Information for Current PhD Students


Candidacy is the final stage in your Ph.D. program.  Students who are Post Master's should begin preparation to enter candidacy when they have completed approximately 36 credit hours. Post Bachelor's students should begin preparation after completing approximately 60 credit hours.  Preparation for candidacy includes passing qualifying exams, forming a dissertation committee (committee must contain at least 3 department faculty and 1 member outside of the department), choosing a dissertation director and preparing a dissertation proposal which is approved by the committee. 
Once these steps have been completed, the following items are required for admission to candidacy:
  1. completed Application for Candidacy
  2. approved original proposal with Committee Signature Page
  3. copy of transcript 
  4. signed General Exam Form
Completed applications should be sent to the Graduate Programs Office (room 280 Maginnes Hall).  Once this paperwork is processed, a candidacy interview is scheduled with the Associate Dean as the final step to formally enter Candidacy. 
Graduate students must file for Candidacy at least seven (7) months prior to graduation.
This form is signed at doctoral student's dissertation defense and handed in with final dissertation.
The all-university guidelines to be followed in preparing a Ph.D. dissertation manuscript (margins, page numbering, etc.) can be accessed by clicking the link above.  For any program-specific guidelines, contact your dissertation advisor.  Instructions for electronically uploading your dissertation can be found here.
Students should use this checklist to stay on track for graduation throughout their doctoral program.
Students who are planning to graduate need to complete the Application for Degree and bring/send to the Registrar’s Office. Deadlines for filing Application for Degree (in any given year if one of these dates falls on a Sunday the due date then becomes the following Monday):  
May Graduation             September Graduation             January Graduation
  February 1                              July 1                                   October 1
* Please note:  students who do not graduate in the semester they filed must complete and submit Application for Degree again for the semester in which they are graduating.
Graduate Students submitting a Master's Thesis or Ph.D. Dissertation are required to complete and sign this form when submitting their final paperwork to the Registrar or Dean's Office and electronically uploading Thesis or Dissertation online.
A student must be registered for 9 credits to be considered full-time.  Students registered for less than 9 credits (i.e. students in Maintenance of Candidacy or completing degree requirements) must complete and submit Full-Time Certification form to stay in full-time status.  Completed forms with departmental and Graduate Programs Office signatures should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office at the time of registration.
*Please note:  Full-time certification cannot be retroactive.  If you do not complete this form at the time of registration you are in danger of losing full-time status.
Please click the link above for instructions and form to transfer graduate credits to Lehigh.
Petition forms are required whenever a student needs permission to change status, register after deadlines, withdraw from classes, request a leave of absence,  make a change in dissertation committee, etc. Please click here for complete guidelines.  Be sure to explain fully the reasons for your request.  In some instances a strong letter of department support may be required (for example, requesting a refund for a class).  Petitions require signatures from student's advisor, graduate director and the graduate programs office.  When a decision is rendered by the Registrar's Office students will be notified via email.