Summary of Candidacy Process

For the Department of Communication, Media and Film


Months 1-8

Completion of courses and supervisory arrangements

  • Complete 18 units of courses
  • You are assigned an interim supervisor and may remain with this supervisor or chose another supervisor (and a co-supervisor if required)
  • Discussions with supervisor about the dissertation research area
  • Two additional members are chosen by supervisor (and co-supervisor), in consultation with you, to form supervisory committee
  • The supervisory committee acts as the examining committee for all the following stages of the candidacy process

Months 9-10

Approval of research area, fields of study (two), and fields of study reading lists

  • Submission of research area description and fields of study documents to the supervisory committee
  • Documents include research area description (2,500 words), identification of two fields of study, and a reading list for each field (35-50 items depending on the nature of the field)
  • Meeting with supervisory committee regarding research area and fields of study documents
  • At this meeting the supervisory committee may approve documents or require alterations
  • Alterations can be delegated to supervisor or another meeting can be arranged with the full supervisory committee
  • Final submission of any alterations to the area and fields of study documents
  • If alterations are satisfactory the supervisory committee signs the Fields of Study Approval I form
  • If the alterations are unsatisfactory you are required to withdraw from the program
  • You have the right to appeal the committee’s decision to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. See the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar »

Appeals against Faculty of Graduate Studies Rulings

Months 11-15

The written Fields of Study Exam

  • You have four months to read the fields of study lists in preparation for the written fields of study exam
  • At least three weeks before the written exams, the supervisor solicits questions from the other members of the supervisory committee
  • The supervisor composes three questions for each of the two field of study areas
  • You receive fields of study questions for written exam; you have two weeks to submit your answers
  • You must answer one question in each field (three choices) with an essay of 3,750-5,000 words in length plus references in an appropriate style (e.g. APA, MLA)
  • Supervisory committee provides assessment of written exam within one week of its submission
  • You can receive only one fail judgement on each question — two fail assessments on an exam question requires a rewrite in two to six months
  • Two fail assessments on each exam question means both exams are retaken in two to six months
  • You have the right to appeal the committee’s decision to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. See the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar »
  • With a successful exam, the supervisory committee signs Fields of Study Written Exam Approval II form
  • A successful written exam allows you to move on to the fields of study oral exam

Appeals against Faculty of Graduate Studies Rulings

Month 16

Fields of Study Oral Exam

  • An oral exam is scheduled within two weeks following a successful written exam
  • Assessment of the oral exam by the supervisory committee must be unanimous for a pass
  • The supervisory committee signs the Fields of Study Oral Exam Approval III form
  • A fail requires you to retake the exam in two to six months
  • You have the right to appeal the committee’s decision to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. See the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar »
  • A successful oral exam allows the study to move on to the dissertation proposal

Appeals against Faculty of Graduate Studies Rulings

Months 17-21

The dissertation proposal

  • You work with supervisory committee on their dissertation proposal
  • When the proposal is satisfactory, a meeting with the supervisory committee is scheduled
  • Approval by the supervisory committee regarding the proposal must be unanimous
  • Supervisory committee signs the department’s Dissertation Approval Form
  • If the proposal is a fail, you can resubmit in two to six months
  • If the proposal is a fail at the second meeting, you are required to withdraw
  • You have the right to appeal the committee’s decision to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. See the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar »
  • Completion of dissertation proposal means student has passed candidacy.

Appeals against Faculty of Graduate Studies Rulings