Skip to Content

College of Pharmacy

Candidacy Process

See the steps required of Ph.D. candidates in UofSC's College of Pharmacy as you progress from candidacy acceptance to dissertation defense.

In order to complete the Ph.D. candidacy process, the student’s Ph.D. committee will convene at the request of the student. The committee will then proceed to elect a committee chairman, if one has not already been so designated, who is a member of the department but not the major adviser.

Committee Review

The committee will review the student’s written candidacy exams (Part 1, final exam in PHAR 703, 725 and 738) and review the program of study. The major adviser will provide input regarding the rationale for the courses listed and the basis for the initial research proposal (IRP).

IRP Defense

The IRP defense will begin with a 30 to 40-minute presentation by the student. The oral examination following the presentation will further explore the student’s understanding of the proposed research and his or her approach to the problem and potential difficulties. The examination may also include questions concerning the student’s initial didactic training. Evaluation of the defense of the proposal will be based on the content of the IRP and on answers to oral questions presented to the student by the committee.

M.S. Candidacy Approval

The committee will recommend approval or disapproval of admission to candidacy following the IRP defense and further discuss and review all of the student’s candidacy achievements. The committee may subsequently recommend approval or disapproval of admission to candidacy based on the student’s performance in all of the candidacy requirements.

An affirmative vote of at least 75 percent of the graduate committee in attendance will constitute IRP approval. The committee may also at its discretion ask that the IRP be revised and submitted for approval with or without further examination, or it can place the student in a master's of science program.

Comprehensive Written Examination

After admission to candidacy and completion of all course work, a comprehensive written examination must be taken no later than the end of the third year in the student’s degree program. The written comprehensive exam requirement of the Graduate School is satisfied by the submission of a written research proposal involving an area outside of the student’s dissertation research interest. The student’s graduate committee must approve the research proposal topic.

Oral Comprehensive Exam

An oral defense of the student’s written comprehensive research proposal satisfies the Graduate School requirement for an Oral Comprehensive Examination. The examination will be given within five to 10 working days following the submission of the written research proposal to the graduate committee.

The student will give a 30 to 45-minute presentation about the comprehensive research proposal followed by questions related to the proposal and to any coursework included in the program of study. An affirmative vote of at least 75 percent of the graduate committee in attendance is required for passage of the written comprehensive and oral examination.

Written Dissertation

A written dissertation is required for completion of the Ph.D. degree. Dissertations are officially submitted online to the Graduate School and should adhere to department requirements and suggestions for formatting. The student should begin writing the appropriate parts of his or her dissertation as soon as possible.

Dissertation Seminar and Oral Defense

A dissertation seminar and defense must be completed within eight years of the start of the Ph.D. program. The dissertation seminar will normally be 40 to 60 minutes in length with appropriate visual aids and will be open to all College of Pharmacy students, faculty and scientific staff. After the dissertation seminar, the student will reconvene with his graduate committee for defense of the dissertation. An affirmative vote of at least 75% of the graduate committee in attendance will constitute a passing performance with the requisite changes in the dissertation. The committee may also at its discretion ask for major revisions to the dissertation followed by a second and final defense of dissertation to be conducted within 30 to 90 days or request a second and final defense of dissertation to be conducted within 30 to 90 days.

An unsuccessful second dissertation defense normally results in awarding of a master of science degree in pharmaceutical sciences.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.