Second Year

M.S. Completion

Graduate student in lab.

Students may be required to complete an M.S. degree prior to continuing on to the Ph.D. program. Generally students will fulfill this requirement during the second year of the program.  The M.S. degree requires successful completion of a research program and defense of a thesis. During the semester in which a student plans to complete this degree, he or she must apply to graduate through the Graduate School and complete all requirements. Further information regarding the graduation process can be found on the Graduation Procedures page.

Candidacy Exam

The Candidacy Examination is a comprehensive test administered by a committee of faculty and is based on the fundamentals of the broad area of chemistry in which the student is specializing.  The student’s progress in research will be evaluated by the exam committee.  Satisfactory performance in this examination or series of examinations admits the student to candidacy for the doctoral degree at the end of the term in which the exam is passed.  The exam should be completed during the second year in the program.  Only students requiring further evaluation via completion of an M.S. degree should initiate their Candidacy Examination in a timeframe such that it may be completed by the end of spring semester of their third year.  All candidacy exams must be completed on or before the end-of-semester deadline listed in the Graduation Calendar in order for a student to be considered post-candidacy for the following semester.  Exam requirements are listed in the Summary of Procedures and Requirements [pdf] and Graduate School requirements are listed in the Graduate School Handbook, but students should note that the process takes many weeks to complete and should plan accordingly.

Best Practices Timeline

  • Develop aims in the autumn semester of the second year and have them approved before December 31st.
  • Write proposal in January-February of second year and have it approved by March 31st.
    • Once the document has been revised and is ready for approval, a PDF should be provided to the Graduate Studies Office and signatures will be collected from each committee member electronically via DocuSign.
  • Hold oral exam at the end of the spring semsester or in May of the second year.
    • Once the document has been approved, students can schedule the oral portion of the exam and submit the “Application for Candidacy” via GRADFORMS
      • This application must be approved by the advisor and Vice Chair of Graduate Studies a minimum of two weeks before the date of the oral exam. 
      • Once your application has been approved by these two individuals it will appear as Pending* (with asterisk) which is acceptable for the Graduate School deadline.
  • If the exam is to be held in the summer term, the date should be scheduled by the end-of-semester deadline for the spring semester.  

[pdf]- Some links on this page are to .pdf files.  If you need these files in a more accessible format, please email hambach.2@osu.edu. PDF files require the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader software to open them. If you do not have Reader, you may use the following link to Adobe to download it for free at: Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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