Advancing to Candidacy

Congratulations on passing your Qualifying Exam!!

Now that you are past the qualifying exam, it is to your advantage to Advance to Candidacy, and it also marks a significant milestone in your progress towards completion. The term “candidate” means that you have completed all the coursework requirements and, by passing your qualifying exam, have been given the go-ahead to devote your time to research. In terms of administrative procedure, it also means that the only thing needing to be completed now is your dissertation. Also, you will not be allowed to go on Filing Fee without first advancing to

Here are instructions on how to Advance to Candidacy:

  1. Identify your Dissertation Committee:
    • It is important that you ask each person to serve on your dissertation committee prior to listing them as a member on your candidacy application
    • Your major professor is automatically Chair of your Dissertation Committee
    • Check the Qualifying Exam Information page to see how you should structure your committee.
  2. Complete the Candidacy Application Form (see form below)
    • Your Degree Sequence Number is left blank
    • Graduate Program = Neuroscience
    • Program Code = GNES
    • Don't forget to sign the form :)
  3. Signatures
    • The first signature needed is form your Faculty Academic Adviser (if you don't know who that is, ask Najwa)
    • The second signature needed is from your Dissertation Committee Chair (major professor)
    • The third signature needed is from Najwa
    • At this time due to Covid-19, electronic signatures are accepted.  
  4. Due to suspended operations, the form and payment must now be submitted by mail:
    Print your completed and signed candidacy form and mail it with your candidacy fee payment ($90 check made out to UC Regents) to:

    Cashier & Payment Solutions Office
    University of California
    PO Box 989062
    West Sacramento, California 95798-9062


The main concern with filling out the candidacy form is defining the members of your dissertation committee. This should be done in collaboration with your major professor, who will also be the Chair of your dissertation committee. If, however, later on, your dissertation
committee needs to change, that can be done by “reconstituting” your committee.