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Following successful completion of the qualifying exam, students apply to advance to candidacy. In order to advance to candidacy, students must identify a doctoral dissertation committee of at least four members in consultation with their faculty supervisor. 

Forming Your Committee

  • The committee is comprised of four or five people who have agreed to serve on your dissertation committee.
  • Identify your supervisor, and co-supervisor if applicable. Your supervisor will be the chair of your dissertation committee. Your supervisor must be a member of the BME Graduate Studies Committee (GSC).
  • At least two people other than your supervisor must be members of the BME GSC. In other words, a minimum of three people (including your supervisor) must be members of the BME GSC.
  • At least one person must be from outside of the BME GSC.
  • If any of your committee members are not at UT Austin, you must provide a copy of the member's CV to The Graduate School
  • Changes to the dissertation committee require special approval. Take special care to verify your committee is complete and all members have agreed to serve on your committee before advancing to candidacy to avoid requesting changes later.
Note that the application will ask whether the member is a GSC member. If they are a faculty member at UT Austin, check yes. This is asking whether they are a GSC member in any department, not whether they are a BME GSC member. The Graduate School will audit their actual GSC membership. 

Continuous Registration Requirements for Doctoral Candidates

Doctoral candidates must enroll continuously for the dissertation course (BME x99W) for all subsequent long semesters until graduation. Doctoral candidates must complete at least 6 hours of the dissertation course in order to graduate. Continuous registration in the summer semesters is not required unless the student plans to graduate in that same summer semester. 

Doctoral candidates are eligible to switch registration from research problems to dissertation hours mid-semester during the semester in which their application for candidacy is approved. If you wish to switch registration, contact the Graduate Coordinator. If you are more than two semesters away from defending, there is no need to switch registration mid-semester. 

Candidacy Requirement for Fellowship Consideration

The BME department takes candidacy status into consideration when reviewing nominations to institutional fellowships, such as the University Graduate Continuing Fellowship. Students are encouraged to advance to candidacy as soon as they are able to ensure their eligibility to be considered for such awards. 

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