace period. The grace period is the time from the beginning of the semester to mid-semester (approximately the sixth week of the semester); therefore, there are no extensions beyond the grace period. See the Class Schedule for the mid-semester date.

Foreign Language and Proficiency Examination

Every department/program must identify, in its handbook, as well as in the Graduate Bulletin, the language(s) and/or proficiency examination(s), if any, that graduate students must take.

The language(s) must be ones in which a significant body of information exists relevant to the graduate studentís area of specialization.



Graduate students are responsible for becoming informed about and meeting all deadline dates, requirements for degrees, and requirements for graduation. However, the departments/programs also should notify (or post) these guidelines and dates in their handbooks and other publications.

Application for Graduation

Masterís and doctoral degrees are conferred in August, January, and May. Graduate students apply to graduate in their school/college Deanís office by the announced deadline date indicated on the University calendar. Graduate students cannot graduate more than one calendar year after the last semester during which they were registered.


A graduate student may not graduate with an "I," "NR," or "MG" on his or her Temple University record.

Master's Thesis

Preparing the Manuscript

Before assembling the thesis, graduate students should access the Dissertation Handbook on the Internet ( Students also must choose a style manual in consultation with their adviser. The Graduate School will accept theses prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), and University of Chicago Style Manual.

Applying for Graduation and Submitting Final Drafts

Graduate students must apply to their deanís office for graduation by the deadline listed in the Graduate Bulletin calendar and the Class Schedule.

The thesis must be successfully defended, and the student must make and have approved any required revisions. Then the student submits the following to the Graduate School, Room 501 Carnell Hall by the deadline listed in the Dissertation Handbook:

  • Two copies of the thesis on white, 25%cotton, watermarked paper, in black, spring-back binders;

  • "Certification of Thesis/Dissertation Acceptability"

  • Two title pages with the thesis adviserís signature.

The Graduate School reserves the right to reject any thesis that does not meet the criteria stated in the Dissertation Handbook or does not demonstrate a graduate studentís knowledge of and ability to conduct original research.