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Advancement to Candidacy

What is Advancement to Candidacy?

Advancement to Candidacy represents the formulation of an official program of study for a master’s degree in the College of Education. It is the process that establishes your catalog rights and forms the basis of your degree audit when you are ready to graduate. Students need to indicate when they plan to finish their degree by officially filing to graduate with the office of Enrollment Services.

Please note that the phrase “Advancement to Candidacy” is used to refer to both the process of advancing to candidacy and to the form used for advancing to candidacy.

When Should I Advance to Candidacy?

It is important to advance to candidacy as soon as you are eligible (see next section). Advancement to candidacy is a prerequisite for enrolling in certain fieldwork courses, the capstone of either thesis, project, or comprehensive examination, and must occur at least one semester prior to the semester in which you will graduate.

How do I know if I am eligible to Advance to Candidacy?

Students must meet the following requirements before they may submit the Advancement to Candidacy Worksheet:

  1. Fulfill the campus Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). Students who received a degree from an accredited college or university in the United States have fulfilled the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).  If you received your degree from a foreign institution, you will need to take the Writing Proficiency Exam. Visit for details.
  2. Resolve incomplete grades, if applicable.
  3. Maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative and program grade point average.
  4. Complete 6 units of program requirements, program prerequisites (if applicable), and any other program requirements for advancement to candidacy.

University Regulations Governing the Master's Degrees

What are the steps to Advance to Candidacy?

  1. Access the fillable PDF of the Advancement to Candidacy Worksheet for your program (See Advancement to Candidacy Worksheets below).
  2. Complete all information:
    1. Name, student ID number, phone number and email
    2. Semester/year you started the program
    3. Semester/year you are submitting the Advancement to Candidacy Worksheet
    4. Type in the semester and year for each course you have taken or will take for your program. Consult any materials provided by your program advisor, or make an appointment with your program advisor to review your plan.
  3. Print and sign the worksheet.
  4. Take the completed worksheet to your program advisor and obtain their signature.
  5. Submit the signed worksheet to the Graduate Studies Office in EED Building, Room 7.
  6. The Graduate Studies Office will review your Advancement to Candidacy, contact you and/or your advisor for any clarifications, and obtain the Associate Dean’s signature.
  7. The Graduate Studies Office will notify Enrollment Services when you are eligible to Advance to Candidacy. Enrollment Services will notify you via email when you have been Advanced to Candidacy. 
  8. A copy of the Advancement to Candidacy will also be emailed to you by the Graduate Studies Office.

Remember – this worksheet represents the formal program plan of what classes you will take to earn your master’s degree. It is important that you keep a copy for your records, and notify the Graduate Studies Office of any changes to your plan.

Advancement to Candidacy Worksheets

Changing Your Program Plan

Consult with your faculty advisor if you need to change any courses or requirements to your established program plan. If approved, notify the Graduate Studies Office by email about changes to your electives or exit requirement and they will advise if additional paperwork is needed.