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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 for 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. As of fall 2017, no cost letters are no longer required for non-UT committee members.
  • 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 proceeding to avoid requesting changes later.

Note that the application will ask whether the member is a GSC member. If they are at faculty member at UT Austin, check yes. This is asking whether they are a GSC member at all, not whether they are a BME GSC member. The Graduate School will audit their actual GSC membership. 

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. Effective spring 2019 the BME x99R course is no longer in use. All doctoral candidates enroll in BME x99W, regardless of time in candidacy. 

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.

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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