Candidacy and Dissertation Committee

Deadline: August 1 Before Year Five

All students must be in candidacy and have an approved dissertation committee no later than August 1 before their fifth year of study.

This page contains essential information for applying for candidacy, and for forming or changing a dissertation committee (scroll down). The forms for both are to the right. However, do not complete the forms without reading the important information below.

Candidacy

The Laney Graduate School requires that all students be admitted to candidacy no later than August 1 before their fifth year of study.

  • Candidacy forms should be submitted as soon as all requirements are met. Students do not enter into candidacy until they submit an Application for Admission to Candidacy, which must then be approved by the Dean.
  • Programs may set earlier deadlines. Always check your program’s policies about student progress to make sure you are meeting the deadlines that apply to you.
  • Students who are not in candidacy by the graduate school deadline will not receive stipend funds until the situation has been resolved.
  • Students who have had approved leaves of absence during their first four years will have the candidacy deadline moved back by the length of their leaves (e.g., a student who had a one semester leave of absence must be in candidacy by January 1 during their fifth year, etc.). If you are in doubt about your deadline, contact Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Cora MacBeth.
  • For information about credit hour requirements for candidacy, consult the Laney Graduate School Handbook, Academic Affairs, section 1.1.1.

LGS Handbook

Our Handbook is the authoritative statement of policies and requirements.

LGS Handbook

Candidacy is an important milestone in the progress towards the PhD degree. It indicates that the student has achieved a substantial level of expertise in his or her field, and has articulated a plan for independent research and writing that has been approved by the faculty of his or her program. In addition, students who are not in candidacy are ineligible for the Laney Graduate School's fellowships for advanced students.

Dissertation Committee

The Laney Graduate School requires that all students submit a Dissertation Committee form no later than August 1 before their fifth year of study, and that each change in membership of the dissertation committee be approved through a Change of Dissertation Committee form. Please note the following:

  • Dissertation committee forms should be submitted as soon as the committee is formed.
  • Programs may set earlier deadlines. Always check your program’s policies about student progress to make sure you are meeting the deadlines that apply to you.
  • Students who have had approved leaves of absence during their first four years will have the dissertation committee deadline moved back by the length of their leaves (e.g., a student who had a one semester leave of absence must have a dissertation committee by January 1 during their fifth year, etc.).

Dissertation Committee Membership

  • The Laney Graduate School requires at least three members of the dissertation committee to be Laney Graduate School faculty. As long as this requirement is met, additional Emory faculty who are not Laney Graduate School faculty may also serve on the committee.
  • The Laney Graduate School also recognizes the value of involving scholars who possess expertise relevant to the interest of PhD candidates, and are located at other institutions. Likewise, there are also times when a dissertation committee member, co-chair/co-advisor, and chair/advisor moves from Emory to another academic or research institution or a faculty member retires.
  • Students should consult the Laney Graduate School Handbook, setion 1.1.1 (E) for LGS policy and requirements pertaining to the dissertation committee.